Readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past.
So, as our retrospective segments, ‘From the Vault’ and ‘TGJ Replay,’ allow us the chance to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday of one artist, our latest feature – Chart Rewind – serves as a variation of our Retro Rewind assay to salute an entire era of music history.
This week, we’d love to take it back to ‘Sweet Love’ – the breakthrough and inaugural top 10 hit of Queen of Quiet Storm Anita Baker.
Join us inside:
After earning considerable buzz for her 1983 debut solo album, ‘The Songstress’ (featuring hits ‘Angel’, ‘You’re the Best Thing Yet’, and more), Anita Baker was determined to pen even more successful chapters in her solo career after Chapter 8 (her first group).
Tapping the group’s founding member, Michael J. Powell (responsible for the song ‘No More Tears’ found aboard ‘Songstress’), to helm her sophomore effort, the two would lead the crafting of the project later christened, ‘Rapture.’ A collection of R&B gems masterfully fused with elements of Soul and Jazz (assisting the cementation of a genre later known as Quiet Storm), ‘Rapture’ was kicked off by the Baker-penned ‘Sweet Love.’
Released in May 1986, the mid-tempo ballad had already won radio listeners over by the time its romantic yet haunting music video arrived. As if earning the honor of becoming her first charting single on the Hot 100 wasn’t enough, by October 23 that year the song had cracked the tally’s top 10. In the week that followed, it peaked at #8 – a testament to Baker’s growing success.
By the time the dust settled, the tune helped its parent album push Anita to superstar status – placing her name in mention with the day’s biggest divas like Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, and more. Eventually, it soared to 5x Platinum status in the U.S. and earned the songstress her first pair of GRAMMYs.
On this side of history, ‘Sweet Love’ not only shines as her signature song but one of the most celebrated R&B classics of the last 40 years.
Hot 100 This Week in 1986
Hot 100 This Week
Click here to see this week’s full ‘TGJ Chart Check: Hot 100.’
Click here to read our ode to the ‘Rapture’ album.