The Comfort Zone (album)

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The Comfort Zone
Studio album by Vanessa L. Williams
Released August 20, 1991
Recorded 1990-1991
Genre R&B, pop, dance-pop
Length 66:27
Label Wing / Mercury
Producer Vanessa L. Williams (exec.), Keith Thomas, Brian McKnight, Kenni Hairston, Derek Bramble, Gerry Brown, Bruce Carbone, Dave Darlington, DJ L.A. Jay, Ed Eckstine (also executive), Kipper Jones, Phase 5, Mark Stevens, Reggie Stewart
Vanessa L. Williams chronology
The Right Stuff
(1988)
The Comfort Zone
(1991)
The Sweetest Days
(1994)
Singles from The Comfort Zone
  1. "Running Back to You"
    Released: July 16, 1991
  2. "The Comfort Zone"
    Released: October 29, 1991
  3. "Save the Best for Last"
    Released: January 14, 1992
  4. "Just for Tonight"
    Released: April 21, 1992
  5. "Work to Do"
    Released: July 21, 1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

The Comfort Zone is the second studio album by American R&B singer Vanessa L. Williams, released by Mercury's Wing Records Label on August 20, 1991.

Chart performance[edit]

The album peaked at #17 on the US Billboard 200 and reached number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. In the UK, it peaked at number twenty-four upon its release in April 1992 before quickly falling out of the top fifty.

The first single off the album was "Running Back to You", a '70s funk-influenced uptempo track, which sampled a song from The Breakfast Club. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number eighteen on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "The Comfort Zone", the second single, peaked at sixty two on the Hot 100, but number two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Save the Best for Last" reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks straight. "Just for Tonight", was the fourth single from the album reaching number twenty-six on the Hot 100, followed by "Work to Do" which achieved moderate success. The album sold 2.8 million copies worldwide at its time of release, with 2.2 million of those sold in the US. It has since been certified three times platinum in the US and gold in Canada by the CRIA.

The Comfort Zone was nominated for five Grammy Awards including: Best Pop Female Vocalist, "Record of the Year" and "Song of the Year" for "Save the Best for Last", Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance - Female for "Runnin' Back to You" (In 1992), and Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance - Female for "The Comfort Zone".

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "The Comfort Zone"   Kipper Jones, Reggie Stewart Gerry Brown, Kipper Jones 3:59
2. "Running Back to You"   Trevor Gale, Kenni Hairston Bob Rosa, Kenni Hairston, DJ L.A. Jay, Rob Von Arx, Trevor Gale 4:39
3. "Work to Do" (featuring Dres of Black Sheep) O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley Dr. Jam, Gerry Brown, Phase 5, Vanessa Williams 4:36
4. "You Gotta Go"   Dr. Jam, Brian McKnight, Mark Stevens Brian McKnight, Dr. Jam, Gerry E. Brown 6:21
5. "Still in Love"   Derek Bramble Derek Bramble 5:22
6. "Save the Best for Last"   Phil Galdston, Jon Lind, Wendy Waldman Keith Thomas 3:38
7. "What Will I Tell My Heart?"   Irving Gordon, Jack Lawrence, Peter Tinturin Gerry Brown, Vanessa Williams 4:17
8. "Strangers Eyes"   Dr. Jam, Gerry Brown, Mark Stevens Dr. Jam, Gerry Brown, Mark Stevens 6:16
9. "2 of a Kind"   Dr. Jam, Vanessa Williams Dr. Jam, Gerry Brown, Vanessa Williams 5:16
10. "Freedom Dance (Get Free!)"   Kipper Jones, Reggie Stewart Bruce Carbone, Dave Darlington, Gerry Brown, Kipper Jones 4:14
11. "Just for Tonight"   Keith Thomas, Cynthia Weil Keith Thomas 4:28
12. "One Reason"   Keith Thomas, Cynthia Weil Keith Thomas 4:52
13. "Better off Now"   Keith Thomas, Wendy Waldman Keith Thomas 4:14
14. "Goodbye"   Gary Chapman, Keith Thomas Keith Thomas 4:21

The tracks "Work to Do" and "What Will I Tell My Heart?" both appeared in the film Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; the latter also appeared on the film's soundtrack album.

Production[edit]

  • Produced By Vanessa Williams (exec.), Ed Eckstine (also executive), Keith Thomas, Brian McKnight, Kenni Hairston, Derek Bramble, Gerry Brown, Bruce Carbone, Dave Darlington, DJ L.A. Jay, Kipper Jones, Phase 5, Mark Stevens & Reggie Stewart
  • Engineers: Derek Bramble, Claude Demers, Joe Schiff, Will Schillinger, Allen Sides, Kieran Walsh, Matt Wells
  • Assistant Engineers: Steve Charles, Foley, Roy Gamble, Marty Lester, Todd Moore, Gary Paczosa, Mike Piersante, Brian Soucey
  • Mixing: Gerry Brown, Bruce Carbone, Dave Darlington, Humberto Gatica, Bill Whittington, Vanessa L. Williams
  • Mix Assistants: Jeff Gledt, John Kunz, John David Parker, Brian Soucey
  • Mastering: Herb Powers

Personnel[edit]

  • Drums: DJ L.A. Jay, Dr. Jam, Mark Hammond, Harvey Mason Sr.
  • Drum Programming: Dave Darlington, DJ L.A. Jay, Trevor Gale, Kenni Hairston, Mark Hammond, Reggie Stewart, Keith Thomas
  • "Beats": D.J. LA Jay, Bob Rosa, Rob Von Arx
  • Samples: Phase 5, Bob Rosa, Rob Von Arx
  • Keyboards: Greg Arnold, Derek Bramble, Merv DePyere, DJ L.A. Jay, Dr. Jam, David Frank, Trevor Gale, Kenni Hairston, Fred McFarlane, Monty Seward, Keith Thomas
  • Piano: Jorgen Kaufma, Brian McKnight, Randy Waldman
  • Bass: Stanley Clarke, Fred McFarlane, Cornelius Mims, Jimmie Lee Sloas, Keith Thomas
  • Synthesized Bass: David Frank
  • Guitars: Depete, Paul Jackson, Jr., Jerry MacPherson, Wah Wah Watson
  • Mandolin: Jerry MacPherson
  • Saxophone: Gerald Albright, Pete Christlieb, Mark Douthit, Thomas Haas, Scott Mayo
  • Trumpet: Fernando Pullum
  • Trombone: Duane Benjamin
  • Flute: Hubert Laws
  • Strings: The Nashville String Machine
  • Horns Arranged By Scott Mayo
  • Strings Arranged By Keith Thomas
  • Backing Vocals: Debbie Cole, Dres, Lori Fulton, Vicki Hampton, Kipper Jones, Valerie Mayo, Donna McElroy, Rick Nelson, Tata Vega
  • Vocals Arranged By Gerry Brown, Kipper Jones, Brian McKnight, Mark Stevens, Keith Thomas & Vanessa Williams

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1991-1992) Peak
position
Australian Album Charts 29[4]
Dutch Album Charts 28[5]
German Album Charts 52[6]
Swiss Album Charts 29[7]
UK Album Charts 24[8]
U.S. Billboard 200 17[9]
U.S. R&B Album Charts 1[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "The Comfort Zone: Vanessa Williams: Music". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  3. ^ "The Comfort Zone: Vanessa Williams: Music". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  4. ^ "Australian Albums Chart". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  5. ^ "Dutch Album Charts". DutchCharts.nl. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  6. ^ "Vanessa Williams, Longplay-Chartverfolgung (in German)". musicline.de. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  7. ^ "Vanessa Williams - The Comfort Zone". Hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  8. ^ "Vanessa Willams UK Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  9. ^ "Vanessa Willams Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  10. ^ "Vanessa Willams Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-08-12.