Open Road (Gary Barlow album)

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Open Road
Studio album by Gary Barlow
Released 26 May 1997 (1997-05-26) (Europe)
13 January 1998 (1998-01-13) (America)
Recorded 1996
Genre Pop
Length 50:54
Label BMG, RCA, Arista
Producer David Foster, Gary Barlow, Mike Rose, Nick Foster, Kristian Lundin, Max Martin, Carsten Schack, Kenneth Karlin, Stephen Lipson, Absolute, Grant Mitchell, Walter Afanasieff, Chris Porter, Simon Willis
Gary Barlow chronology
Open Road
(1997)
Twelve Months, Eleven Days
(1999)
Singles from Open Road (European Version)
  1. "Forever Love"
    Released: 5 July 1996
  2. "Love Won't Wait"
    Released: 25 April 1997
  3. "So Help Me Girl"
    Released: 11 July 1997
  4. "Open Road"
    Released: 31 October 1997
  5. "Hang on in There Baby"
    Released: 3 April 1998
Singles from Open Road (American Version)
  1. "So Help Me Girl"
    Released: 30 September 1997
  2. "Superhero"
    Released: 17 February 1998

Open Road is the debut solo album by British singer-songwriter Gary Barlow. It was released by BMG and RCA Records on 26 May 1997 in Europe, and on 13 January 1998 in America.

Album information[edit]

Following the break-up of Take That, Barlow went straight into the recording studio and began recording a solo album. On 5 July 1996, the album's lead single, "Forever Love", was released, peaking at #1 on the UK Singles Chart. A second single, "Love Won't Wait", was released in April 1997, also peaking at number one.[1] On 26 May 1997, the album was subsequently released, peaking at number one on the UK Albums Chart on the week of release.[1] The album was certified platinum.[2] Following the album's release, a further two singles, "So Help Me Girl" and "Open Road" were released, which charted at 11 and 7 respectively with the third single becoming Barlow's first solo material to chart in America.[1] The album has sold over 2 million copies worldwide to date.[3]

International success[edit]

Following the success of the album in the United Kingdom and the album charting in over 21 countries internationally, Barlow set about releasing the album in the United States, and signed a record deal with Arista. He soon decided to re-work the album for the American market, and began promotion by releasing a remixed version of "So Help Me Girl" as the lead single, complete with a brand new video, on 30 September 1997. The album was subsequently released on 13 January 1998, and on 17 February, one of the new tracks for the American issue, "Superhero", was released as the second single. Although it became widely known for its use as the Yankees main theme, it failed to achieve any commercial success.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[4]

The San Diego Vista gave the album a positive review stating that as a "singer and songwriter [Barlow] demonstrates his potential as a successful solo artist on Open Road. The album shows a diversity of musical styles, many acoustic-based tracks, a few haunting ballads and some scintillating up-tempo dance numbers." Rodel goes on to state that "on the title track, "Open Road," Gary's brilliant songwriting abilities are showcased in all its glory. A song that he wrote at the young age of 16, "Open Road" reveals Gary's journey through life [making it] perhaps the best song on Gary's debut album."[5]

Track listing[edit]

Standard Edition
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Love Won't Wait"   Madonna, Shep Pettibone 4:17
2. "So Help Me Girl"   Howard Perdew, Andy Spooner 4:29
3. "My Commitment"   Gary Barlow, Diane Warren 4:48
4. "Hang on in There, Baby"   Johnny Bristol 3:39
5. "Are You Ready Now"   Gary Barlow 4:19
6. "Everything I Wanted"   Gary Barlow 3:32
7. "I Fall So Deep"   Larry Loftin, Mattias Gustafsson, Amy Powers 4:02
8. "Lay Down For Love"   Gary Barlow, Richard Stannard, Matt Rowbottom 5:33
9. "Forever Love"   Gary Barlow 4:55
10. "Never Knew"   Gary Barlow 3:50
11. "Open Road"   Gary Barlow 4:23
12. "Always"   Gary Barlow 3:32
Japanese Bonus Tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
13. "The Meaning of a Love Song"   Gary Barlow 3:37
14. "Cuddly Toy"   Andrew Roachford 3:42
Spanish Bonus Track
No. Title Writer(s) Length
13. "Ayudame"   Howard Perdew, Andy Spooner, Nani Mano 4:26
Australian Special Edition Bonus CD-Rom
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Forever Love" (Video)   4:55
2. "Love Won't Wait" (Video)   4:17
3. "So Help Me Girl" (Video)   4:29
American Edition[6]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I Fall So Deep"   Larry Loftin, Mattias Gustafsson, Amy Powers 4:02
2. "Open Road" (Rose & Foster Mix) Gary Barlow 4:23
3. "Superhero"   Gary Barlow, Max Martin, Joylon Skinner, Kristian Lundin 3:35
4. "My Commitment" (U.S. Version) Gary Barlow, Diane Warren 4:13
5. "Love Won't Wait" (Junior Vasquez Radio Mix) Madonna, Shep Pettibone 4:21
6. "So Help Me Girl" (U.S. Version) Howard Perdew, Andy Spooner 4:29
7. "Everything I Wanted"   Gary Barlow 3:32
8. "Hang on in There Baby" (U.S. Version) Johnny Bristol 3:39
9. "Lay Down For Love"   Gary Barlow, Richard Stannard, Matt Rowbottom 5:33
10. "Never Knew"   Gary Barlow 3:50
11. "Forever Love"   Gary Barlow 4:55
12. "Back for Good" (Live Version) Gary Barlow 4:19
GB40 Anniversary Edition: Disc 1
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Love Won't Wait"   Madonna, Shep Pettibone 4:17
2. "So Help Me Girl"   Howard Perdew, Andy Spooner 4:29
3. "My Commitment"   Gary Barlow, Diane Warren 4:48
4. "Hang on in There, Baby"   Johnny Bristol 3:39
5. "Are You Ready Now"   Gary Barlow 4:19
6. "Everything I Wanted"   Gary Barlow 3:32
7. "I Fall So Deep"   Larry Loftin, Mattias Gustafsson, Amy Powers 4:02
8. "Lay Down For Love"   Gary Barlow, Richard Stannard, Matt Rowbottom 5:33
9. "Forever Love"   Gary Barlow 4:55
10. "Never Knew"   Gary Barlow 3:50
11. "Open Road"   Gary Barlow 4:23
12. "Always"   Gary Barlow 3:32
13. "The Meaning of a Love Song"   Gary Barlow 3:37
14. "Cuddly Toy"   Andrew Roachford 3:42
15. "Superhero"   Gary Barlow, Max Martin, Joylon Skinner, Kristian Lundin 3:35
16. "I Miss It All"   Gary Barlow 4:02
17. "Million to One"   Gary Barlow, Richard Stannard, Matt Rowbottom 3:25
18. "Offer My Peace"   Gary Barlow 3:56
19. "Hard To Handle"   Gary Barlow 3:04
GB40 Anniversary Edition: Disc 2
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Forever Love" (Instrumental)   4:37
2. "Love Won't Wait" (Junior Vasquez Radio Mix)   4:21
3. "Cuddly Toy" (Lush Vocal Radio Edit)   3:44
4. "Cuddly Toy" (Full on Retro Vocal)   8:51
5. "Cuddly Toy" (Dumb & Funky Dub)   7:45
6. "So Help Me Girl" (US Version)   4:29
7. "Ayudame" (So Help Me Girl - Spanish Version)   4:26
8. "So Help Me Girl" (C Swing Mix)   4:30
9. "So Help Me Girl" (Peter Mokran Mix)   4:38
10. "So Help Me Girl" (Live)   4:16
11. "Open Road" (Rose & Foster Mix)   4:23
12. "Open Road" (Mr. Pink Mix)   4:44
13. "Open Road" (Live)   4:24
14. "Hang on in There, Baby" (featuring Rosie Gaines)   3:39
15. "Hang on in There, Baby" (Live)   3:53
16. "Back For Good" (Live Version) Gary Barlow 4:19
17. "A Million Love Songs" (Live)   3:53
18. "My Commitment" (Soulshock Mix)   7:01
19. "Hard To Handle" (Live)   4:13
20. "Labour of Love" (Live)   5:01
21. "Luv Luv Luv" (Live)   3:40
22. "Your Song" (Live)   4:18
23. "Forever Love" (Live version dedicated to Princess Diana and Gianni Versace)   4:03
24. "Interview" (Summer 1998)   11:35
GB40 Anniversary Edition: Disc 3
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Forever Love" (Video)   4:55
2. "Love Won't Wait" (Video)   4:17
3. "So Help Me Girl" (Video)   4:29
4. "Open Road" (Video)   4:24
5. "Superhero" (Video)   3:40
6. "Hang on in There, Baby" (Video) (featuring Rosie Gaines)   3:39
7. "Open Book" (Documentary)   63:00

Charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
Position
Australian Albums Chart (ARIA)[7] 30
Austrian Albums Chart (Ö3 Austria Top 75)[8] 13
Belgian (Ultratop 50 Vlaanderen) Albums Chart[9] 7
Belgian (Ultratop 50 Wallonia) Albums Chart[10] 20
Danish Albums Chart (Nielsen Music Control)[11] 6
Dutch Albums Chart (Top 100)[12] 13
European Albums Chart (Hot 100)[13] 4
Finnish Albums Chart (SNEP)[14] 29
German Albums Chart (Media Control AG)[15] 10
Hungarian Albums Chart (Rádiós Top 40)[16] 33
Irish Albums Chart (IRMA)[17] 1
Italian Albums Chart (FIMI)[13] 8
Japanese Albums Chart (Oricon)[18] 40
Malaysian Albums Chart (RIAM)[19] 3
New Zealand Albums Chart (RIANZ)[20] 43
Norwegian Albums Chart (VG-lista)[21] 34
Spanish Albums Chart (PROMUSICAE)[13] 5
Swedish Albums Chart (Sverigetopplistan)[22] 25
Swiss Albums Chart (Schweizer Hitparade)[23] 6
Taiwanese Albums Chart (IFPI)[24] 1
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company)[1] 1
Preceded by
Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix
by Michael Jackson
UK number one album
7 June 1997 – 13 June 1997
Succeeded by
Wu-Tang Forever by Wu-Tang Clan

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Platinum 300,000^

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Open Road adapted from Allmusic.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "UK Chart Archive". everyHit.com. Retrieved 16 November 2007.
  2. ^ Open Road British Sales Certificate. British Phonographic Industry. 12 December 1997. Retrieved 16 November 2007.
  3. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1328974/Robbie-Williams-relights-Take-That.html?ito=feeds-newsxml Daily Mail
  4. ^ Allmusic review
  5. ^ http://www.lexisnexis.com/uk/nexis/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T12772348936&format=GNBFI&sort=BOOLEAN&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T12772348940&cisb=22_T12772348939&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=172244&docNo=2 Nexis Lexis, Search Gary Barlow Open Road, 2nd source on list. Rodel Divina, The Vista San Diego
  6. ^ Amazon.com: Open Road: Gary Barlow: Music
  7. ^ http://danishcharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Gary+Barlow&titel=Open+Road&cat=a AustralianCharts.com. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  8. ^ "Discographie Gary Barlow". AustrianCharts.com. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  9. ^ "Gary Barlow – Open Road". UltraTop.be. Retrieved 1 June 2008.
  10. ^ "Gary Barlow – Open Road". UltraTop.be. Retrieved 1 June 2008.
  11. ^ http://books.google.ca/books?lr=&rview=1&id=AwoEAAAAMBAJ&q=gary+barlow#v=snippet&q=gary%20barlow&f=false Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  12. ^ "Discography Gary Barlow". DutchCharts.nl. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  13. ^ a b c http://books.google.ca/books?id=KBAEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA51&dq=Gary+Barlow+Malaysia&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RIQeUarxLPL44QTun4HwAQ&ved=0CEAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Gary%20Barlow%20Malaysia&f=false. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  14. ^ "Discography Gary Barlow". FinnishCharts.com. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  15. ^ "Gary Barlow". Charts-Surfer.de. Retrieved 1 June 2008.
  16. ^ http://www.mahasz.hu/?menu=slagerlistak&menu2=archivum Hungarian album Archive.
  17. ^ The Irish Charts - All there is to know
  18. ^ http://www.oricon.co.jp/prof/artist/68069/ranking/cd_album/ Oricon Archive - Gary Barlow Open Road.
  19. ^ [1]. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  20. ^ "Discography Gary Barlow". Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  21. ^ "Discography Gary Barlow". NorwegianCharts.com. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  22. ^ "Discography Gary Barlow". SwedishCharts.com. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  23. ^ "Discography Gary Barlow". SwissCharts.com. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  24. ^ IFPI Taiwan - International Top 10 (1997/24) at the Wayback Machine (archived February 24, 1998)
  25. ^ "British album certifications – Gary Barlow – Open Road". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 July 2012.  Enter Open Road in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  26. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/open-road-mw0000024917/credits Open Road album credits.