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Lisa Loeb Re-Creates Iconic ‘Stay’ Video At Billboard (Exclusive Video)

When the '90s brought an unprecedented chart feat, sometimes you can't help going back, if even for just a few minutes.

“Get me ready for my video, one take I’ll shake it up on MTV, all eyes on me,” Lisa Loeb sings on “The ’90s,” a track from her new album, “No Fairy Tale.” “Those were the ’90s, times flies so fast / You say you love me then, but I don’t wanna go back,” she decides, eschewing the era’s drawbacks of praising style over artistic substance.

But, if the ’90s brought an unprecedented chart feat, sometimes you can’t help going back, if even for just a few minutes, as the video above shows!

In 1994, Loeb made history by becoming the first unsigned act to top the Billboard Hot 100 when her song “Stay (I Missed You),” with her former band Nine Stories, reigned for three weeks. A much-loved video accompanied the song: Loeb singing it – in one take (as correctly noted in “The ’90s”) – while holding eye contact, through her trademark glasses, with the viewer throughout.

The song’s success was also aided by its placement in the movie “Reality Bites,” with the clip directed by her friend, and the film’s star, actor Ethan Hawke. (“Stay” was released by RCA on the film’s soundtrack; she subsequently signed with Geffen Records for her debut album “Tails,” which includes “Stay.” The set has sold 727,000 copies in the U.S. to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan. 1997 follow-up “Firecracker” has sold 456,000.)

The original 1994 “Stay (I Missed You)” video

At a visit to Billboard’s New York offices last week, Loeb whimsically decided to recreate the continuous-take sing-and-talk “Stay” video on the spot for the first time since she filmed the original in 1994, she revealed. To the delight, and surprise, of our staff (and with the assistance of fellow ’90s Hot 100-topper, and now Billboard publisher, Tommy Page, who ruled in 1990 with his love ballad “I’ll Be Your Everything”), Loeb strolled our office aisles, acoustic guitar in hand, performing “Stay” … again in one melodic take.

With staff comments ranging from, “Wow, I thought someone was playing her on the radio – I didn’t think she was here singing!” to, “That’s the best thing that’s ever happened at Billboard,” going back to the ’90s, however briefly, made for a fun flashback.

Next page: Loeb sings “No Fairy Tale” and “Matches” at Billboard’s offices (standing still …)
Loeb is currently touring with Nine Stories members including bassist Joe Quigley and drummer Ronny Crawford, as well as guitarist Jonny Polonsky and even New Found Glory’s Gilbert for select appearances, amping up the sound of some of her best-known songs, including “Do You Sleep,” a No. 18 Hot 100 hit in 1995, and “I Do” (No. 17, 1998). “(It’s) fun, because I’ve played a lot of acoustic shows in the past, to play with the band and get the full rock sound,” she recently told Billboard.

Lisa Loeb sings “No Fairy Tale,” the title cut from her new album, with guitarist Jonny Polonsky at Billboard’s New York offices

What began as one of the fastest projects of Loeb’s career, “No Fairy Tale” soon became one of the most drawn-out after she became pregnant with her second child shortly after completing the album’s sessions, leaving the project sidelined until she could plan promotion and touring. “I was literally working on the artwork while I was in the hospital,” she says. “I made the decision to put the record out when the baby was a little older.

“It’s not every day you put a record out, but not every day you have toddlers, either. I’m just trying to balance the two.”

Lisa Loeb sings “Matches,” also from her new album “No Fairy Tale,” with guitarist Jonny Polonsky at Billboard

Loeb released “No Fairy Tale” on the Savoy label. “I really had gotten to a place where I like making records and then seeing who’s interested in them,” she says. “Although I like collaborating and I’m very into making music, I’m also interested in the business of music. (Savoy) wanted to put  lot of heads together to figure out how to reach people.

“I’m excited to see how the record is going to get out there.”

Additional reporting by Andrew Hampp