Lisa Loeb


If she had never made another record, Lisa Loeb would still go down in the record books as the first unsigned artist to top the American charts, as her meteoric single "Stay" -- from the soundtrack to 1994's Reality Bites -- spent three weeks at number one soon after the film's release. Born in Dallas, Loeb studied piano as a child but later switched to guitar. At Brown University, she studied music theory and played as a duo with her roommate, Elizabeth Mitchell (who went on to garner indie accolades with the band Ida). After college, Loeb attended Boston's Berklee School of Music for one semester, but then formed a full band in 1990, which she christened (in tribute to J.D. Salinger) Nine Stories and rounded out with Tim Bright on guitar, Jonathan Feinberg on drums, and Joe Quigley on bass. Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories began to gig around the Midwest, playing at Austin's South by Southwest seminar in the process. Loeb then hooked up with producer Juan Patiño, and in early 1992 released the cassette-only Purple Acoustic Tape, which she sold at her band's shows. Several major labels showed interest in Loeb's pop/rock songcraft, but she remained unsigned by late 1993, when her friend Ethan Hawke asked her to contribute a song for his next movie. Hawke passed along a copy of "Stay" to his director, Ben Stiller, who inserted it onto the soundtrack for Reality Bites. Released as a single in May 1994, it reached number one two months later and eventually sold over 750,000 copies in A...

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