Album: Wilson Phillips (1990)
Charted: 42 4
Play Video


  • Wilson Phillips' self-titled album was one of the most successful debuts in history, with four hit singles released about three months apart, keeping them on the air for over a year. "Impulsive" was the third single, following "Hold On" and "Release Me," and preceding "You're In Love." All went to #1 in the US except "Impulsive," which still had a very strong showing, reaching #4.

    Much of their success owes to their producer, Glen Ballard, who used their killer app - their harmonies - as the bedrock of their songs. The group's fan base was mostly female and mostly older than the group, which was in their early 20s at the time. Every song from their first album got loads of airplay on VH1 and Adult Contemporary radio.
  • In this song, Wilson Phillips want to be impulsive, casting caution to the winds with their latest love. Perhaps they've been rewarded for holding on just one more day. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
  • This was the only single from the Wilson Phillips album the group didn't co-write. It was composed by Steve Kipner and Clif Magness. Kipner's credits include "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John and "If She Would Have Been Faithful..." by Chicago. Magness wrote the Jack Wagner hit "All I Need."
  • The group is comprised of the sisters Carnie Wilson and Wendy Wilson, and their childhood friend, Chynna Phillips. The Wilsons are Brian Wilson's daughter; Chynna's parents are John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas. They took pains to stay on equal footing, with no "leader." On "Impulsive," Wendy sang lead but Carnie and Chynna are quite prominent.
  • The slide guitar licks on this track came courtesy of Joe Walsh, who was usually heard rocking out with the Eagles or the James Gang, but did some softer stuff too - he produced an entire album for Dan Fogelberg (Souvenirs).

    Also playing on "Impulsive" is Bill Payne, another guy known for rock. His previous clients include Little Feat and The Doobie Brothers.

Comments: 1

  • Chris from Birmingham, AlThis was also the only Wilson Phillips's hit where Wendy Wilson was lead vocal.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Female Singers Of The 90s

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.

The Evolution of "Ophelia"

The Evolution of "Ophelia"Song Writing

How four songs portray Shakespeare's character Ophelia.

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's Songs

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Joan Armatrading

Joan ArmatradingSongwriter Interviews

The revered singer-songwriter talks inspiration and explains why she put a mahout in "Drop the Pilot."

80s Video Director Jay Dubin

80s Video Director Jay DubinSong Writing

Billy Joel and Hall & Oates hated making videos, so they chose a director with similar contempt for the medium. That was Jay Dubin, and he has a lot to say on the subject.

Rupert Hine

Rupert HineSongwriter Interviews

Producer Rupert Hine talks about crafting hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.