Rapture Anita Baker

Album info



Label: Warner Music Group

Genre: R&B

Subgenre: Classic Soul

Artist: Anita Baker

Composer: Various

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Sweet Love04:26
  • 2You Bring Me Joy04:26
  • 3Caught Up In The Rapture05:17
  • 4Been So Long05:15
  • 5Mystery04:57
  • 6No One In The World04:08
  • 7Same Ole Love [365 Days A Week]04:05
  • 8Watch Your Step04:58
  • Total Runtime37:32

Info for Rapture

Although Anita Baker's Rapture exudes an aura of dimmed lights and romantic introspection, the album was, in fact, a product of hard times and difficult decisions. Baker had previously cut a funk record with a band called Chapter 8 and a solo album called The Songstress, which was released on the Beverly Glen label in 1983. When she moved to Elektra, a legal battle ensued that threatened to block the release of Rapture.

"You don't see any of that turmoil in the music," says Baker. "It's as if it were an outlet for more beautiful things." Baker moved to Elektra because she was looking for creative freedom. "I knew what I wanted to sing, and I knew what kind of production I wanted, which was a minimalist approach," Baker says. "The dilemma was choosing a producer."

Baker turned to Michael J. Powell, the former keyboardist in Chapter 8, who produced seven of the eight tracks on Rapture. Baker herself is credited as executive producer. Elektra, meanwhile, let Baker make the record her way. "They just gave me my budget and left me the hell alone," she says, appreciatively.

Rapture, which was released in 1986, is an emotionally rich, subtly restrained suite of songs that merge elements of jazz and soul, with an emphasis on ballads like "Sweet Love," "You Bring Me Joy" and "Been So Long." It is bold in its very conservatism, and it evokes favorable comparisons to the work of some of Baker's idols, such as Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson. Baker says she was not concerned about how different Rapture seemed from much of the music out at the time. "It didn't cause me any apprehension," she says with a laugh, "because I didn't think anybody was gonna hear it!"

Rapture was recorded in a couple of months, with a good deal of time spent selecting material and working out arrangements. Baker still finds the album's depth of feeling satisfying. "I was very pleased," she says. "I didn't know I had that in me. I wanted a smooth product with energy and heart, but I surprised myself. There's passion there. I knew I could pop a note, but the nuances, I think, are what's important on that album."

Interestingly, despite its torch songs and paeans to love, Rapture ends with the edgy "Watch Your Step" — one of three songs Baker wrote or co-wrote. It's a relatively uptempo R&B number that warns an inconstant lover, "You better watch your step/You'll fall and hurt yourself one day." Baker says: "The last thing that people hear from you should be something to stir your emotions, to shake you up. I don't like to leave people relaxed. I like to start off relaxing them and then build up to some sort of crescendo."

Despite her regard for the album, Baker did not anticipate the multiplatinum sales Rapture earned. "Nobody did," she says, laughing. "Nobody. It was like a music-industry fairy tale. I've heard people speak of things like that happening; I've seen it happen to other people. I'll tell you, though, it took a hell of a lot of work." (Rolling Stone)

Anita Baker, vocals
Donald Griffin, guitar (tracks: 4, 8)
Greg Moore, guitar (tracks: 1, 2, 7)
Michael J. Powell, guitar (tracks: 3, 5)
Sir Gant, keyboards (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8)
Vernon Fails, keyboards (tracks: 3, 5)
David B. Washington, bass (tracks: 3, 5, 8)
Freddie Washington, bass (tracks: 1, 2, 7)
Arthur Marbury, drums (tracks: 3, 5)
Ricky Lawson, drums (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8)
Larry Fratangelo, percussion (tracks: 3, 5)
Paulinho Da Costa, percussion (tracks: 1, 2, 6 to 8)
Alex Brown, backing vocals (tracks: 2, 8)
Bunny Hull, backing vocals (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8)
Darryl Phinnessee, backing vocals (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6 to 8)
Jim Gilstrap, backing vocals (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8)
Vesta Williams, backing vocals (tracks: 2, 8)

Producer: Anita Baker & Michael J. Powell
Track 1 to 5, 7, 8 recorded & mixed at Yamaha R&D Studio, Glendale, California
Track 6 recorded & mixed at Music Grinder Recording Studio, Los Angeles, California

Digitally remastered.

Rolling Stone - #36 in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Albums Of The 80s" survey.

Anita Baker - multiple Grammy Award winner, composer, producer, mother and all-around superstar-- contemplated long and hard before she got ready to take her show on the road again. But finally, in early 2003, the woman who gave birth to "fireside love songs" and such classic gems as "Giving You The Best That I Got," "Just Because" and "Fairy Tales" pulled together her tight rhythm section and her faithful background singers and rehearsed; hoping to start a buzz and see if the timing was right, for a Welcome Back. She thought that her return would be like many singers, who, if gifted enough, have the opportunity to take a break and return to what they do best. Her "break" had now spanned 10 years and the tone and the texture of the industry had changed. The singers were young and flexible; many of the songs were trite and questionable. Anita wondered if she built it, would they come. And come they did, in droves. They came because most singers are not Anita Baker. (Source: http://www.contactmusic.com)

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