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"Opposites Attract"
Single by Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat
from the album Forever Your Girl
B-side "One or the Other"
Released November 28, 1989
Format CD maxi
7" single
12" maxi
Recorded 1988, 1989
Genre R&B, New Jack Swing
Length 3:46
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Oliver Leiber
Producer Oliver Leiber
Certification Gold (US)
Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat singles chronology
"(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" (re-release)
"Opposites Attract"
"Rush Rush"

"Opposites Attract" is a song recorded by Paula Abdul, featured on her debut album Forever Your Girl. It was written and produced by Oliver Leiber. Vocals on the song, in addition to Abdul, were provided by Bruce DeShazer and Marv Gunn, aka 'The Wild Pair'. "Opposites Attract" was the sixth and final single from the album, and achieved success in many countries, including the US and Australia where it was a #1 hit.


Lyrics and music video

The lyrics are about a couple who love each other despite being different in just about every way possible.

The song is distinctive for its colorful music video created and directed by Candace Reckinger & Michael Patterson, in which Paula dances with cartoon character MC Skat Kat, voiced by 'The Wild Pair'. The music video adds an intro rap performed by Romany Malco.[1] An additional rap was provided by Derrick 'Delite' Stevens[2] for the Street mix version of the song, which was edited for the 7"/video.

The idea of MC Skat Kat came from the Gene Kelly movie Anchors Aweigh, where Kelly dances with Jerry, the mouse from the Tom and Jerry cartoon series. Paula even choreographed the animated character's moves to match her live-action dance moves in the video. MC Skat Kat was animated by members of the Disney animation team, working outside the studio between major projects, under the direction of Chris Bailey.[3]

The video won Abdul a Grammy award in 1991 for "Best Short Form Music Video".

Cover versions and parodies

The song was covered by American indie band Mirror Ball Associates for the album Covers Vol. 1, which features Paul Durham (lead singer of Black Lab) on vocals.

This video was later parodied by the Family Guy episode "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Fonz" with Peter Griffin "dressed like a cat", taking the place of MC Skat Kat. Paula herself actually appears in the sequence. According to the DVD commentary, Abdul rerecorded her vocals specifically for the episode.

The song was also featured in hit comedy TV show Sabrina, The Teenage Witch in the Season 4 episode "Aging, Not So Gracefully".

The Australian sketch comedy show Fast Forward parody of the song had Humphrey B. Bear in place of MC Skat Kat.

The song also appeared in the television version of the political thriller A Very British Coup.

Chart performances

"Opposites Attract" became one of the most popular R&B and dance-pop singles of 1990. The single initially rose from #72 to #47 the week of December 23, 1989, and landed at #1 the week of February 10, 1990, where it remained for three weeks, matching the run of "Straight Up". It became Abdul's fourth #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 and made her only the fourth artist in music history to score four #1 hits from a single album, after Whitney Houston, George Michael and Michael Jackson. Although the single was released at the end of 1989, the song itself is considered one of the first popular songs of the 1990s. "Opposites Attract" also topped the charts in Australia, and peaked at #2 in the UK. It failed to enter the German Top 10, peaking at #13.

Track listings

US/Euro 12"/Euro CD single
  1. "Opposites Attract" - Street mix
  2. "Opposites Attract" - 12" mix
  3. "Opposites Attract" - Dub mix
  4. "Opposites Attract" - Magnetic mix
  5. "Opposites Attract" - Club mix
  6. "Opposites Attract" - Party dub
UK CD single
  1. "Opposites Attract" - Street mix
  2. "One or the Other" - album track
  3. "Opposites Attract" - Club mix
  4. "Opposites Attract" - Party dub

Official mixes

  • Album version 4:23
  • 7" mix 3:46 - Keith Cohen
  • Street mix 4:35 - as above
  • Magnetic mix 4:33 - as above
  • Dub version 6:26 - as above
  • 1990 mix 6:48 - as above
  • 12" mix 5:39 - Steve Beltran
  • Club mix 6:04 - Chris Cox for Hot Tracks remix service
  • Party dub 3:10 - as above
  • Shep's Special mix 6:43 - Shep Pettibone


Country Certification Date Sales certified
US[4] Gold March 12, 1990 500,000


Chart (1989–1990) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[5] 1
Austrian Singles Chart[5] 18
Canadian Singles Chart 1
French SNEP Singles Chart[5] 23
German Singles Chart[6] 13
Irish Singles Chart[7] 8
Norwegian Singles Chart[5] 6
Swedish Singles Chart[5] 11
Swiss Singles Chart[5] 19
UK Singles Chart[8] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[9] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play[9] 24
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 1 [9] 3
End of year chart (1990) Position
Australian Singles Chart[10] 6
Preceded by
"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" by Michael Bolton
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
February 10, 1990 - February 24, 1990 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Escapade" by Janet Jackson
Preceded by
"Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinéad O'Connor
Australian ARIA number-one single
April 22, 1990 - April 29, 1990 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Vogue" / "Keep it Together" by Madonna

See also


  1. ^ Stransky, Tanner (February 19, 2010). "20 Years Ago: Paula Abdul hits No. 1 with 'Opposites Attract'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  2. ^ Will the real MC Skat Kat please stand up?
  3. ^
  4. ^ U.S. certifications (Retrieved September 5, 2008)
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Opposites Attract", in various singles charts (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  6. ^ German Singles Chart (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  7. ^ Irish Single Chart (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  8. ^ UK Singles Chart (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  9. ^ a b c Billboard (Retrieved September 5, 2008)
  10. ^ 1990 Australian Singles Chart (Retrieved September 5, 2008)


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