|"Ain't No Other Man"|
|Single by Christina Aguilera|
|from the album Back to Basics|
|Released||June 6, 2006|
|Studio||Chalice Recording, Hollywood|
|Christina Aguilera singles chronology|
"Ain't No Other Man" is a song by American singer Christina Aguilera from her fifth studio album, Back to Basics (2006). It was released on June 6, 2006 as the album's lead single. Aguilera co-wrote the song with Charles Martin Roane, Kara DioGuardi, Harold Beatty, and producer DJ Premier. "Ain't No Other Man" is described as a pop/R&B and funk song that incorporates elements of soul, blues and jazz music. Lyrically, the song was inspired by her marriage to Jordan Bratman in 2005.
"Ain't No Other Man" received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented the track's musical style and deemed it a standout on Back to Basics. It won a Grammy award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards (2006). Commercially, the track peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the RIAA for shipments of one million copies. Elsewhere, the song reached the top five of record charts of several countries including Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and United Kingdom.
The music video for "Ain't No Other Man" was directed by Bryan Barber. The video jumps back in time and depicts Aguilera as her then newly established alter ego Baby Jane. The visual was praised for the "mature" image that Aguilera adopted. It earned four nominations at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year. Aguilera performed "Ain't No Other Man" during several television performances, including the 2006 MTV Movie Awards and the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. The track was also included in the set list of her Back to Basics Tour (2006-2007).
Following the release of her fourth studio album, Stripped (2002), and several collaborations, Aguilera decided to incorporate elements of 1930s and 1940s musical styles in her follow-up album project. She commented that she wished to evolve as an artist and a visionary in between production of the records. Aguilera sent letters to various producers that she hoped could help her with the direction she was taking for the project, encouraging them to experiment, re-invent and create a modern soul feel.
The final product, her fifth album Back to Basics, comprises two discs. For the first half disc, Aguilera collaborated with "more beat-driven" producers including DJ Premier and Mark Ronson, who incorporated musical samples into many of the recordings. She described it as "kind of a throwback with elements of jazz, blues and soul music combined with a modern-day twist, like hard-hitting beats". The contents of the second disc were written and produced solely by Linda Perry, Aguilera's longtime collaborator. Aguilera had first collaborated with DJ Premier after hearing his jazz-influenced work with Gang Starr. She revealed that she was impressed, and she also wanted to make jazz-influenced materials. Aguilera stated that she was unsure if DJ Premier would accept the offer, having been his first time working with pop music. Premier later agreed and commented,
"I was surprised I got that call 'cause of our differences in the audiences we hit, but I'm always up for challenges and trying something new ... She described what her album is about and then she sent me some CDs of what type of stuff's been inspiring her to make the record, and it happened to be a lot of stuff that I grew up on in the early '70s, 'cause I'm 40. Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Marvin Gaye, Esther Williams, all kinds of different things. Once I saw that's the vibe she wanted, I still had to make it sound like the way my beats thump and stuff but still give her the atmosphere she's trying to bring out on the singing side."
While writing "Ain't No Other Man", Aguilera drew inspiration from her husband Jordan Bratman, whom she wedded in 2005. DJ Premier described the track as a "sassy" and "old-Aretha [Franklin] 'Respect'" recording. He further commented that its pace was "too fast", "like 130 beats per minute" and different from his earlier projects. Though lyrics had yet to be written, Aguilera was "in love" with the "high energy" track when she first heard it. Consequentially, she chose to service "Ain't No Other Man" as the lead single from Back to Basics.
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"Ain't No Other Man" was written and produced by Aguilera, DJ Premier, and Charles Roane, with additional songwriting provided by Harold Beatty and Kara DioGuardi. It is a pop, R&B and funk song with elements of old-school soul,blues and jazz. Thus, the song is a mixture of old-school and contemporary materials, according to Aguilera herself. The track contains a brass sample from "Hippy Skippy Moon Strut" by Dave Cortez & The Moon People, and a vocal sample "The Cissy's Thang" by The Soul Seven. Its instrumentation incorporates keyboards, guitar, drums, percussion, and horns. The arrangement of the instruments on "Ain't No Other Man" was described as "raw" and "ass-shaking". Several critics complimented the mixture between old and modern materials; Jody Rosen from Entertainment Weekly claimed that the jazzy melody from the track suited Aguilera perfectly, while Dorian Lyskey of The Guardian deemed the melody of "Ain't No Other Man" "fun" and "crispy".
Although the sheet music shows "Ain't No Other Man" in the key of F minor, the recording suggests it is approximately in F? minor, perhaps due to a speed discrepancy. The song has a moderate fast tempo of 132 beats per minute. Aguilera's vocal range on the track spans from A3 to F#5. Dorian Lyskey of The Guardian noted that the beats of the song are "brassy" and have the same "aerobic oomph" as Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love", while Jody Rosen from Entertainment Weekly deemed the track "exhilarating". According to Aguilera; lyrically, "Ain't No Other Man" is not a love song, but actually intertwines with the events that she experienced in real life. The song seems to be about Aguilera's husband, Jordan Bratman, but is really simply about feeling good. During an interview with MTV News, Aguilera said of the song, "I wanted to make it light and easy for people to dance to and sing along to... Lyrically, I just got married, so it's about someone in particular, but it's all about feeling good and not taking anything too seriously".
In 2011, American publishing company TufAmeria sued Sony Music for the brass sample of Dave Cortez & The Moon People's "Hippy Skippy Moon Strut" (1968), which is based on "I'll Be a Happy Man" by The Latin Blues Band featuring Luis Aviles. According to a federal lawsuit filed in New York, TufAmerica purchased the exclusive rights to the track in 2004; nevertheless, Sony Music made a deal with Codigo Music and Clyde Otis Music Group to acquire the sample.
"Ain't No Other Man" received generally positive reviews from music critics.
At the 2007 Grammy Awards, "Ain't No Other Man" earned Aguilera a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The song also earned a BMI Award in 2008.The Village Voices Pazz & Jop annual critics' poll voted "Ain't No Other Man" as the third best single of 2006. The song placed at number 32 on Pitchforks list of The Top 100 Tracks of 2006.Rolling Stone ranked "Ain't No Other Man" at number 18 in their list of 2006's best songs.
"Ain't No Other Man" debuted at number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 during the week of June 24, 2006. In the following week, it raised to number 13. On July 8, 2006, "Ain't No Other Man" reached number 9 on the chart. In its fourth week charting, the song reached number six, which became its peak. It became Aguilera's first top-ten hit on the chart since "Beautiful" (2002). At the end of 2006, Billboard ranked "Ain't No Other Man" the 32nd most successful hit of the year. On the Billboard Pop Songs chart, the track peaked at number eight and remained there for a total of 20 weeks. The song was a major hit on the US dance market, peaking atop the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. "Ain't No Other Man" was recognized as the eighth best-charting single on the Hot Dance Club Songs of 2006 by Billboard. On August 15, 2006, the track was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping more than one million digital download copies in the country. It was also certified gold for 500,000 master ringtones sold in the region. As of August 2014, "Ain't No Other Man" has sold 1,783,000 copies in the United States alone.
In Canada, the song peaked at number four on the Canadian Hot 100 and was certified platinum by Canadian Recording Industry Association for 80,000 digital sales. It was also certified gold for selling 20,000 ringtones in the country. In the United Kingdom, "Ain't No Other Man" debuted at number 18 on the UK Singles Chart during the week of July 29, 2006. In the following week, the song jumped to number two, just behind Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" featuring Wyclef Jean. The song also gained chart success in countries around Europe, peaking at number two in Norway, number three in Hungary (both Rádiós Top 100 chart and Single Top 100 chart) and Ireland, number four in Slovakia, number five in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, number seven in Austria, and number ten in Belgium (Flanders). Throughout Europe, "Ain't No Other Man" peaked at number three on the European Hot 100 Singles chart. The song was certified gold in Denmark by IFPI Denmark for shipping more than 7,500 copies there.
On the Australian Singles Chart, "Ain't No Other Man" debuted at number six on August 13, 2006 and remained on its peak for two weeks. In 2006, the song stayed on the chart for a total of 16 weeks. On January 14, 2007, the track re-entered the chart at number 46. Due to the commercial success in Australia, "Ain't No Other Man" was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipping 35,000 copies in the country. In New Zealand, the single peaked at number five on the New Zealand Singles Chart.
The accompanying music video for "Ain't No Other Man" was directed by Bryan Barber and choreographed by Jeri Slaughter. After seeing a trailer of Barber's film project, Idlewild, Aguilera wanted to make a video directed by him, explained: "It intrigued me that this man, Bryan Barber, had been very locked into and had surrounded himself with this whole world of the '20s and '30s era, and it made me think that he could understand what I'm trying to do conceptually. I needed to get the right director who shared my vision". At first Aguilera planned to make a black-and-white video and shot it in her living room for Barber and Slaughter. "I had acted out the entire video in my living room. I used my fireplace as a makeshift stage and the staircase as the pool table where I would stand", said Aguilera. According to Barber, Aguilera was very involved in the making of the videot. The whole team seemed like they were doing a movie more than a music video. On June 21, 2006, the music video for "Ain't No Other Man" was premiered on MTV's Total Request Live.
Throughout the music video, Aguilera portrays her alter ego Baby Jane, a nickname that Nelly once gave her. The narrative scenes are punctuated by shots of two trombonists playing the Dave Cortez brass sample in unison. The video depicts a mix of styles from the 1920s, as well as modern.
The video begins with a car (Rolls-Royce Phantom), with a license plate reading "Baby Jane", stopped in front of a club on a dark street in California. In front of the bar, a man is smoking a cigarette. The melody of Aguilera's song "I Got Trouble", is played in the background, as if over a radio with transmission noise. Aguilera steps out of the car in high heels, wearing a classic outfit with a hat. After the car door is closed, the song begins. In the club, Aguilera starts dancing with her male and female dancers while singing the song. On the first chorus, Aguilera is in a dressing room, wearing a camisole and fur-trimmed silk dressing-gown, making up with the help of her dancers, and receiving flowers from a stranger.
During the second verse, Aguilera appears in a red 1960's style outfit and listens to music with silver spangled headphones while a gramophone plays. While singing the second chorus, Aguilera is in front of photographers; she continues to sing in an inter-cut scene, wearing silver and gold outfits, one trimmed with fur. In the next sequence, Aguilera wears a white and black outfit with a black-sequined beret, and continues dancing through the chorus. At the bridge, she walks through the bar and finds her lover. She pushes him down on a chair and pushes him away across the polished dance-floor. She is then lifted onto the billiard table and continues to sing while the chandelier above her head begins to explode and spark fireworks. At the chorus she appears in a sparkling silver dress and makes the whole club come alive in a riot of dancing. There is a brief funk outro. As the video ends, with the club now empty of customers, Aguilera gently sings "I Got Trouble" again, lying on the piano while the people in the club watch her.
Jody Rosen for Entertainment Weekly noted, "She's revamped [...] her look, sporting an Andrews Sister bouffant and jazz-age togs in the video". Michael Slezak, another editor from Entertainment Weekly, wrote that Aguilera "rocks seven classy-sexy looks in just under five minutes, each more flawless than the one before it (especially that final silver dress and gizzorgeously wild mane)". Its choreography was also praised, "[it] is at once modern and totally in keeping with the whole Cotton Club vibe brought to life", "and just as important, Christina looks like she's having a blast throughout". Jenny Eliscu of Rolling Stone praised the video, calling it one of the best clips from the album. James Montgomery from MTV News wrote: "Aguilera kicked off her Back to Basics reinvention with this appropriately anachronistic clip, where she vamps through Prohibition-era Harlem". The music video was nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards in 2006, they are: Video of the Year, Best Female Video, Best Pop Video and Best Choreography; however, the video did not win any of them.
To promote "Ain't No Other Man" and Back to Basics, Aguilera performed the song on a number of shows and venues. On June 8, 2006, Aguilera performed "Ain't No Other Man" for the first time at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards, which was held at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.MTV praised the performance, calling her vocals during the show "vibrant". On July 20, 2006, Aguilera performed the track at the Koko jazz club in London, which was held in front of 1,500 fans and invited guests. The 40-minute concert comprised songs from the then-upcoming Back to Basics and other songs, including "Lady Marmalade" (2001) and "Beautiful" (2002).MTV UK was positive toward the performance, wrote, "The gig reflected the jazz club mood of Christina's new album, with a swinging brass-heavy backing band and fit dancers bounding sexily around the stage". During the Late Show with David Letterman on August 16, 2006, Aguilera also performed the track live. On January 20, 2007, Aguilera performed "Ain't No Other Man" at the 2007 NRJ Music Awards in Cannes, France. On February 18, 2007, Aguilera performed "Ain't No Other Man" and "Candyman" during the halftime show of the 2007 NBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas.
Aguilera performed "Fighter", "Hurt" and "Ain't No Other Man" at the 2007 Muz-TV Awards on June 1, 2007. "Ain't No Other Man" was later performed during the worldwide Back to Basics Tour (2006-2007). It was selected as the show's opener. The performance was supported by a nine-piece band and eight back-up dancers. The tour was preceded by newspapers headlines that flashed across a big screen, such as, "Christina goes from 'dirrty' to demure" and "Christina cleans up her act". The performance is included on the video release Back to Basics: Live and Down Under (2008).
On November 23, 2008, while supporting her compilation album Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits, Aguilera performed a medley of her six hits at the American Music Awards of 2008, which was held at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California, including "Ain't No Other Man". On May 5, 2010, while promoting her sixth studio album, Bionic, Aguilera performed all of her hits on VH1 Storytellers, including "Ain't No Other Man". On October 24, 2010, Aguilera was invited to the Justin Timberlake & Friends benefit show at Las Vegas. There, she performed "Beautiful", "Fighter" and "Ain't No Other Man". At the show beginning, Timberlake declared that Aguilera is "the best vocalist of my generation", "no contest".
"Ain't No Other Man" has been covered on several occasions.
Credits are taken from the liner notes of "Ain't No Other Man" CD single.
|Canada (Music Canada)
|Canada (Music Canada)
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||Gold||4,000*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000^|
|United States (RIAA)
|United States (RIAA)
*sales figures based on certification alone
|United States||June 6, 2006||Mainstream radio||RCA Records|||
|June 9, 2006||Digital download|||
|July 18, 2006||12-inch single|||
|United Kingdom||July 24, 2006||CD single|||
|Germany||July 28, 2006||Sony Music|||
|Canada||August 22, 2006||Digital download - Dance Vault Mixes||RCA Records|||
|France||September 25, 2006||CD single||Sony Music|||