Believe (Cher album)

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Believe
Believe (Cher album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by Cher
Released October 22, 1998 (1998-10-22)
Recorded June–August 1998; Dreamhouse Studios, London
Soundworks Studios, New York
Length 43:59
Label
Producer
Cher chronology
It's a Man's World
(1995)
Believe
(1998)
If I Could Turn Back Time: Cher's Greatest Hits
(1999)
Singles from Believe
  1. "Believe"
    Released: October 19, 1998
  2. "Strong Enough"
    Released: February 19, 1999
  3. "All or Nothing"
    Released: June 7, 1999
  4. "Dov'è l'amore"
    Released: October 25, 1999

Believe is the twenty-second studio album by American singer-actress Cher, first released on October 22, 1998 by Wea Records and distributed in North America by Warner Bros. Records. Following the failure of her previous studio album It's a Man's World, her record company encouraged her to return to the studio to pursue a new musical direction. Recording took place over the summer at the Dreamhouse Studios in London and the Soundworks Studios in New York under the guidance of English producers Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling. The album was dedicated to her ex-husband Sonny Bono, who died earlier that year.

Believe represents a complete musical departure from her previous works, consisting of dance-pop and Eurodance oriented styles, yet it includes a broader range of various musical genres such as techno, house, disco and Latin[citation needed] while its lyrical topics include freedom, individualism and relationships. The album features some of the new technology of the time, like the usage of Auto-tune, which would eventually become known as the "Cher effect".[1] Upon release, the album received mixed reviews from music critics, who commended Cher's vocal performance, while others criticized the high amount of vocoder and its overall production. It won one Grammy for "Best Dance Recording" from a total of three nominations.

Commercially, Believe proved to be extremely successful, peaking at number four on the Billboard 200 and was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipment of four million copies across the United States. The record reached the peak position in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and Portugal, and charted within' the top ten in France, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and several other international territories.

Four singles were released from the album. The first single, "Believe", became one of the biggest-selling singles ever by topping the charts in a total of 23 countries and has sold more than 10 million copies.[2] "Strong Enough" was released as the second single from the album, being less successful than Believe, especially in the U.S. and U.K. peaking at #57 and #5 respectively. "All or Nothing" and "Dov'è l'amore" were released as the third and fourth singles respectively, both becoming moderately successful. In order to support Believe, Cher embarked on her sixth concert tour entitled the Do You Believe? Tour which became one of the highest grossing tour ever for a female artist at that time.

Background and history[edit]

After the poorly received previous record It's a Man's World, Warner talked Cher into recording a dance album.[3] 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[4]). 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."[4]

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.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[5]
Entertainment Weekly B− [6]
Robert Christgau (choice cut) [7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars [8]

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.[5] 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."[6]

Commercial response[edit]

The album had debuted at number thirty-nine on the Australian Albums Chart, and eventually peaked at number thirteen there, and was certificated 2x 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 2x Platinum by Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). It had peaked at number two on the Swedish Albums Chart, and was certificated 3x Platinum there. It is also the 73rd Best Selling of All Time in Sweden.[9] 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. In the United States, after the release date, the album debuted at #139 on the issue of November 28, 1998 and then reached at number four on May 8, 1999.[10][11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

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".

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Believe.

Believe – Standard edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Believe"  
3:59
2. "The Power"  
3:56
3. "Runaway"  
  • Taylor
  • Barry
  • Taylor
  • Rawling
4:46
4. "All or Nothing"  
  • Taylor
  • Barry
  • Taylor
  • Rawling
3:57
5. "Strong Enough"  
  • Taylor
  • Barry
  • Taylor
  • Rawling
3:44
6. "Dov'è l'amore"  
  • Taylor
  • Barry
  • Taylor
  • Rawling
4:18
7. "Takin' Back My Heart"  
  • Taylor
  • Rawling
4:32
8. "Taxi Taxi"  
  • Terry
5:04
9. "Love Is the Groove"  
  • Terry
4:31
10. "We All Sleep Alone" (Todd Terry remix)
  • Terry
5:10
Total length:
43:59
Notes
  • "Believe" contains samples from the compositions "Prologue" and "Epilogue" performed by Electric Light Orchestra from their studio album Time.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits for Believe adapted from Allmusic.[12]

  • Tracy Ackerman - background vocals
  • Chris Anderson - piano
  • Ryan Art - design
  • Kevyn Aucoin - make-up
  • Paul Barry - composer, background vocals
  • Jeffrey Bernstein - programming
  • Winston Blissett - bass
  • Jon Bon Jovi - composer, producer
  • Johan Brunkvist - keyboards
  • Colleen Callaghan - hair stylist
  • Cher - primary artist
  • Desmond Child - composer, producer
  • Betsy Cook - composer
  • Rob Dickins - executive producer
  • Ada Dyer - background vocals
  • Humberto Gatica - mixing
  • Marc Goodman - engineer
  • Marlon Graves - guitar
  • Matthias Heilbronn - editing, programming
  • Brian Higgins - composer
  • Sylvia Mason-James - background vocals
  • Mark Jordan - composer
  • Bill Klatt - engineer
  • Michael Lavine - photography
  • Eddie Martinez - guitar
  • P. Dennis Mitchell - mixing
  • Adam Phillips - guitar
  • Timothy Powell - composer
  • Brian Rawling - producer
  • Antoinette Roberson - background vocals
  • Tom Salta - keyboards, programming
  • Richie Sambora - composer, producer
  • Tommy Sims - composer
  • Robin Smith - string arrangements
  • Judson Spence - composer
  • Hamish Stewart - background vocals
  • Jeff Taylor - additional production, laughs, production engineer, remixing
  • Mark Taylor - composer, guitar, keyboards, mixing, producer, programming, string arrangements
  • Todd Terry - composer, producer
  • Junior Vasquez - producer
  • Diane Warren - composer
  • Audrey Wheeler - background vocals
  • James Williams - background vocals
  • Bruce Woolley - composer

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[57] Platinum 60,000*
Australia (ARIA)[58] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[59] Platinum 50,000*
Belgium (BEA)[60] Platinum 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[61] 6× Platinum 600,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[62] Gold 32,682[62]
France (SNEP)[63] Platinum 555,300[64]
Germany (BVMI)[65] 2× Platinum 1,000,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[66] Gold 100,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[67] 2× Gold 200,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[68] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[69] 2× Platinum 30,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[70] Platinum 50,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[71] Platinum 100,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[72] 4× Platinum 400,000^
Sweden (GLF)[73] 3× Platinum 240,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[74] 2× Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[75] 2× Platinum 700,000[76]
United States (RIAA)[77] 4× Platinum 3,600,000[78]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[79] 4× Platinum 4,000,000*
Worldwide 10,000,000[80]

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Edition Label
France[81] October 22, 1998 Standard WEA
United Kingdom[82] October 26, 1998
Germany[83] November 2, 1998
Canada[84] November 4, 1998
United States[85] November 10, 1998
  • CD
  • cassette
  • LP
  • mini-album
  • digital download
Warner Bros.
Japan[86] December 23, 1998
  • CD
  • cassette
  • Standard
  • limited edition
WEA

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Frere-Jones, Sasha (June 9, 2008). "The Gerbil's Revenge". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved May 30, 2012. In the manual accompanying Auto-Tune’s fifth-release version, the zero speed setting is described as 'the Cher Effect.' 
  2. ^ Alicia Diaz Dennis (11 December 2008). "Fashion Influential #63: Cher". Zimbio. Livingly Media. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Cher Records: 1965-2002". Cher Scholar. [unreliable source?]
  4. ^ a b "Recording Cher's 'Believe'". Sound on Sound. SOS Publications Group. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Gallucci, Michael. Believe - Cher at AllMusic
  6. ^ a b Beth Johnson (13 November 1998). "Believe Review". Entertainment Weekly. 
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: Cher". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 159. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  9. ^ http://swedishcharts.com/bestall_a.asp
  10. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/Billboard-200/1998-11-28
  11. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/Billboard-200/1999-05-08
  12. ^ "Believe - Cher; Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  13. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Cher – Believe". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
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  22. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved November 6, 2015. 
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  33. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved November 6, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Cher – Believe". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  35. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Cher – Believe". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
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  38. ^ "Jahreshitparade Alben 1998" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Topp 40 Album Julen 1998" (in Norwegian). VG-lista. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  40. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 - 1998". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  41. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Albums 1999". ARIA. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Jahreshitparade Alben 1999" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1999" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Rapports annueles 1999" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 70, No. 8, December 13, 1999". RPM. 13 December 1999. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  46. ^ "Chart of the Year 1999". Mogens Nielsen. Archived from the original on December 16, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
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  48. ^ a b "The Year in Music: 1999" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  49. ^ "Classement Albums - année 1999" (in French). SNEP. Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
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  56. ^ "Best-selling Albums". Austriancharts.at (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
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  58. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2000 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  59. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Cher – Believe" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Cher in the field Interpret. Enter Believe in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
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  61. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Cher – Believe". Music Canada. 
  62. ^ a b "Cher" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. 
  63. ^ "French album certifications – Cher – Believe" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  64. ^ "Les Albums Platine :" (in French). Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
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  67. ^ "Certificaciones – Cher" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. 
  68. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Cher – Believe" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  69. ^ Cher in The Complete New Zealand Music Charts
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  71. ^ "Polish album certifications – Cher – Believe" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. 
  72. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
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  74. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Cher; 'Believe')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  75. ^ "British album certifications – Cher – Believe". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Believe in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  76. ^ Cher Releases First New Album In 12 Years 'Closer To The Truth' Out On October 14th 2013
  77. ^ "American album certifications – Cher – Believe". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  78. ^ Caulfield, Keith (August 7, 2015). "Cher Reflects on 50 Years on the Billboard Charts: 'I Got You Babe,' 'Believe' & Beyond". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 8, 2015. 
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  81. ^ "Believe: Cher: Amazon.fr: Musique". Amazon.fr. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  82. ^ "Believe: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  83. ^ "Believe: Amazon.de: Musik". Amazon.de. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
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External links[edit]