This week’s From The Vault ventures to the year 1997 with Aaliyah and her aptly titled ‘Journey To The Past.’ Specifically her live showing on The Rosie O’Donnell Show.
Lifted from the soundtrack to the movie ‘Anastasia,’ the track represented a marked departure from the singer’s slick and slinky strand of R&B.
A rousing Pop ballad, ‘Journey’ saw the late songbird do away with the seductive coos and instead showcase her vocal prowess. And to stellar effect.
She delivered a performance that was powerful, assured, and wilfully and skilfully controlled.
Almost two decades later, this particular showing continues to resonate with us.
Commercially the release never journeyed to the summit of any chart; it hit #28 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary tally, but missed the Hot 100 entirely and only managed a #22 peak in the UK.
Still, what the song lacked in success, it makes up for in enduring live performances like this. For such showings make us nostalgic about times of past; times when singers – regardless of the length of their range – still had to be able to sing.
Aaliyah wasn’t a Whitney or Mariah vocally, yet she consistently showed up and showed out with the skill-set she’d be blessed with; a practice many of today’s talent would be wise to draw from.
For now and forever, we’ll continue to salute this titan talent – one that managed to make a pronounced mark in a tragically short space of time.
Long live Aaliyah.
Tidbit: Did any one notice Tank in his backing singer role?