The Cassingle Vault: Debbie Gibson, “Anything Is Possible”

Written by Music, The Cassingle Vault

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Debbie Gibson – Anything Is Possible (1990)

We hear a lot about the sophomore jinx in music, and rightly so; making the jump from hit debut release to Greatest Hits, Volume 1 is a long road, and it’s got a big ol’ pothole where Album Number Two is supposed to be. For a minute, it looked like Debbie Gibson was going to make that jump — her second album, 1989’s Electric Youth, was an even bigger hit than her debut1, and since all anyone ever talked about was how Debbie wrote, produced, arranged, and played on all her songs, she seemed to have what it took to stick around for the long haul.

And then the little-known third-album jinx snuck up behind her, said “Not so fast, bitch,” and punched Debbie Gibson right in her face.

This face-punching started with the release of this here cassingle, which was meant to lead off another season of chart success for Ms. Gibson. The title track to her third album, “Anything Is Possible” (download) found Gibbie working with Lamont Dozier in an effort to scrub the goody-two-shoes vibe from her sound. The (insufferably long) album was actually split between dance tracks and ballads, supposedly giving everyone something they could enjoy. (I said supposedly.) To his credit, Dozier did respectable work with what he was given; unfortunately, much of what he was given was as bad, or even worse, than “Anything Is Possible.” For your amusement:

Anything is possible
If you put your mind to it
Anything is possible
Just put your mind to it
Anything is possible
If you put your mind to it
Anything….
Is possible

Verse 1:
Thought I couldn’t slow him down
Long enough to look my way
Thought he was out of my league
Wouldn’t give me time of day
Thought he was like all the rest
Love her, leave her, no remorse
But I guess that I misjudged
And this thing just ran its course
He taught me

Chorus:
Anything is possible
If you put your mind to it
Anything is possible…
Just put your mind to it
Anything is possible
If you put your mind to it
Anything is possible

Break it down now….
No matter what it is,
it’s possible
Say, anything is possible
(Anything…) No
matter what it is,
it’s possible
Say, anything is possible
(Anything…) No
matter what it is,
it’s possible
Say, anything is possible
(Anything…) No
matter what it is,
it’s possible
Say, anything is possible

Verse 2:
Much to my surprise I felt
A warm, not cold vibe
When he looked in my eyes
(Oh yeah, it’s possible)
His bad boy front not charm
Was his disguise
Oh whoa whoa
(Let me tell ya)
He read so much into me
Listened so attentively
He liked me, I rest my case
Wasn’t just a pretty face

Bridge:
Anything…
If you set your mind
You can do anything you want
Not every guy is a bad guy
Don’t stereotype
‘Cause this guy, he
proved me wrong
(Anything is possible…)
He taught me
Anything is possible
Just put your mind to it
Ooooooo….
Ooo-Oooooo
Ooo-Oooooo
Ooo-Oooooo

If you put your mind
You know you can do anything,
Anything
Anything is possible
Anything is possible
Anything is possible
Just put your mind to it
Anything is possible
If you put your mind to it

Aside from the humor inherent in the lyrics, which invite all sorts of horribly dirty gags about what exactly “anything” is, and/or how exactly he taught her it’s possible, this is one lame song. It was only — and this is the last time in music history that this phrase applies — the strength of Gibson’s name that pushed the song into the Top 40.

Bad as the song is, it must be said that Atlantic didn’t do Gibson any favors by re-using the set of the “Electric Youth” video for the “AIP” promo clip:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/P_sxB62Lgyo" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Speaking of “Electric Youth,” were you aware of the existence of a Wikipedia page devoted entirely to the perfume Debbie Gibson named after her second album? Seriously, it’s out there, and it offers the following description of the premier celebrity scent available at finer Walgreens in 1989: “The core fragrance is composed of a blend of citrus and other fruit essential oils, rendering a fruity scent known to be popular with the teenager demographic of the day.”

(A further five minutes of research has revealed the existence of dozens of people desperately searching for Electric Youth perfume. Indeed, there seems to be a black market for counterfeit bottles of the stuff. The going rate is apparently somewhere around $30 for a 1.5-oz. bottle. Repeat after me: Oh my effing God.)

Anyway, uh, not much else to say about “Anything Is Possible,” other than Debbie must have been writing tons of songs at the time; not only does Anything Is Possible include a veritable buttload of tracks (I don’t remember exactly how many, but if memory serves, it was something like 400), but this cassingle includes a non-album B-side, “So Close to Forever” (download).

Debbie kept on churning out music on a regular basis into the mid-’90s, eventually moving onto Broadway, shitty direct-to-video movies, and cashing checks with Hugh Hefner’s name on them. She still releases albums occasionally, and enjoys the slavish devotion of many fans, some of whom will doubtless wander over here in the hopes of completing their Giblet B-sides collection and/or leaving enraged comments. Enjoy the show! It’s bound to be more entertaining than the music!


1Or not. I have no idea, really, but I wanted to give Debbie the benefit of the doubt. It just felt like the right thing to do.