Hearsay (album)

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Studio album by Alexander O'Neal
Released 1987
Recorded Flyte Time Productions, Inc. Studio A & B(Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Genre R&B
Length 41:32
Label Tabu
Producer Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Alexander O'Neal chronology
Alexander O'Neal
All Mixed Up
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+ [2]

Hearsay is a 1987 album by R&B musician Alexander O'Neal. The album peaked at #29 on the "Billboard 200" and reached #2 on "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums".[3] The album launched seven charting singles in the UK. "Fake" peaked at #33 on the "UK Singles"; "Criticize" peaked at #4; "Never Knew Love Like This" at #26; "The Lovers" at #28; "(What Can I Say) To Make You Love Me" at #27; "Sunshine" at #72.[4] Several remixes of the album's songs also charted: "Fake '88", #16; "Hearsay '89", #56.[4] Two of the tracks, "Fake" and "Criticize", were popular anthems in UK dance clubs.[5] The album was certified gold by the RIAA on October 20, 1987.[6] In the UK, it sold more than 700,000 copies.[5]

In 2003, Hearsay was reissued on Capitol Records' reissue label The Right Stuff Records.

In 2008, "Criticize" appeared on Grand Theft Auto IV's fictional Soul/R&B radio station The Vibe 98.8.


Hearsay has the overtones of a concept album,[7] being loosely set around the attendees of a house party being hosted by O'Neal. Over the course of the album, the themes that are played out include O'Neal's advances towards a particular woman in the room ("What Can I Say To Make You Love Me"), as well as his observations on other attendees of the party - for instance a courting couple ("The Lovers"), a spiteful gossip-monger ("Hearsay"), a loudmouth - implied to be a groupie ("Fake"), and a nagging ex-lover ("Criticize"), unrequited admiration ("Crying Overtime"), and culminating in the finale ("When The Party's Over"), where O'Neal finally persuades the woman to stay after the party is over. Interspersed between the tracks are "interludes" consisting of general background noise and conversation between the partygoers which sets up the theme of the next song.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by James Harris and Terry Lewis, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "Intro" – 0:35
  2. "(What Can I Say) To Make You Love Me" – 4:25
  3. "Intro" – 0:57
  4. "Hearsay" – 4:01
  5. "Intro" – 0:13
  6. "The Lovers" – 4:38
  7. "Intro" – 0:45
  8. "Fake" – 3:56
  9. "Intro" – 0:37
  10. "Criticize" – 4:11 (Garry Johnson, Alexander O'Neal)
Side two
  1. "Intro" – 0:28
  2. "Never Knew Love Like This" – 5:09
  3. "Interlude" – 0:17
  4. "Sunshine" – 5:59
  5. "Crying Overtime" – 5:13
  6. "Intro" – 0:25
  7. "When the Party's Over" – 3:32



  1. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Alexander O'Neal – Hearsay". AllMusic. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Alexander O'Neal - Hearsay". Robert Christgau. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  3. ^ Hearsay Chart & awards at AllMusic
  4. ^ a b Roberts, David (2002). Guinness World Records British Hit Singles (15th ed. ed.). London: Guinness World Records Ltd. ISBN 0-85112-187-X. , p.360
  5. ^ a b BBC. (April 5, 2007) Alexander O'Neal bbc.co.uk Retrieved 27-01-08.
  6. ^ RIAA searchable database.
  7. ^ Easley, Daryl. "Dismissed by the cognoscenti but adored by the masses". BBC iPlayer Music. BBC. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 

External links[edit]