Natural Selection – Do Anything (1991)

Now here’s a special one. In a way, Natural Selection was formed a few decades too late; the technology used to create its music wouldn’t have existed, of course, but on the other hand, no one would have automatically assumed they needed to record a full-length album. The group could have released “Do Anything” (download), then faded back into obscurity. I mean, they still faded back into obscurity, but not before releasing an album nobody bought, and then breaking up, and then reforming without one of the original members, and signing to SBK, only to have SBK go under before Natural Selection 2.0 could release anything, and then, finally, independently putting out a follow-up that really, seriously nobody bought.

See? Undignified. If Natural Selection had just stuck to this one song, things would have been so much better; people might actually wonder what else the band might have had up its sleeve. They would have been silly people — because “Do Anything” is a deeply, deeply silly song — but still.

About the song. You may not think you remember it, but you probably do; if I’m remembering this right, it was a #1 R&B hit in the fall of 1991, and made a pretty nice dent in the pop charts, too. Not bad for a song that stole the “bass” sound from Club Nouveau’s cover of “Lean on Me” and had a singer whose voice was so squeaky, he made Ralph Tresvant sound like Barry White. Also not bad for a song that starts off with: Baby, I really love you / Love you so, so much. (Songwriting tip: Anytime you hear “so, so” anything in the lyrics, it’s a pretty safe bet that the writer tried to fit something else in there, couldn’t, and gave up.) Spot the differences between the single mix and the “raw mix” (download)!

If you do remember the song, chances are, it’s fondly — the lyrics are horrible, the backing tracks dated, and the whole thing is pop candy so sweet it hurts your teeth, but still, the song is hard to dislike. It’s got a dopey, good-natured vibe, an instantly memorable melody, stiff female voice-acting, and, as a special bonus, a painfully bad rap in the breakdown. I swear to God, if Fall Out Boy covered this, it’d be the hit of the summer.

Video time!