In the mood for a little sophisticated soul?
Well bow down and read on, cuz it’s velvet-voiced soul songstress and the doyen of classic 80’s soul Mizz Anita Baker gracing our Throwback Tuesday post of the week!
By 1986, Anita Baker had released her much anticipated sophomore album ‘Rapture‘, following a much publicized spat with her record label Beverly Glen that oversaw the released of her critically acclaimed solo début ‘The Songstress‘ in 1983.
After moving to Elektra Records in ’86, ‘Rapture‘ saw the ex-Chapter 8 vocalist come into a league of her own, resurrecting old-school soul to a large extent in the 80’s – especially since the landscape of soul was changing considerably with the advent of chart legends Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and Luther Vandross who would go on to successfully pioneer new genres of soul, blending in elements of dance, funk and pop to astonishing levels of chart success.
Granted complete creative freedom for the production of ‘Rapture‘ and helped by her Chapter 8 keyboardist Michael J Powell, nobody could have predicted or anticipated the extent of the album’s stellar success, not even Baker herself.
After peaking at # 1 on the Billboard R’n’B Albums Chart, ‘Rapture‘ went on to be certified a massive 5 times Platinum by the RIAA, and has sold well over 8 million units worldwide till date.
The first single ‘Sweet Love‘ became her first top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at # 8, but it was the album’s second single, ‘Caught Up In The Rapture‘ that remains a personal fave.
The moment you hear the starting strains of ‘Caught Up In The Rapture‘, you know you’re about to experience a lush slice of pure, unadulterated soul. Baker’s rich, warm and deep-throated vocals take charge, slow-burning their way through to your soul. Apart from Sade, few in the 80’s had such baby-making vocal capabilities.
Anita Baker eventually went on to win the first two of her 8 Grammy Awards for ‘Rapture‘, including Best R’n’B Vocal Performance (Female) and Best R’n’B Song in 1987.
Check out the maestra at work right here :