Wendy & Lisa (briefly known as Girl Bros.) are a music duo consisting of Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman. They began working with Prince in the early 1980s and were part of his bandThe Revolution, before branching out on their own and releasing their debut album in 1987. In recent years they have turned their attention to writing music for film and television and have won an Emmy Award.
They have released five full-length albums, the most recent being White Flags of Winter Chimneys, released in December 2008.
In 1980, Lisa Coleman replaced Gayle Chapman in Prince's touring band on keyboards and piano. Lisa was asked to contribute vocals to several tracks over his next few albums. In 1983, guitarist Dez Dickerson left the band over religious conflicts. Lisa suggested Wendy, who had been brought on tour, as a replacement. Prince accepted Wendy into the band as they began to record Purple Rain. The film and album were a phenomenon, turning Prince and the newly named Revolution into superstars. Prince's personal life also became intertwined with Wendy's when he began dating her twin sister Susannah.
After Purple Rain, Coleman and Melvoin continued to participate in Prince projects, including Parade, the soundtrack to Prince's film Under the Cherry Moon. In interviews, the two reported they felt they were not getting the recognition and credit they deserved despite their growing contributions to his work. During 1986, Wendy & Lisa became increasingly disillusioned with Prince's decision to expand The Revolution with non-musicians, such as Wally Safford and Greg Brooks, and Prince's increasing machismo that these new members brought with them. Unhappy and vocal about their feelings, they were eventually convinced to remain with the band through the end of the Hit N Run - Parade Tour. However, Prince felt spurned and as a result he had already decided he would dissolve The Revolution once the tour was complete. Hence, by October 1986, Wendy & Lisa (along with Bobby Z.) were dismissed by Prince, disrupting the Dream Factory album that was already completed and effectively dissolving The Revolution.
The next year, the duo released an album simply entitled Wendy and Lisa with Columbia Records. They released a follow up album, Fruit at the Bottom, in 1989. The albums and singles from them garnered minor chart success (including a Top 30 single in the UK).
In 1990, the duo signed with Virgin Records in the US (which was already their label in Europe) and released Eroica. However, this too met only minor chart success. In 1991, Virgin UK released the remix album Re-mix-In-a-Carnation, a selection of club mixes from the first three albums as remixed by producers like The Orb, William Orbit, and Nellee Hooper.
In the mid-1990s, Wendy & Lisa worked on several movie projects with record producer Trevor Horn; they also worked on an album with him as producer, but had a falling out and the project was shelved, leaving the master tapes in Horn's hands and acrimony between the parties involved. They have also done session work and/or wrote songs with Seal, k.d. lang, Joni Mitchell, Meshell Ndegeocello, Pearl Jam, Terence Trent D'arby, Lisa Germano, Lisa Marie Presley, Liz Phair, Michael Penn, Grace Jones, Tricky, The Three O'Clock, Uh Huh Her, Sheryl Crow, Victoria Williams, Rob Thomas, Gwen Stefani, Skye Edwards, Scritti Politti, Nerina Pallot, OK Go, Madonna, The Like, Nina Gordon,fDeluxe, The Family, Doyle Bramhall II, Nikka Costa, Andre Cymone, Kate Earl, Eric Clapton, Bettye LaVette and more and vocals on the soundtrack for Toys and their first scoring work, for Dangerous Minds. They have since raised their profile considerably in that arena, scoring the popular TV shows Crossing Jordan, Heroes and more recently Touch, all of them created and produced by Tim Kring, and Nurse Jackie for Showtime.
Not being signed to any label, their next solo effort – the 1998 album Girl Bros. – was the first to be independently self-released, as has all subsequent releases been since. A decade later, in December 2008, White Flags of Winter Chimneys was released. The title is taken from a line in the Joni Mitchell song "Hejira". 2011 saw the release of the Snapshots (EP) which came with limited edition artwork, autographs and a photo book. It is a 6-song collection of songs that were recorded over the last 20 years of their careers but were never released.
In 2010 they received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for their work on Nurse Jackie. They received the ASCAP award for "Composers of the Year" for their work on Dangerous Minds, the theme to HBO's Carnivàle, Crossing Jordan and Heroes. They have been nominated for an Emmy (2012) for the Main Titles for the Fox Television show Touch.
Melvoin and Coleman have made numerous contributions to television themes. They wrote theme music and background scores for TV-shows such as Crossing Jordan, Bionic Woman, Carnivàle, Heroes and Mercy, as well as Showtime's Nurse Jackie.
They have also been featured on several film scores and soundtracks, including Something New, Hav Plenty, and Dangerous Minds. The film Toys, featured their song, "The Closing Of The Year", and most recently they have produced the full-length Heroes: Original Score, released in April 2009 and composed entirely of their full-length compositions for each of the show's characters. They are currently scoring the show Touch created by Crossing Jordan and Heroescreator, Tim Kring .
- Wendy and Lisa (1987), Columbia Records (UK #84)
- Fruit at the Bottom (1989), Columbia Records (UK #45)
- Eroica (1990), Virgin Records (UK #33)
- Girl Bros. (1998), World Domination - Re-released as Wendy & Lisa "Girl Brothers Inc." (1999) (self-released)
- White Flags of Winter Chimneys (2008), W. Melvoin/L. Coleman (self-released)
- Snapshots EP (2011) (self-released)
- Toys (1992), Geffen Records
- Heroes: Original Score (2009), La-La Land Records
- Nurse Jackie: Season One Soundtrack (2010), Lionsgate Music
- Dirty Girl Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2010), Lakeshore Music
- "Waterfall" (1987) (UK #66)
- "Sideshow" (1988) (UK #49)
- "Are You My Baby?" (1989) (UK #70)
- "Lolly Lolly" (1989) (UK #64)
- "Satisfaction" (1989) (UK #27)
- "Satisfaction" (re-mix) (1989)
- "Waterfall" (re-mix) (1989) (UK #69)
- "Strung Out" (1990) (UK #44)
- "Rainbow Lake" (1990) (UK #70)
- "Don't Try to Tell Me" (1990) (UK #83)
- Re-Mix-in-a-Carnation (1991)
- Are You My Baby (1996)
- Always in My Dreams (2000)
- "17 Days", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa, Dr. Fink
- "America", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa, Brown Mark, Dr. Fink, Bobby Z.
- "A Million Miles (I Love You)", written by Prince, Lisa
- "Computer Blue", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa, Dr. Fink, John L. Nelson
- "Mountains", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa (UK #45)
- "Power Fantastic", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa
- "Sometimes It Snows In April", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa