“All the Things She Said” by t.A.T.u.

The origin of this song (“All The Things She Said”) dates back to one of its co-writers, Elena Kiper, having a dream where she was kissing another woman. Being that Elena is not a lesbian, said dream left her perplexed. And to some extent such a premise does make it into the lyrics, i.e. the vocalist being a bit perturbed via the acknowledgement that she is indeed a lesbian.

But to note, the main industry figure behind this piece is one Ivan Shapovalov. And he is the type of person who is not to afraid to admit for instance that the entire Tatu initiative is, as idealized, an “underage sex project” designed for a male-targeted who, most simply put, are sexually attracted to juvenile females. 

But to note, Tatu is a Russian act. And Russia is a country where the legal age of consent, historically speaking, has been relatively low and was actually set at 14 years when this song was released. 

So even if Shapovalov forcing Tatu to portray hot lesbians may be deemed immoral, the way he exploited their sexuality wasn’t illegal. And why? Because both girls were in their mid-to-late teens at the time.

The Lyrics of “All the Things She Said”

Lyrically, what we’re dealing with here is a case of the vocalist coming to the solid realization that she’s in love with another lady. And she doesn’t necessarily come off as being confused but rather someone who fully made to understand, as most vividly illustrated in the third verse, that such a relationship is taboo. 

So apparently, she even makes a conscientious effort to get over these feelings, but such attempts fail. So the song ends as it began, with both a celebratory and distressed tone. Put simply, the narrator appreciates the sensation of being smitten yet, in truth, not being totally cool with this relationship, i.e. the gender of the person she is smitten by.

And to note, this song came out before lesbianism had become an accepted and supported theme in the music industry in more recent times. So it isn’t like its actually espousing the act. 

Rather even if this piece, from Shapovalov’s perspective, was partially inspired by adult based websites, by the time all is said and done it is actually acknowledging a certain reality, that some teenagers – females in this instance – may be engaged in homosexual romances. And in that regard, “All the Things She Said” should be heralded sort of blazing the trail as far as mainstreaming lesbianism goes.

t.A.T.u., "All The Things She Said" Lyrics
t.A.T.u.'s Lena Katina comments on "All The Things She Said"

t.A.T.u.

t.A.T.u. (aka Tatu or tATu) is a musical act consisting of two vocalists, Julia Volkova and Lena Katina. The duo may not be that well known in the United States but did prove especially popular in other parts of the world, including Japan, during the act’s early goings. 

And to note, all six of Tatu’s studio albums were released during the aughts, as the girls went their separate ways in 2011 after forming the act in 1999.

Success of “All the Things She Said”

Out of all the tracks that Tatu has dropped, “All the Things She Said” is by far the most successful. It is actually their signature piece. Part of this song’s notoriety was due to the controversy its music video generated. 

But that said, the track itself topped music charts in over a dozen countries, including the UK Singles Chart, reportedly making Tatu the first and only Russian act to date to do so. And globally it charted in nearly 30 nations, in the process achieving double-platinum status in Norway and platinum certification in a few other countries. 

Also this is Tatu’s best performing track stateside. Here, it made it onto the top 20 of the Billboard 200. It also made it onto the top 10 of Billboard’s Dance Club Songs and Mainstream Top 40 list.

Below are all the countries in which this song either reached number 1 or ranked within the top 10 position:

  • Australia #1
  • Austria #1
  • Belgium #2
  • Croatia #2
  • Denmark #1
  • Finland #3
  • France #2
  • Germany #1
  • Greece #3
  • Ireland #1
  • Italy #1
  • Netherlands #2
  • New Zealand #1
  • Norway #2
  • Portugal #1
  • Romania #3
  • Scotland #1
  • Spain #1
  • Sweden #2
  • Switzerland #1
  • United Kingdom #1

When did Tatu release “All the Things She Said”?

This track is from Tatu’s second studio album, an effort entitled “200 km/h in the Wrong Lane”. 

The Universal Music Group with Interscope Records released “All the Things She Said” as the lead single from that undertaking on 19 August 2002. 

And to note the original, Russian version of this song, which is entitled “Ya Soshla s Uma” (as in “I’ve Lost My Mind”), came out in 2000.

Credits

This song was produced by Trevor Horn, a tenured and accomplished pop musician from the UK. And he also served as one of the co-writers of the piece alongside the below:

  • Elena Kiper
  • Valeriy Polienko
  • Sergio Galoyan
  • Martin Kierszenbaum

Another notable figure who influenced the composition of this song is Ivan Shapovalov, who managed Tatu. He is recognized as the one who overtly imbued the piece with its lesbian motif. For instance, it was Shapovalov who directed the music video to this track, in addition to apparently sponsoring the clip out of his own pocket. 

Music Video

The video in question, which is highlighted by the two vocalists kissing, was euphemistically deemed semi-po***graphic by many media outlets. Some media platforms even went as far as banning it. One such platform was MTV Russia. 

However the video, under its original title “Ya Soshla s Uma”, still won the International Viewer’s Choice VMA via MTV Russia in 2001.

All The Things She Said

More Interesting Facts

As it stands, some critics feel that Tatu was akin to a gimmick act or one hit wonder, considering that their signature song utilized controversial imagery to sell. And to note along those lines, neither Lena nor Julia are actually lesbians. They have clarified that they were just “singing for lesbians”, while Shapovalov was marketing them as actually being so.

This song also dealt with additional controversy later down the road. However, this time around being on the right side of a rumor. And the said rumor centered around Katy Perry unscrupulously biting “Ya Soshla s Uma” in the creation of her 2011 single “E.T.”, which was also a major hit.

Despite Tatu being a Russian act, “All the Things She Said” was actually recorded in California, at Santa Monica’s UMG Studio.

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