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"What About Me" is a song written by Garry Frost and Frances Swan, first recorded by Australian rock band Moving Pictures from their album Days of Innocence. It was the band's first number-one single in Australia spending six consecutive weeks on the top; there, it was the second-highest selling single of 1982. The success of the song led them to America where it became a hit, reaching #29 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song stayed in the US charts for such a long time that it managed to make Billboard s top 100 Pop Singles of 1983, at #88, a rare feat for a single with such a low peak position. The song made an unusual comeback in 1989, peaking at #46.

Moving Pictures

Frost wrote the song when he was working with autistic children in his day job. He had gone out to get lunch at his local shop in the Sydneymarker suburb of Annadale and seen a small boy not being noticed waiting at the counter. He was sufficiently moved by the vision to pen the tune. The song was rarely played live by the band, when it was it was, it was played in a modern country style. It would never have been recorded but their debut album's producer Charles Fisher heard Frost and Smith tinkling with the tune on the studio piano during a break in recording. Fisher suggested that Moving Pictures record the song.

It was intially released as a single in January 1982. It debuted on the charts during February and five weeks later reached #1, where it remained for six weeks, going on to become the second biggest selling single in Australia for 1982 (behind Survivor’s "Eye of the Tiger") and went on to win the 'Best Single' award at the 1982 Countdown Music Awards. "What About Me?" was released in the United States later in September 1982, reaching a respectable #29 and spending 26 weeks inside the Billboard Hot 100. It was re-released in the U.S. market in 1989 by Geffen Records, climbing to #46 at its second attempt.

Shannon Noll version

Australian Idol series one runner-up Shannon Noll covered the song for his the debut album That's What I'm Talking About. He first performed the song on Australian Idol with the genre of #1 hits, where he received positive comments by the judges and was also seen as one of the highlights of the debut season of Idol. The song was released as a CD single on January 29, 2004 where it debuted at number-one and stayed there for four weeks. It eventually sold over 280,000 copies (certified 4x platinum) in Australia alone and became the highest selling single in Australia for 2004 — two decades after the original version was the second-highest seller of its year.

When released in Australia, demand for Noll's single was unprecedented. The single debuted at the peak position on the ARIA charts the week of 2 February 2004, achieving 2x platinum accreditation (140,000 copies shipped) in its debut week, and knocking long term number-one hit "Hey Ya!" by Outkast from the top position on the singles chart.

Following several plays on Irish radio by a former Australian DJ, requests for "What About Me" in Irelandmarker skyrocketed, and due to public demand, the Australian pressing of the single was shipped to Ireland. The initial shipment sold out within the first week of sale, prompting a further larger shipment to be made soon after. "What About Me" spent almost six months on the Ireland Top 50 singles chart and peaked at number-two for two weeks.

Music video

The video, directed by Australian director Anthony Rose, was the second music video from Shannon Noll. Set and filmed over two 38+ degree days in Shannon's home town of Condobolin, NSW, the video is essentially a snapshot of outback Australia and depicts Shannon's life in the small country town. The extras in the video for "What About Me" are all local Condobolin residents, including Shannon's two brothers. The music video was later popularly parodied by comedian Rove McManus on his television show "Rove Live".

Other versions recorded

Shayne Ward recorded a cover version for his debut album, Shayne Ward.

Track listing

Moving Pictures Australian release

  1. "What About Me?" (Garry Frost, Frances Swan) - 3:38
  2. "Round Again" - 4:03

Moving Pictures US release

  1. "What About Me?" (Garry Frost, Frances Swan) - 3:37
  2. "Joni and the Romeo" (Alex Smith) - 3:28

Shannon Noll release

  1. "What About Me" (Garry Frost, Frances Swan) - 3:21
  2. "What About Me" (Sterling remix)
  3. "The Way That I Feel"


Moving Pictures version

Chart (1982) Peak

Australian ARIA Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Pop Singles 29
Chart (1989) Peak

U.S. Billboard Hot 100 46

Shannon Noll version

Chart (2004) Peak

Australian ARIA Singles Chart 1
Ireland Singles Chart 2
New Zealand Singles Chart 10


  1. "The Top 100 Pop Singles of 1983". Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  2. "Moving Pictures - Artist Chart History". Allmusic. Retrieved April 7, 2007.

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