One in a Million (Aaliyah album)

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One in a Million
Studio album by Aaliyah
Released August 27, 1996 (1996-08-27)
Recorded August 1995–July 1996[1]
Genre
Length 73:18
Label Blackground, Atlantic
Producer Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Carl-So-Lowe, J. Dibbs, Jermaine Dupri, Kay Gee, Vincent Herbert, Rodney Jerkins, Craig King, Darren Lighty, Darryl Simmons
Aaliyah chronology
Age Ain't Nothing but a Number
(1994)
One in a Million
(1996)
Aaliyah
(2001)
Singles from One in a Million
  1. "If Your Girl Only Knew"
    Released: August 13, 1996
  2. "One in a Million"
    Released: December 10, 1996
  3. "Got to Give It Up"
    Released: January 27, 1997
  4. "4 Page Letter"
    Released: March 11, 1997
  5. "Hot Like Fire"
    Released: September 16, 1997
  6. "The One I Gave My Heart To"
    Released: September 16, 1997

One in a Million is the second studio album by American R&B recording artist Aaliyah, first released on August 27, 1996 by Blackground Records and Atlantic Records. The album was recorded from August 1995 to July 1996 with a variety of producers including Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Carl-So-Lowe, J. Dibbs, Jermaine Dupri, Kay Gee, Vincent Herbert, Rodney Jerkins, Craig King, Darren Lighty, Darryl Simmons. The album featured several guest vocalists, including Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Treach, Slick Rick and Tank.

One in a Million received general critical acclaim from music critics, who complimented its "depth" compared to that of her debut album and Aaliyah's vocal performances, with some critics calling it "smoother, more seductive, and stronger than before" and praised the "luxurious melodies and dreamy harmonies". Other critics called the album "one of the most influential R&B albums of the '90s", and it has been recognized by writers and music critics as redefining the genre coming into the late 1990s and solidifying Aaliyah's position as a key figure in R&B music. The album was ranked number 90 on Rolling Stone '​s 100 greatest albums of the 1990s. It was also listed as one of 33 hip hop/R&B albums in Rolling Stone '​s "Essential Recordings of the '90s".[2]

One in a Million debuted at twenty on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 40,500 copies in its opening week; twenty-two weeks later the album peaked at eighteen, being certified Gold by RIAA. Within a few months, the album proved Aaliyah's breakthrough and a major milestone in the careers of Missy Elliott and Timbaland. It was certified double Platinum on June 16, 1997.[3] The album was also certified Gold by the Canadian recording industry for shipments of 50,000 copies. One in a Million has sold over two million copies in the United States and 10 million copies worldwide.[4]

The album produced six singles, "If Your Girl Only Knew", "One in a Million", "Got to Give It Up", "4 Page Letter", "Hot Like Fire", and "The One I Gave My Heart To", with the last becoming the album's highest-charting single, peaking at nine on the US Billboard Hot 100. In 2004, the album was re-released in Germany with altered artwork, and again in 2006. The disc is copy-protected, and therefore will not show up when placed in some PCs, but it will show up when inserted into a Mac, and it will play in most CD players. It included the standard 17 tracks, plus the bonus song "Come Over".

Background[edit]

After Barry Hankerson, Aaliyah's uncle, signed a distribution deal with Jive Records, he signed her to his Blackground Records label at the age of 12.[5][6] Hankerson then introduced her to recording artist and producer R. Kelly.[7] He became Aaliyah's mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer of the album.[8][9] Aaliyah and Kelly began recording the album in 1993 when she was 14.[6] The duo recorded the first song, "Old School", at the Chicago Recording Company in Chicago, Illinois.[10][11] While recording the album, Kelly coached her as they worked several hours in the studio. She often sang the songs multiple times in order to achieve "excellence".[12] He claimed that Aaliyah was "one of the best young artists" he had worked with.[11] Aaliyah's debut album Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, was released under Jive and Blackground Records; the album debut at number 24 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 74,000 copies in its first week.[13][14] It ultimately peaked at number 18 on the Billboard 200 and sold over three million copies in the United States, where it was certified two times Platinum by the RIAA.[14][15][16] In Canada, the album sold over 50,000 copies and was certified gold by the CRIA.[17] Aaliyah's debut single, "Back & Forth", topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for three weeks and was certified Gold by the RIAA.[16][18] The second single, a cover of The Isley Brothers' "At Your Best (You Are Love)", peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and was also certified Gold by the RIAA.[16][18] The title track, "Age Ain't Nothing but a Number", peaked at number 75 on the Hot 100.[18] Additionally, she released "The Thing I Like" as part of the soundtrack to the 1994 film A Low Down Dirty Shame.[19] In 1996, Aaliyah left Jive Records and signed with Atlantic Records.

Production[edit]

One in a Million was recorded from August 1995 to July 1996. Missy Elliott and Timbaland wrote and produced the majority of the album. Other producers included Rodney Jerkins, Jermaine Dupri, and Kay Gee. The album was executive produced by Barry Hankerson and Jomo Hankerson. 57 songs were recorded for the album, but a majority of them were cut from the final product. One of those tracks included the song, "Sugar & Spice", the first track Aaliyah did with Timbaland & Missy Elliott; however due to label disagreements with the song, it never made the final cut of the album. On October 8, 2010, a rare demo version of the song performed by 1990s R&B group, Sugah (which included notable R&B singer, Tweet) was leaked; reports have also surfaced that the track may have also been used as a sample for another R&B group, Tha' Truth, for their 1997 song, "Candy".[20][21] Another track that was going to be included on the album was "I Care 4 U", but wasn't completed in time for mastering. It was later included on Aaliyah's third studio album, Aaliyah.

Singles[edit]

A sample of "If Your Girl Only Knew"

Problems playing this file? See media help.

If Your Girl Only Knew was released as the album's lead single in August 1996, it peaked at number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week ending October 19, 1996,[22] becoming her third single to reach the top 20. It reached the top of the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart for two weeks. "If Your Girl Only Knew" was also a hit in the UK, peaking in the top thirty of the UK Singles Chart at number 21 when it was originally released by itself. It was re-issued with "One in a Million" as a double A-side and reached a new peak position of number 15. The album's second single "One in a Million" was released December 10, 1996, the song was a top twenty hit in the UK, reaching number fifteen. "4 Page Letter" was released as the album third single on March 11, 1997. "Hot Like Fire and "The One I Gave My Heart To" were released simultaneously on September 16, 1997. Hot Like Fire charted poorly unlike "The One I Gave My Heart To" which debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the issue week of October 4, 1997 at number 24 and went on to peak at number 9,[23] making it the highest-charting single from the album. In the same issue week, the song debuted on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number 18 and went on to peak at number 7.[24] The song was certified Gold by the RIAA on October 21, 1997.[25]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[26]
Robert Christgau (choice cut)[27]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[28]
Q 3/5 stars[29]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[30]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[31]
Vibe (favorable)[32]

In her review for Vibe magazine, music critic Dream Hampton said that Aaliyah's "deliciously feline" voice has the same "pop appeal" as Janet Jackson's and is complemented by the producers' funky, coherent tracks.[33] Connie Johnson of the Los Angeles Times found the album's material exceptional, including the "teasingly witchy" "If Your Girl Only Knew".[34] Q magazine said that, with "her smooth, sweetly seductive vocal firmly to the fore, [Aaliyah] works through a set of predominantly slow and steamy swingbeat numbers, all clipped beats, luxurious melodies and dreamy harmonies".[35] Robert Christgau, writing in The Village Voice, was less enthusiastic and cited only "Got to Give It Up" as a "choice cut",[27] indicating "a good song on an album that isn't worth your time or money".[36]

Since its initial reception, the album has been recognized by writers and music critics as redefining the genre coming into the late 1990s and solidifying Aaliyah's position as a key figure in R&B music.[citation needed] In a retrospective review, Slant Magazine said that it is "undoubtedly one of the most influential R&B albums of the '90s," and credited it for establishing "Aaliyah and the Timbo family as undeniable hip-hop forces."[31] Allmusic viewed it as a significant improvement over her debut album with "greater variety of material" and producers, and called Aaliyah's voice "smoother, more seductive, and stronger than before".[26] The album was ranked number 90 on Rolling Stone '​s 100 greatest albums of the 90s. It was also listed as one of 33 Hip hop/R&B albums in Rolling Stone '​s "Essential Recordings of the 90s".[2]

Commercial performance[edit]

It was an international success for the genre, with worldwide sales being 8 million as of 2008.[37] The album debuted at number 20 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 40,500 copies in its first week.[38] In its 22nd week on the chart the album peaked at 18. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA on October 23, 1996; over 500,000 copies shipments. On February 5, 1997, the album was certified Platinum for shipments of over 1,000,000 units; making it, at the time, her second platinum album. On June 16, 1997, the album was certified 2× Platinum, with more than 2 million copies shipments. After Aaliyah's death, One in a Million returned to the Billboard 200, and U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. During this time the album also topped the Top Catalog Albums for 12 weeks.

Track listing[edit]

Standard CD
No. Title Writer(s) Producer Length
1. "Beats 4 da Streets (Intro)" (featuring Missy Elliott) Missy Elliott, Timbaland Timbaland 2:10
2. "Hot Like Fire"   Timbaland, Missy Elliott Timbaland 4:23
3. "One in a Million"   Timbaland, Missy Elliott Timbaland 4:30
4. "A Girl Like You" (featuring Treach) Kay-Gee & Darren Lighty Kay Gee, Darren Lighty 4:23
5. "If Your Girl Only Knew"   Timbaland, Missy Elliott Timbaland 4:50
6. "Choosey Lover (Old School/New School)"   O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley, Ronald Isley, Vernon Isley, Chris Jasper Vincent "V.H." Herbert & Rashad Smith (add'l prod. & remix) 7:07
7. "Got to Give It Up" (featuring Slick Rick) Marvin Gaye Vincent "V.H." Herbert & Craig King 4:41
8. "4 Page Letter"   Timbaland, Missy Elliott Timbaland 4:52
9. "Everything's Gonna Be Alright"   Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Japhe Tejeda Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins 4:50
10. "Giving You More"   J. Dibbs J. Dibbs 4:26
11. "I Gotcha' Back"   Jermaine Dupri, Carl-So-Lowe Jermaine Dupri & Carl-So-Lowe 2:54
12. "Never Givin' Up" (featuring Tavarius Polk) Monica Bell, Craig King Vincent "V.H." Herbert & Craig King 5:11
13. "Heartbroken"   Timbaland, Missy Elliott Timbaland 4:17
14. "Never Comin' Back"   Timbaland, Missy Elliott Timbaland 4:06
15. "Ladies in da House" (featuring Missy Elliott and Timbaland) Timbaland, Missy Elliott Timbaland 4:20
16. "The One I Gave My Heart To"   Diane Warren Daryl Simmons 4:30
17. "Came to Give Love (Outro)" (featuring Timbaland)   Timbaland 1:40
2004 re-release
No. Title Writer(s) Producer Length
18. "Come Over" (featuring Tank) Johnta Austin Bryan-Michael Cox, Kevin Hicks, Jazze Pha 3:55

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1996–2001) Peak
position
Canadian Albums Chart 15
Dutch Albums Chart[39] 26
European Albums Chart[39] 47
Israel Albums Chart[39] 38
Japanese Albums Chart[39] 11
Swedish Albums Chart[39] 41
U.S. Billboard 200[40] 18
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[40] 2
U.S. Billboard Top Internet Albums[41] 7

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Position
U.S. Billboard 200[42] 175
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[42] 60
UK Albums Chart[39] 33
Chart (1997) Position
U.S. Billboard 200[43] 44
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[43] 10

Certifications[edit]

Country Provider Certification
Canada CRIA Gold[44]
United States RIAA 2× Platinum[16]

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Billboard - August 19, 1995". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  2. ^ a b Rolling Stone Lists: The Essential Recordings of the '90s. Rocklist. Retrieved on 2009-03-15.
  3. ^ "Aaliyah - Certifications". Retrieved Octobef 3, 2010.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Farley 2002, p. 35
  6. ^ a b "Aaliyah". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). November 22, 2001. Retrieved May 17, 2009. 
  7. ^ Perrone, Pierre (August 27, 2001). "Aaliyah - Obituaries, News". The Independent (London: Independent News & Media). Retrieved May 17, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Aaliyah: Latest Victim of Crashes That Cut Short Fame - Obituary". Ebony (FindArticles). November 2001. Archived from the original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2009. 
  9. ^ Dansby, Andrew (August 27, 2001). "Aaliyah Dies in Plane Crash". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on 23 June 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Music: Age Ain't Nothing But A Number (CD) by Aaliyah (Artist)". Tower Records. Archived from the original on 7 April 2009. Retrieved May 18, 2009. 
  11. ^ a b Sutherland 2005, p. 20
  12. ^ Kenyatta 2002, p. 19
  13. ^ "Billboard 200 – Week of June 11, 1994". Billboard. Archived from the original on 1 May 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "Aaliyah's Profile". SS Music. Archived from the original on September 6, 2007. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Artist Chart History – Aaliyah – Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  16. ^ a b c d "RIAA – Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 14, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Certification Results". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b c "Chart Beat Bonus". Billboard. August 31, 2001. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  19. ^ Farley 2002, p. 103
  20. ^ "The Leading Static Major is Music Site on the Net". staticmajorismusic.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  21. ^ "List Of Missy Elliott Works: Tweet's Early Group "Sugah"". Missylist.blogspot.com. 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  22. ^ "If Your Girl Only Knew - Aaliyah". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  23. ^ "The One I Gave My Heart To - Aaliyah" (October 4, 1997)
  24. ^ Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart Listing for the Week of October 04, 1997
  25. ^ RIAA Searchable Database
  26. ^ a b One in a Million (Aaliyah album) at AllMusic
  27. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (March 11, 1997). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  28. ^ Johnson, Connie (2001-08-30). "Los Angeles Times review". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  29. ^ "Q review". Cduniverse.com. 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  30. ^ Rolling Stone review. Books.google.com. 2004-11-02. ISBN 9780743201698. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  31. ^ a b "Slant Magazine review". Slantmagazine.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  32. ^ Vibe review. Books.google.com. October 1996. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  33. ^ Hampton, Dream (October 1996). "Revolutions". Vibe (New York): 133–4. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  34. ^ Johnson, Connie (September 28, 1996). "Aaliyah's Spirit Sounds Like a 'Million'". Los Angeles Times. 
  35. ^ http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=7539410&style=music&fulldesc=T
  36. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Key to Icons". Robert Christgau. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  37. ^ Simmonds 2008, p. 454
  38. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (2001-08-04). "Billboard". 
  39. ^ a b c d e f "Aaliyah". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  40. ^ a b "Music Albums, Top 200 Albums & Music Album Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  41. ^ "Aaliyah Album & Song Chart History". All Music. Retrieved September 28, 2010. 
  42. ^ a b Billboard - Google Livros. Books.google.com. 1996-12-28. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  43. ^ a b Billboard - Google Livros. Books.google.com. 1998-01-03. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  44. ^ "Gold and Platinum Search (Aaliyah)". Music Canada. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 

External links[edit]

  • Simmonds, Jeremy (2008). The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 1-55652-754-3