Fake (Alexander O'Neal song)

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"Fake"
Fake cdm.jpg
Single by Alexander O'Neal
Released 1987
Format CD single, cassette single, 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded 1986
Genre Post-disco, dance-pop, R&B
Length 3:57
Label Tabu
Songwriter(s) James Harris, Terry Lewis
Producer(s) James Harris, Terry Lewis
Alexander O'Neal singles chronology
"You Were Meant to Be My Lady (Not My Girl)"
(1986)
"Fake"
(1987)
"Criticize"
(1987)

"You Were Meant to Be My Lady (Not My Girl)"
(1986)
"Fake"
(1987)
"Criticize"
(1987)

"Fake" is a song written by Ajaz Mohammed, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and recorded by American recording artist Alexander O'Neal. It is the first single from the singer's second solo album, Hearsay (1987). It is one of the artist's most recognizable signature songs, and a favorite of many O'Neal fans worldwide.

Meaning[edit]

The songs lyrics are a personal commentary, critical of a loudmouth - implied to be a groupie. The woman being criticized continues to change details about her wardrobe, personality and history with each successive date, causing the narrator's response that she is a fraudulent person. On the accompanying album Hearsay, "Fake" is preceded by a brief interlude in which a woman accidentally knocks O'Neal's beverage onto his shirt; his friends promptly criticize her colour contact lenses, saying that she'd be able to see where she was going if she was less concerned about maintaining a false appearance.

Release[edit]

The single was O'Neal's most successful song on both soul and pop charts. "Fake" went to number one on the Hot Black Singles chart for two weeks, and peaked at number twenty-five on the Hot 100.[1] The single was also O'Neal's most successful single on the dance charts, peaking at number seven.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

The song was later interpolated for Patti LaBelle's 1997 hit, "When You Talk About Love", repeating the "Patti Patti" refrain after the singer demands her background to say her name. The song was also a part of the Black Mirror episode "San Junipero". The main characters Kelly and Yorkie perform their first dance to this song at Tucker's, an 80's style club.

Track listing[edit]

  • 12" Maxi (Tabu TBU 650859 6, 650859 6)
  1. "Fake (Extended Version)" - 5:20
  2. "Fake (Edited Version)" - 3:11
  3. "Fake (Patty Mix)" - 3:10
  4. "Fake (A Cappella)" - 2:20
  5. "Fake (Instrumental)" - 4:35
  • 7" Single (Tabu ZS4-07100)
  1. "Fake (Edited Version)" - 3:10
  2. "A Broken Heart Can Mend" - 3:40

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[3]

  • Alexander O'Neal - lead vocals
  • Jimmy Jam - drum and keyboard programming, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals
  • Terry Lewis - percussion, backing vocals
  • Jerome Benton, Jellybean Johnson, James 'Popeye' Greer, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis - fake fellas

Sales chart performance[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1987) Peak
position
Belgium VRT Top 30[4] 15
Dutch MegaCharts[5] 20
German Media Control Charts[6] 17
Swiss Music Charts[7] 22
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[8] 16
UK Singles Chart[9] 33
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 25
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[10] 1
US Hot Dance Club Songs[10] 7
US Cash Box Top 100[11] 29

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 440. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 194. 
  3. ^ Hearsay liner notes. Tabu Records. 1987. 
  4. ^ "BEL Charts > Alexander O'Neal". VRT Top 30. Archived from the original on 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  5. ^ "NL Charts > Alexander O'Neal". MegaCharts. Archived from the original on 2015-04-10. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  6. ^ "GER Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  7. ^ "SWI Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Swiss Music Charts. Archived from the original on 2005-01-26. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  8. ^ "NZ Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 2014-08-26. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  9. ^ "UK Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  10. ^ a b c "US Singles Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  11. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending October 3, 1987". Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 2018-09-22. Cash Box magazine.

External links[edit]