Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past. So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.
Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits. Today’s conspectus comes from the Queen of Quiet Storm – Anita Baker.
The singer’s sophomore album ‘Rapture’ thrust her into the stratosphere of 80s prime R&B and made her the forerunner of a new movement for the genre:
After earning moderate buzz for her 1983 debut solo album ‘The Songstress’ (featuring hits ‘Angel’, ‘You’re the Best Thing Yet’, and ‘No More Tears’), Baker was determined to continue forging a career sans-Chapter 8 (her first group). What became of that new chapter in the young singer’s life was 1986’s ‘Rapture’ – an otherworldly blend of contemporary jazz with modern R&B stylings…
*Caught Up In the Rapture*
As evidenced by hits ‘You Bring Me Joy’ and ‘No One In the World’, the album’s sonic packaging was only accented by Anita’s unmatched, supple alto that soared from low to high with awe-inspiring crescendos…
*No One In the World*
She was indeed ‘the best thing yet’, catching fans up in a musical rapture unlike any they’d heard prior. The album would go on to spawn the singer’s most memorable hits ‘Caught Up In the Rapture’, ‘Same Ole Love’, and, of course, her signature smash ‘Sweet Love’…
This was the album that indeed made Baker a household name – earning her two Grammys (beating the likes of Janet Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Patti Labelle for the honors), selling nearly 10 million copies to date, and 20 years later, landing in the top 40 of Rolling Stones’ ‘100 Greatest Albums of the 80s’.
While we anxiously await Baker’s forthcoming album ‘Only Forever’ due this year, we tip our hats to ‘Rapture’ – the game changing R&B collection from the Queen of Quiet Storm. An album that arguably open doors for the likes of Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, and other divas who dared to infuse their R&B offerings with jazz or get low in a way that should matter most – vocally.