Believe (Cher album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Studio album by Cher
Released October 26, 1998 (1998-10-26)
Recorded June-August 1998; Dreamhouse Studios, London
Soundworks Studios, New York
Length 43:59
Cher chronology
It's a Man's World
If I Could Turn Back Time: Cher's Greatest Hits
Singles from Believe
  1. "Believe"
    Released: October 19, 1998
  2. "Strong Enough"
    Released: February 19, 1999
  3. "All or Nothing"
    Released: June 7, 1999
  4. "Dov'è l'amore"
    Released: October 25, 1999

Believe is the twenty-second studio album by American singer-actress Cher, first released on October 22, 1998 by Wea Records and distributed in North America by Warner Bros. Records. Following the failure of her previous studio album It's a Man's World, her record company encouraged her to return to the studio to pursue a new musical direction. Recording took place over the summer at the Dreamhouse Studios in London and the Soundworks Studios in New York under the guidance of English producers Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling. The album was dedicated to her ex-husband Sonny Bono, who died earlier that year.

Believe represents a complete musical departure from her previous works, consisting of dance-pop and Eurodance oriented styles, yet it includes a broader range of various musical genres such as techno, house, disco and Latin while its lyrical topics include freedom, individualism and relationships. The album features some of the new technology of the time, like the usage of Auto-tune, which would eventually become known as the "Cher effect".[1] Upon release, the album received mixed reviews from music critics, who commended Cher's vocal performance, while others criticized the highly amount of vocoder and its overall production. It won one Grammy for "Best Dance Recording" from a total of three nominations.

Commercially, Believe proved to be extremely successful, peaking at number four on the Billboard 200 and was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipment of four million copies across the United States. The record reached the peak position in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and Portugal, and charted within' the top ten in France, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and several other international territories. It was certified gold or platinum in then record-breaking 41 countries across the world and remains one of the best-selling albums of all time, having accumulated worldwide sales of more than 20 million copies.

Four singles were released from the album. The first single, "Believe", became one of the biggest-selling singles ever by topping the charts in a total of 23 countries and has sold more than 11 million copies.[2] "Strong Enough" was released as the second single from the album, having a less success than Believe, especially in the U.S. and U.K. peaking at #57 and #5 respectively. "All or Nothing" and "Dov'è l'amore" were released as the third and fourth singles respectively, both becoming moderately successful. In order to support Believe, Cher embarked on her sixth concert tour entitled the Do You Believe? Tour which became one of the highest grossing tour ever for a female artist at that time. Critics and scholars have noted the album's influence on popular music, especially how it helped bring dance music and Auto-tune into mainstream pop culture; they also noted the way in which Cher was able to re-invent herself and remain fresh and contemporary amidst the more teen pop-based music of the time.

Background and history[edit]

After the poorly received previous record It's a Man's World, Warner talked Cher into recording a dance album.[3] Cher began working on Believe in the summer of 1998 in London, meeting with producers Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling, who had previously worked with Rob Dickins; additional producers included Todd Terry ("Taxi Taxi") and Junior Vasquez (who had originally worked on "Dov'è L'Amore", but when he sent back his version from New York, it was rejected by Dickens, who decided instead to give the production of the track to Taylor and Rawling as well[4]). Cher worked also with long-time collaborator Diane Warren (who wrote "Takin' Back My Heart") and covered two songs: "The Power" (Amy Grant) and "Love Is the Groove". Furthermore, she decided to introduce a remix form of her 1988 single "We All Sleep Alone" from her 1987 Cher album.

The "Believe" single was originally written only by Brian Higgins, Matt Gray, Stuart McLennen and Tim Powell, and circulated at Warner Bros. as an unwanted demo for months. Mark Taylor said, "Everyone loved the chorus but not the rest of the song; As we were already writing other songs for Cher, Rob asked us if we could sort it out. Two of our writers, Steve Torch and Paul Barry, got involved and eventually came up with a complete song that Rob and Cher were happy with."[4]

During early sessions Cher recorded a cover version of "Love Is in the Air" that she previously performed a cappella on the talk show The Magic Hour in 1997. The song was mixed and produced by Junior Vasquez, but it did not appear on the final cut of the album. Now it is only available on file sharing networks.

The album featured a new musical direction for Cher, with use of Auto-Tune, most notably in the title track. The album was influenced by Sonny Bono's death in a skiing accident earlier that year. Believe is dedicated to him.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[5]
Entertainment Weekly B− [6]
Robert Christgau (choice cut) [7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars [8]

Upon release, the album received mixed responses from international music critics. Allmusic's Michael Gallucci called Believe Cher's "latest playground move" and described Cher "merely moves through the beat factory with one drab vocal range into one endless, and personality-free, thump session" and "determinedly, if not wholeheartedly, clinging to the tail end of it". In his review he gave the album two and a half out of five stars.[5] The major criticism was the strong use of Auto-Tune which changed Cher's voice. Beth Johnson of Entertainment Weekly gave it a B- rating, comparing it to Madonna's Ray of Light (1998). She said "One minute, this dance grab bag is mimicking Ray of Light; the next, paying homage to Donna Summer's disco days — then both at once!" But did say "Believe is erratic (and sometimes cheesy) as hell, but you gotta love how her Cher-ness shines."[6]

Commercial response[edit]

The album had debuted at number thirty-nine on the Australian Albums Chart, and eventually peaked at number thirteen there, and was certificated 2x Platinum by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). The album also peaked at number forty-one, and peaked at number one on the New Zealand Albums Chart and was certificated 2x Platinum by Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). It had peaked at number two on the Swedish Albums Chart, and was certificated 3x Platinum there. It is also the 73rd Best Selling of All Time in Sweden.[9] It had peaked at number five on the French Albums Chart, and stayed in the charts for forty-seven weeks. The album was certificated Platinum in that country. It peaked at number one in Austria, and stayed in there for thirty-seven weeks. It was certificated 2x Platinum in that country. In the United States, after the release date, the album debuted at #139 on the issue of November 28, 1998 and then reached at number four on May 8, 1999.[10][11] The album has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, becoming the Cher's most successful and best selling album to date.

Awards and nominations[edit]

In 1999, the album received a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Pop Album" and the title track was nominated for "Record of the Year", as well as winning the Grammy Award for "Best Dance Recording". Throughout 1999 and 2000 Cher was nominated for, and won, many other awards for the album, including a Billboard Music Award for "Female Vocalist of the Year".

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Believe.

Believe – Standard edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Believe"  
2. "The Power"  
3. "Runaway"  
  • Taylor
  • Barry
  • Taylor
  • Rawling
4. "All or Nothing"  
  • Taylor
  • Barry
  • Taylor
  • Rawling
5. "Strong Enough"  
  • Taylor
  • Barry
  • Taylor
  • Rawling
6. "Dov'è l'amore"  
  • Taylor
  • Barry
  • Taylor
  • Rawling
7. "Takin' Back My Heart"  
  • Taylor
  • Rawling
8. "Taxi Taxi"  
  • Terry
9. "Love Is the Groove"  
  • Terry
10. "We All Sleep Alone" (Todd Terry remix)
  • Terry
Total length:
  • "Believe" contains samples from the compositions "Prologue" and "Epilogue" performed by Electric Light Orchestra from their studio album Time.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits for Believe adapted from Allmusic.[12]

  • Tracy Ackerman - background vocals
  • Chris Anderson - piano
  • Ryan Art - design
  • Kevyn Aucoin - make-up
  • Paul Barry - composer, background vocals
  • Jeffrey Bernstein - programming
  • Winston Blissett - bass
  • Jon Bon Jovi - composer, producer
  • Johan Brunkvist - keyboards
  • Colleen Callaghan - hair stylist
  • Cher - primary artist
  • Desmond Child - composer, producer
  • Betsy Cook - composer
  • Rob Dickins - executive producer
  • Ada Dyer - background vocals
  • Humberto Gatica - mixing
  • Marc Goodman - engineer
  • Marlon Graves - guitar
  • Matthias Heilbronn - editing, programming
  • Brian Higgins - composer
  • Sylvia Mason-James - background vocals
  • Mark Jordan - composer
  • Bill Klatt - engineer
  • Michael Lavine - photography
  • Eddie Martinez - guitar
  • P. Dennis Mitchell - mixing
  • Adam Phillips - guitar
  • Timothy Powell - composer
  • Brian Rawling - producer
  • Antoinette Roberson - background vocals
  • Tom Salta - keyboards, programming
  • Richie Sambora - composer, producer
  • Tommy Sims - composer
  • Robin Smith - string arrangements
  • Judson Spence - composer
  • Hamish Stewart - background vocals
  • Jeff Taylor - additional production, laughs, production engineer, remixing
  • Mark Taylor - composer, guitar, keyboards, mixing, producer, programming, string arrangements
  • Todd Terry - composer, producer
  • Junior Vasquez - producer
  • Diane Warren - composer
  • Audrey Wheeler - background vocals
  • James Williams - background vocals
  • Bruce Woolley - composer

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Edition
France[74] October 22, 1998 CD, Cassette, LP, Digital download Standard
United Kingdom[75] October 26, 1998
Germany[76] November 2, 1998
Canada[77] November 4, 1998
United States[78] November 10, 1998 CD, Cassette, LP, mini-album, Digital Download
Japan[79] December 23, 1998 CD, Cassette Standard, limited edition

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Frere-Jones, Sasha (June 9, 2008). "The Gerbil's Revenge". The New Yorker (Condé Nast). Retrieved May 30, 2012. In the manual accompanying Auto-Tune’s fifth-release version, the zero speed setting is described as 'the Cher Effect.' 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Cher Records: 1965-2002". Cher Scholar. [unreliable source?]
  4. ^ a b "Recording Cher's 'Believe'". Sound on Sound. SOS Publications Group. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Gallucci, Michael. Believe - Cher at AllMusic
  6. ^ a b Beth Johnson (13 November 1998). "Believe Review". Entertainment Weekly. 
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: Cher". Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 159. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Believe - Cher; Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  13. ^ " - Cher - Believe". Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  14. ^ " - Austria Top 40 - Hitparade Österreich". Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  15. ^ a b " - Cher - Believe". Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  16. ^ "RPM Canada - Cher - Believe". Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Album Archive - 1999". Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  18. ^ " - Dutch charts portal". Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  19. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). 1999-02-13. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  20. ^ " - Cher - Believe". Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  21. ^ " - Les charts français". Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  22. ^ " - Cher - Believe". Retrieved May 9, 2015. 
  23. ^ "". Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  24. ^ "Archívum - Slágerlisták - MAHASZ - Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége". Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  25. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). 1999-01-30. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ " - Cher - Believe". Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  28. ^ " - Cher - Believe". Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  29. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). 1999-01-30. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). 1999-02-13. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  32. ^ " - Cher - Believe". Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  33. ^ "Cher - Believe -". Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  34. ^ UK Albums Chart . Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  35. ^ "Believe - Cher". Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  36. ^ "Jahreshitparade 1998" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  37. ^ "Arslista Album - Ar 1998" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  38. ^ "UK Yearly Best Selling Albums (1998)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  39. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Albums 1999". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  40. ^ "Jahreshitparade 1999" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  41. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1999" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  42. ^ "Rapports annuels 1999" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  43. ^ "RPM's Top 100 CDs of '99". RPM. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  44. ^ "Chart of the Year 1999" (in Danish). Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  45. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - Album 1999" (in Dutch). MegaCharts 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  46. ^ "Believe". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  47. ^ "Classements Albums - année 1999" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  48. ^ "Album - Jahrecharts" (in German). Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  49. ^ "Gli album più venduti del 1999". Hit Parade Italia. 1999. 
  50. ^ "Arslista Album - Ar 1999". 1999. 
  51. ^ "Swiss Year-End Chart 1999". 1999. 
  52. ^ "UK Yearly Best Selling Albums (1999)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  53. ^ "1999 The Year in Music". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc) 111 (52). 1999-12-25. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  54. ^ "Best-selling Albums". (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  55. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Billboard Vol. 112, No. 4: Believe In The Albums". Billboard. 22 January 2000. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  56. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2000 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  57. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Cher – Believe" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Cher in the field Interpret. Enter Believe in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  58. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 1999". Ultratop & Hung Medien / 
  59. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Cher – Believe". Music Canada. 
  60. ^ a b The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits:
  61. ^ "French album certifications – Cher – Believe" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  62. ^ "Les Albums Platine :" (in French). Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  63. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Cher; 'Believe')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  64. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Cher – Believe" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  65. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Cher – Believe". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. 
  66. ^ "Norwegian album certifications – Cher – Believe". IFPI Norway. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  67. ^ "Polish album certifications – Cher – Believe" (in Polish). Polish Producers of Audio and Video (ZPAV). 
  68. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1999" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  69. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Cher; 'Believe')". Hung Medien. 
  70. ^ "British album certifications – Cher – Believe". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Believe in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  71. ^
  72. ^ "American album certifications – Cher – Believe". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  73. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1999". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. 
  74. ^ "Believe: Cher: Musique". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  75. ^ "Believe: Music". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  76. ^ "Believe: Musik". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  77. ^ "Believe: Cher: Music". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  78. ^ " Believe: Music". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  79. ^ " Believe: Music". Retrieved 2014-01-05. 

External links[edit]