Head over Heels (Paula Abdul album)

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Head over Heels
Head Over Heels1.jpg
Studio album by Paula Abdul
Released June 13, 1995 (1995-06-13)
Recorded 1994-1995
  • 64:28
  • 73:35 (Japan)
Paula Abdul chronology
Head over Heels
Greatest Hits
Singles from Head Over Heels
  1. "My Love Is for Real"
    Released: May 30, 1995
  2. "Crazy Cool"
    Released: August 22, 1995
  3. "Ain't Never Gonna Give You Up"
    Released: January 9, 1996

Head over Heels is the third studio album released by American singer Paula Abdul on June 13, 1995 under Virgin Records. The album features the singles "My Love Is for Real", "Crazy Cool" and "Ain't Never Gonna Give You Up".


Head over Heels was released after Abdul's four-year hiatus while battling bulimia. The album was considered Abdul's comeback album, intended to bring her back into the limelight, but it would be the last album Abdul would release before her second hiatus from music.

Head over Heels showcased a new direction and style of music for Abdul, including a more R&B and "sensual" feeling to her songs. The first single released from the album, "My Love Is for Real", was a taster of her new-found sound, however reviews were mixed.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly C+[2]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[3]

Head over Heels received mixed reviews. Many reviewers claimed it diverted from Abdul's pop music roots, however some reviews said the album was Abdul's most creative and exciting work to date. The iTunes review of the album was mixed, saying that Head over Heels included songs which "lack strong hooks" yet praised the album for being "more mature and seductive than previous efforts". The review mainly concentrated on the length of the album and how it "spends too much time on lesser songs".

Commercial performance[edit]

Head over Heels did not do as well as Abdul's previous albums in terms of chart performance and sales. It was Abdul's weakest selling album to date, only going gold; it was also Abdul's lowest peaking album on the Billboard 200 to date, peaking at #18, and it quickly fell off the charts soon after. The album managed to become her lowest selling studio album (in terms of international sales) in her career. After the relative failure of the album, Abdul left the music scene and ventured into acting and returned to choreographing.

Three singles were released from Head over Heels. The first single, "My Love is for Real" peaked at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Abdul's first single to not reach the Top 20 and was considered a flop. However, the song went to #1 on the U.S. dance charts (her only song to do so). The following single, "Crazy Cool" peaked at #58 and was considered another flop, probably due to bad publicity about the song and its video. The last single from the album "Ain't Never Gonna Give You Up" tanked and failed to chart. However, it did peak at #12 on Bubbling Under Hot 100. A fourth single, "If I Were Your Girl" was due to be released, but was cancelled after disappointing album sales and the failure of "Ain't Never Gonna Give You Up".

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Crazy Cool" Peter Lord • Sandra St. Victor • V. Jeffrey Smith Lord • Smith 4:42
2. "My Love Is for Real" (with Ofra Haza) Abdul • Rhett Lawrence Lawrence 5:20
3. "Ain't Never Gonna Give You Up" (with Color Me Badd) Byran Abrahms • Mark Calderon • Howie Tee • Kevin Thornton • Curtis "Fitz" Williams • Elliot Wolff Wolff 3:53
4. "Love Don't Come Easy" Abdul • Robb Boldt • Da'Count • Howard Hersh • Iky Levi • Eric Monsanty Hersh • Levy • Boldt • Cha'n André • Da' Count • Monsanty 4:07
5. "If I Were Your Girl" Crystal Bernard • Lawrence Lawrence 3:55
6. "Sexy Thoughts" Boldt • Hersh • Levy Hersh • Levy • Boldt 4:09
7. "The Choice Is Yours" Arnold Hennings • Debra Killings Hennings • Dallas Austin 4:48
8. "Ho-Down" Abdul • Boldt • Calloway • Da'Count • Gaskill • Greer • Hersh • Mills • Wolff Wolff • Hersh • Levy • Boldt 4:23
9. "Under the Influence" Worthy Davis • Oliver Leiber Leiber 4:29
10. "I Never Knew It" Daryl Simmons Simmons 4:26
11. "Get Your Groove On" Hersh • Levy • Boldt Hersh • Levy • Boldt 4:02
12. "Missing You" Bernadette Cooper Lawrence 3:52
13. "It's All About Feeling Good" Abdul • Hersh • Levy • Boldt Hersh • Levy • Boldt 3:46
14. "Cry for Me" Tim Miner Miner 3:38
Total length: 64:28


Adapted From AllMusic[4]

  • Paula Abdul – all Vocals
  • Bryan Abrams, Cha'n Andre, Robb Boldt, Robbie J. Brown, Mark Calderon, Cindy & Janie Cruse, Valerie & Worthy Davis, Bruce DeShazer, Ofra Haza, Marva King, Tanya Smith, Sandra St. Victor, Kevin Thornton, Sam Watters, Monalisa Young – Backing Vocals
  • Dallas Austin – Multi-Instruments
  • Charlie Barnett – Percussion
  • Rocky Bryant – Keyboards, Synthesizers, Drums, Percussion
  • Keith Carlock – Drums, Percussion
  • Vince Denham – Tenor Sax
  • Walt Fowler, Ralph Rickert, Dan Savant – Trumpet
  • Ronnie Garrett, Tracy Wormworth – Bass
  • Grant Geissman – Banjo
  • Lili HaydnViolin
  • Howard Hersh, Peter Lord Moreland, John Andrew Shreiner, V. Jeffrey Smith – Keyboards
  • Eric Jorgenson – Trombone
  • Shaun LaBelle – Electric Bass, Synthesizers
  • John Leftwich – Horns
  • Oliver Leiber – Keyboards, Synthesizers, Guitars, Electric Sitar, Drums, Percussion
  • Iki Levy – Percussion
  • Keith Lewis – Percussion & Various Programming
  • Karl Messerschmidt – Tuba
  • Tim Miner – Electric Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
  • Michael Patterson – Synthesizers
  • Paul PetersonElectric Piano
  • Harihar Rao – Sitar, Tamboura
  • John Shanks, Andy Timmons, Bill Wiseman – Guitars
  • Rick Sheppard – Synthesizers, Samples
  • Daryl Simmons – Keyboards, Programming, Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
  • Ralph Stacey – Electric & Bass Guitars
  • Gerri Sutyak – Cello
  • Albert Wing – Tenor & Alto Sax, Clarinet

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ Personnel list at allmusic
  5. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Paula Abdul – Head over Heels". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  6. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 7768." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  7. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Paula Abdul – Head over Heels" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  8. ^ "Head over Heels – Oricon", Oricon (in Japanese), retrieved February 21, 2009 [dead link]
  9. ^ "Paula Abdul | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  10. ^ "Paula Abdul – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Paula Abdul. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  11. ^ "American album certifications – Paula Abdul – Head over Heels". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH