Lisa Loeb was the first artist to score a number one hit without a label. How Indie is that? Stay (I Missed You) is the number one hit from the 1994 film, Reality Bites. In this music documentary, Lisa delves into the intricate wordplay and reveals the meaning behind the song.
The Meaning Behind Stay (I Missed You)
Lisa Loeb wrote Stay (I Missed You) to create a window into the conversations we have inside our heads. The song dealt with real issues in a real relationship. And it’s so moving to listen to Lisa’s inner dialog as she parses the differences between real and imagined conflicts in our relationships.
Placement in a Hit Film
At the time, actor Ethan Hawke was Lisa’s neighbor and friend. Ethan heard the song, and he loved it. So, he encouraged Lisa to submit Stay (I Missed You) for Reality Bites. You see, the film was a the Gen-X coming of age story, and Ethan thought the song was a perfect fit.
Wait For It…
When Lisa Loeb went to the premiere, she was confused. And I can see why… the movie ended, and she never heard her song. But as the credits rolled, the theater speakers bellowed out her entire ballad. Lisa was elated.
Stay (I Missed You) marched it’s way to the top of the billboard charts in the summer of 94. And Lisa became the first artist to top the U.S. charts without a record label. In fact, this was a feat that no one would match until 2013. Almost 20 years later, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis pulled it off with their single Thrift Shop.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Stay (I Missed You) held the number one spot for 3 weeks. The song went on to spend 30 weeks on the chart, selling just short of 1 million singles. Then Ethan Hawke directed the music video. Which is an innovative work of art in its own right. Ethan filmed two continuous shots in two separate takes.
While Lisa enjoyed the number spot on the charts, she was preparing to sign with a record label. And she was in a commanding negotiating position.