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Neneh Cherry - Manchild (1989)

  • Video Views 5,189,424
  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.94
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Manchild" is a 1989 single recorded by Neneh Cherry, released as the second single from her debut album, Raw Like Sushi. The ...

"Manchild" is a 1989 single recorded by Neneh Cherry, released as the second single from her debut album, Raw Like Sushi. The single was a top 10 success in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and several European countries. "Manchild" did not chart in the United States or Canada. It was the first song Neneh sat down and wrote. She composed the song on a Casio keyboard (the same one she uses to this day), using an auto-chord setting and ended up with 7 chords in the verse alone. Neneh's stepfather Don Cherry commented on this praisingly, comparing it to a jazz song structure. Nellee Hooper did the beat for the song and wrote the rap with Robert Del Naja. Neneh then gave it to Cameron McVey, who helped to shape the song with the parts and "made it make sense".

The song's lyrics are "directed at a full-grown man who has a little more growing up to do". Neneh expressed the significance of the song for herself, stating it's where she found her sound: "I think "Manchild" was the song where I kind of found my style. I think that song, the style of the song, the spirit and the feeling of the song has reappeared; it always reappears along the way in other songs that I've written; therefore it became the most significant song that I ever wrote, in a way".

Music video

The video clip was produced by Jean-Baptiste Mondino. It shows Cherry on a virtual beach, while several other people can be seen in the background. Cherry's daughters, Naima and Tyson, and her step-son, Marlon Roudette, also appear in the video. The camera "slowly rocks back and forth" in line with the beat of the song.

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