Wot's It To Ya?

Album: Robbie Nevil (1986)
Charted: 43 10


  • The third single from Robbie Nevil's debut album has the singer asking, "Wot's It To Ya?" when the ex who jilted him suddenly wants to know how he's been. Nevil wrote the track with Brock Walsh, who co-wrote the Pointer Sisters' hit "Automatic."
  • After "C'est La Vie" was chosen as the lead single and all the tracks were cut, Nevil expected the rest of the album to be smooth sailing, but he was about to learn an important lesson from veteran producer Alex Sadkin (Duran Duran, Thompson Twins), which resulted in the last-minute addition of this track. Nevil told Songfacts: "He explained it to me: 'Always come from the school of you don't have your first single, and always try to the bitter end to come up with something even better.'

    So 'Wot's It To Ya?' is written at the end of the record with the idea of you still don't have your first single, so write one more and try to hit it out of the ballpark. It didn't end up being the first single, but that's when and why we did it."
  • So wot's the deal with the title spelling? Nevil doesn't remember the reasoning behind it, but here are some other songs that employed the same creative misspelling of "what": Pink Floyd's "Wot's...Uh The Deal," Max Bygraves' "Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be," Jonathan Hodge's "Oh Wot A Big One!," and The Hollies' "Wiggle That Wotsit."
  • Judd Lander played the harmonica on this track, but that's someone else doing the part in the video. Lander also played harmonica on Culture Club's hit "Karma Chameleon."

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1987 {June 27th} Robbie Nevil performed "Wot's It To Ya" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at position #36 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, five weeks later it would peak at #10 {for 2 weeks} and it spent 16 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1986 and 1991 the Los Angeles native had seven records on the Top 100 chart, two made the Top 10, besides the above "Wot's It To Ya", his other Top 10 record was "C'est La Vie", it would peak at #2* {for 2 weeks} and it spent almost a half-year on the Top 100 {23 weeks}...
    Robbie Nevil, born Robert S. Nevil, will celebrate his 61st birthday this coming October 2nd, 2019...
    * The two records that kept "C'est La Vie" out of the top spot were "Shake You Down" by Gregory Abbott and "At This Moment" by Billy Vera and the Beaters...
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Chris Squire of Yes

Chris Squire of YesSongwriter Interviews

One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

Al Jourgensen of Ministry

Al Jourgensen of MinistrySongwriter Interviews

In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.

Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

Peter Lord

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"They're Playing My Song

The first of Billy's five #1 hits was the song that propelled Madonna to stardom. You'd think that would get you a backstage pass, wouldn't you?