Fake (Alexander O'Neal song)

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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
Writer(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)"
Hearsay track listing

"Fake" is a song written by 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.


The songs lyrics are a personal commentary, critical of a loudmouth - implied to be a groupie.


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


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


  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. ^ a b c "US Singles Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  5. ^ "BEL Charts > Alexander O'Neal". VRT Top 30. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  6. ^ "UK Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  7. ^ "GER Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  8. ^ "NL Charts > Alexander O'Neal". MegaCharts. Archived from the original on 2015-04-10. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  9. ^ "SWI Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Swiss Music Charts. Archived from the original on 2005-01-26. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  10. ^ "NZ Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 2014-08-26. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
Preceded by
"I Feel Good All Over" by Stephanie Mills
Billboard Hot Black Singles number-one single
July 25, 1987 - August 1, 1987 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Pleasure Principle" by Janet Jackson

External links[edit]