Believe (Cher album)
|Studio album by Cher|
|Released||November 10, 1998|
(New York City, New York)
|Genre||Dance-pop, house, disco, latin|
|Label||WEA, Warner Bros.|
|Producer||Mark Taylor, Brian Rawling, Junior Vasquez, Todd Terry; Rob Dickins (executive producer)|
|Singles from Believe|
Believe is the 22nd studio album by American singer-actress Cher, released on November 10, 1998 by Warner Bros. Records. After the poorly received previous effort and Sonny Bono's death on January 5, Cher's record company encouraged her to return to the studio to pursue a new musical direction. She started working on her new album with English producers Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling of the Metro Production, a London-based production and publishing company. The recording took place over the summer at the Dreamhouse Studios in London and the Soundworks studios in New York.
Musically, the album is a pop and dance record, but it also incorporates strong elements of eurodance, marking a noteworthy departure from her previous work. Additionally, it experiments with several genres and subgenres, including techno, house, disco, Latin and drum and bass music. Vocally, Cher's command is arguably stronger, with a deeper sound and better control than past efforts. The album also included the use of vocoder on many tracks. The record explores lyrical themes of love, sorrow, romance and freedom.
Upon release, the album received mixed reviews from music critics, with some reviewers praising the singer's new musical direction, her vocals ability and calling some tracks catchy, however criticizing the highly amount of Auto-tune and the toned-down production. It was nominated for a total of three Grammys at the 2000 Grammy Awards, although it eventually won only one award for "Best Dance Recording". Commercially, the album proved to be successful, peaking at number four on the Billboard 200 being certified four times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. It topped the charts in Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Denmark and Portugal while peaking the top ten in the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Spain and several other countries. Believe went on to be certified Gold or Platinum in 39 countries and has accumulated worldwide sales of 20 million copies.
Four singles were released from the album. The lead single "Believe" became Cher's most successful single by topping the charts in a total of 23 countries and went on to sell 11 million copies. It was followed by "Strong Enough" which was another chart-topping success. "All or Nothing" and "Dov'è l'amore" were released as the third and fourth singles respectively, both becoming less successful on the charts. In order to support Believe, Cher embarked on the Do You Believe? Tour in 1999 and 2000 which was critically acclaimed and commercially successful. 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; this technique would eventually become known as the "Cher effect". 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 period.
- 1 Background and history
- 2 Critical reception
- 3 Commercial response
- 4 Track listing
- 5 Credits and personnel
- 6 Charts and sales
- 7 Release history
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Background and history
After the poorly received previous record It's a Man's World, Warner talked Cher into recording a dance album. 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). 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."
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.
|Entertainment Weekly||B− |
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
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. 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."
The album had debuted at number thirty-nine on the Australian Albums Chart, and eventually peaked at number thirteen there, and was certificated X2 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 X2 Platinum by Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). It had peaked at number two on the Swedish Albums Chart, and was certificated Platinum in their country. It is also the 73rd Best Selling of All Time in Sweden. 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. The album was very successful worldwide, becoming one of Cher's most successful and iconic albums to date.
Awards and nominations
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".
|1.||"Believe"||Brian Higgins, Stuart McLennen, Paul Barry, Steven Torch, Matthew Gray, Timothy Powell||3:59|
|2.||"The Power"||Tommy Simms, Judson Spence||3:56|
|3.||"Runaway"||Mark Taylor, Barry||4:46|
|4.||"All or Nothing"||Taylor, Barry||3:57|
|5.||"Strong Enough"||Taylor, Barry||3:44|
|6.||"Dov'è l'amore"||Taylor, Barry||4:18|
|7.||"Takin' Back My Heart"||Diane Warren||4:32|
|8.||"Taxi Taxi"||Todd Terry, Mark Jordan||5:04|
|9.||"Love Is the Groove"||Betsy Cook, Bruce Woolley||4:31|
|10.||"We All Sleep Alone" (1998 version)||Desmond Child, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora||5:10|
|Japanese and Australian bonus tracks|
|11.||"Believe" (Club 69 Future Full Mix)||Higgins, McLennen, Barry, Torch, Gray, Powell||9:20|
|12.||"Believe" (Xenomania Mix)||Higgins, McLennen, Barry, Torch, Gray, Powell||4:20|
Credits and personnel
- Main vocals: Cher
- Background vocals: Tracie Ackerman (Tracy Ackerman)
- Background vocals: Sylvia Mason James
- Background vocals: Paul Barry
- Producer: Mark Taylor
- Producer: Todd Terry
- Producer: Junior Vasquez
- Producer: Jamie O'Connor
- Producer: Brian Rawling
- Engineer: Jeff Taylor
- Engineer: Mark Taylor
- Photography: Michael Lavine
Charts and sales
Certifications and sales
|Release format||Country||Release date||Label|
|Regular album||France||October 22, 1998||WEA|
|Regular album||United Kingdom||October 26, 1998||WEA|
|Regular album||Germany||November 2, 1998||WEA|
|Regular album||Canada||November 4, 1998||WEA|
|Regular album||USA||November 10, 1998||Warner Bros.|
|Japanese album1||Australia, Japan||February 23, 1999||WEA|
1 Contains the regular album with two bonus remixes. The Japanese version was also sold in Australia.
- US Copyright Office records about setlist
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|url=missing title (help). Retrieved 2013-08-01.