Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Favorite Albums: Anita Baker – Rapture

In 1986, Anita Baker released the best R&B album of the 1980's, Rapture. It is a beautiful, magnificent album. It is one of my favorite R&B albums of all time. It has given me hours of listening pleasure. I prefer to listen to it on vinyl. Rapture is lush, soulful album, sung beautifully by Baker; it is the epitome of R&B music, with a definite jazz tinge to it. It is a great album to make love to.

Baker was born in 1958, in Toledo, Ohio, and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She joined an R&B band in the in 1975, called Chapter 8. They released one album and 1979, had one modest hit single, but were dropped from their small label. Later, Baker released a solo album, The Songstress, which sold modestly well at 400,000 units. During this time, Baker had a day job as a legal secretary.

However, the Elektra label gave her a recording deal, and she had a huge hit album in 1986 with Rapture. The album won two Grammy Awards, and spawned several hit singles, including the sublime top 10 single, Sweet Love, which also kicks off the album. It is lovely romantic R&B ballad, and Baker sings in a lovely, soulful voice.Nearly all the tracks on the album were released as singles, and the album went on to sell six million copies.

The album launched Baker into stardom, and she followed it up with three more highly successful multi-Platinum albums, Giving You the Best You Got in 1988, Compositions in 1990, and The Rhythm of Love in 1994. Baker won four straight Grammy Awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance from 1987-1990.

After 1994, Baker spent several years out of the public eye, in order to devote herself to family life. She returned in 2004 with a studio albums, and there have been a few live and greatest hits albums. She recorded an album for EMI in 2010, but it has not been released yet.

I hope we will see more of the this talented vocalist. Her place in music history is firmly established with her great work in the 1980's and 1990's, beginning with Rapture.

Here is the track list for Rapture:

  1. "Sweet Love" (Anita Baker, Louis A. Johnson, Gary Bias; Copyright Old Brampton Road Music-Jobete Music) – 4:26
  2. "You Bring Me Joy" (David Lasley; Copyright Almo Music Corp.) – 4:24
  3. "Caught Up in the Rapture" (Garry Glenn, Dianne Quander; Copyright WB Music Corp.-Silver Sun Music-DQ Music) – 5:07
  4. "Been So Long" (Baker; Copyright Baker's Tunes) – 5:07
  5. "Mystery" (Rod Temperton; Copyright RodSongs & Almo Music Corp.) – 4:56
  6. "No One in the World" (Ken Hirsch, Marti Sharron; Copyright ATV Music & Welbeck Music) – 4:10 *
  7. "Same Ole Love" (Marilyn Mcleod, Darryl K. Roberts; Copyright Jobete Music) – 4:05
  8. "Watch Your Step" (Baker; Copyright Baker's Tunes) – 4:54
Here are links for purchasing Rapture:

It is also available on iTunes. 

Below is my YouTube play list for the album, which features both a great live performance of Sweet Love, as well as the official video.

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