This story is featured in CityBeat's Oct. 4 print edition.
If you were attuned to the airwaves in the ’90s, you were probably aware of alt-rock singer-songwriter and Bostonian Juliana Hatfield. In 1993, she formed the Juliana Hatfield Three with Todd Philips and Dean Fisher. Her song “My Sister” became a hit. On the memorable tune, her lilting vocals sang: “I hate my sister/she’s such a bitch.” (She doesn’t have a sister). In 1994 she supplied the song “Spin the Bottle” to the Reality Bites soundtrack; it also appeared on the Three’s 1993 debut studio album Become What You Are. After going solo with 1992’s Hey Babe, Hatfield performed with the Lemonheads and Blake Babies. In 1987, the Blake Babies released Nicely, Nicely. In 2001, she formed Some Girls with Heidi Gluck and Freda Love Smith, and they came out with two albums. In 2015 she reconvened the Three with the album Whatever, My Love, their first new record in 22 years.
Ever the collaborator, she’s played with luminaries the Lemonheads — most recently on their 30th anniversary tour — and formed a group with the Replacements’ Paul Westerberg. However, it’s her undying love for covers that gets her attention these days. She’s covered everyone from Elliot Smith to Electric Light Orchestra. In 2019, she released a cover of the Police songs called Juliana Hatfield Sings the Police. On the record, she sings their best-known songs like “Roxanne” and “Every Breath You Take.” The year before, she dug into Olivia Newton-John’s discography and recorded Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John, giving songs “Physical” and “Xanadu” the rock treatment. In 2023, she released another album in her covers series: Juliana Hatfield Sings ELO. Hatfield continues to surprise fans with new releases. What will she cover next?
Juliana Hatfield plays the Woodward Theater on Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. Info: woodwardtheater.com.
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