Hoodoo (Alison Moyet album)

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Hoodoo
Alison Moyet - Hoodoo.jpg
Studio album by Alison Moyet
Released 22 April 1991 (UK)
27 August 1991 (US)
Genre Pop
Length 47:32
Label CBS/Columbia/Sony Music Entertainment (re-released in 2003 on Sony-BMG)
Producer Pete Glenister (tracks 1-2, 4-7, 9-11)
Dave Dix (track 3)
Andy Cox & David Steele (track 8)
Alison Moyet chronology
Raindancing
(1987)
Hoodoo
(1991)
Essex
(1994)

Hoodoo is the third studio album by British singer-songwriter Alison Moyet. It was released in 1991, reached No. 11 in the UK and features the singles "It Won't Be Long", "Wishing You Were Here", "Hoodoo" and "This House".

Largely produced by Pete Glenister, the album includes contributions from Kirsty MacColl, Steve Lillywhite, Marius De Vries, and ex-Fine Young Cannibals Andy Cox and David Steele.

A deluxe edition of Hoodoo was released by BMG on 25 November 2016.[1]

Background[edit]

"It's an anger album. There is energy and aggression to the songs. I'd had some shitty break-ups and was in that dark place where you go when you've been embattled. With Hoodoo I was ready to voice it unequivocally."

 —Alison Moyet discussing the album's theme.[2]

Having recording her second studio album Raindancing while living in Los Angeles, Moyet returned to live in England after completing a world tour. Moyet's record company, CBS, wanted her to continue producing pop hits but this left the singer feeling artistically compromised and under pressure to deliver. During the period after returning to England, Moyet began a songwriting partnership with Pete Glenister, who had been Moyet's guitarist for part of the Raindancing tour. Keen to have more artistic freedom, she suggested to CBS that Glenister should produce her. Muff Winwood of the label's A&R division granted Moyet permission to record the album she wanted to. Moyet later recalled in 2007: "In making Hoodoo, we were left to our own devices and found some passion and aggression again. It is not a flawless record... but it became a road that lead to my understanding myself much better. It has some songs on it that I am very proud of and favourites, "It Won't Be Long", "This House", "Hoodoo" and chunks of "Footsteps"."[3][4]

Hoodoo was released in the UK in April 1991 and in America in August that year. Although the album was not as commercially successful as previous efforts, Hoodoo reached No. 11 in the UK and saw moderate chart action in various European countries too.[5] The album's lead single was "It Won't Be Long", which was released in March 1991. Despite gaining extensive airplay, the song peaked at No. 50 in the UK.[6] The second single "Wishing You Were Here" was released in May, reaching No. 72 in the UK. In August, the title track "Hoodoo" was issued as a promotional single in America only.[7] "This House", the album's fourth and final single, was released in September and reached No. 40 in the UK.[5]

Following the album's mixed reception and disappointing sales, Moyet's relationship with CBS became further strained as the label began to lose interest in Moyet.[3] Despite the decline in sales, "It Won't Be Long" received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal performance at the 35th Grammy Awards.[8][9] Although the album did not make a chart appearance in America, it was reported by Billboard magazine in February 1994 that Hoodoo had sold 85,000 copies.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[11]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[12]
People favourable [13]
Musician favourable[14]
Reflections of Darkness 7.5/10 stars[15]
Louder Than War 8/10 stars[16]

In a November 1991 review by the American magazine People, the reviewer commented:

"Not that it would be a good career move, but Alison Moyet could probably sing an album of Bulgarian war chants and they would come out sexy and soulful. Her voice has survived both leaden disco rhythms and lame material on her first two solo albums. Hoodoo, her third, for the most part charms. Credit again goes to Moyet's amazing voice, which can get sultry and sinister on the title track and "Rise" then soar on the gospel-tinged "This House." As on previous albums, Moyet also plays disco diva—this time on the album opener, "Footsteps," and "(Meeting with My) Main Man." These songs are okay, but they obscure her voice. When she sings with minimal acoustic backing, as on "This House" or "Wishing You Were Here," she showcases her gifts best."[13]

In a 1991 issue of the American magazine Musician, a review of the album wrote:

"Moyel certainly understands style— her gospel shout would be the envy of any Pentecostal choir, while her ballad voice is as naked and soulful as a Nina Simone lament. She also understands that style is meaningless without emotional content. From the anger of "Rise" to die anguish in "This House," that's what keeps this collection from turning into just another singer's showcase."[14]

In a retrospective review of the album, Tom Demalon of AllMusic described the album as "possibly her most soulful collection yet." He added:

"She hasn't lost her knack for breezy, adult pop, evident on the lilting, melodic "Wishing You Were Here" and "It Won't Be Long," but tracks like the horn-driven "Footsteps" and high-energy title song form the core of Hoodoo. With the lyrics squarely focused on relationships, Moyet is often brassy and assertive as on "Back Where I Belong." She's still more than capable of expressing heart-aching vulnerability, though, especially on the gorgeous "This House." Other highlights include a pair of gospel-flavored numbers, the jumpy "Rise" and the anthemic closer, "Find Me." It all makes Hoodoo another strong offering from the distinctive Moyet."[11]

In a 2016 review of the deluxe edition of Raindancing, Helena Adams of the music website Reflections of Darkness commented:

"Hoodoo is an intense soliloquy of the times, the battles with the record label and with her own mental health... and the feeling of desperation in the face of what cannot be controlled. Haunting lyrics, not exactly corny but sticky love pleas, all combined with tints of the era, still the reminiscent New Wave and adult Pop provide a cohesive and maybe more authentic album than the previous ventures. Hoodoo is the end of childlike pop and the beginning of what mature music might look like..."[15]

Speaking of the 2016 deluxe edition, Attitude magazine writer Josh Lee stated: "...on Hoodoo she went for a rawer, more aggressive sound – like Kylie's switch from pop princess to IndieKylie but with more anger and a brassier soul sound. It's a great album but it alienated many fans and displeased the record company."[17] Gay Times magazine writer Darren Howard wrote: "Hoodoo is now seen as a modern classic that slightly under-performed. The album went under the radar of many. It's as dark and as angry as Marc Almond at his best but still keeps a pop edge. This is the sound of someone's heart being torn apart and poured out, it has intricate melodies and poetic, dense lyrics that are a million miles away from "Invisible"."[18]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Footsteps" Alison Moyet, Pete Glenister 4:58
2. "It Won't Be Long" Moyet, Glenister 4:14
3. "This House" Moyet 3:55
4. "Rise" Alison Moyet, Matt Irving, Mark Pinder 3:46
5. "Wishing You Were Here" Moyet, Glenister 3:57
6. "Hoodoo" Moyet, Glenister 4:42
7. "(Meeting With My) Main Man" Moyet, Glenister 4:39
8. "Back Where I Belong" Moyet, Glenister 3:51
9. "My Right A.R.M." Moyet, Glenister 4:46
10. "Never Too Late" Moyet, Warren Kennedy, Dean Kennedy 3:28
11. "Find Me" Moyet, Gerry Colvin 5:25

Personnel[edit]

  • Alison Moyet – vocals, backing vocals (tracks: 1 to 10), programming (tracks: 3, 5, 9, 10), harmonica "Rise", vocals end chorus "Find Me"
  • Pete Glenister – guitar, programming (tracks: 1, 3 to 7, 9, 10), backing vocals "(Meeting With My) Main Man", – vocals (end chorus) "Find Me"
  • Bob Andrews – keyboards (tracks: 1, 2, 4 to 7, 9 to 11), Hammond Organ "Never Too Late", programming "Wishing You Were Here"
  • Phil Legg – programming (tracks: 1, 7, 9, 10)
  • Dyan Birch – backing vocals "Footsteps"
  • Frank Collins – backing vocals "Footsteps"
  • Paddie McHugh – backing vocals "Footsteps"
  • Kick Horns – horns "Footsteps", "Find Me"
  • Jeff Scantlebury – percussion "Footsteps", "Find Me"
  • Ben Watkins – programming "Footsteps", "Rise", effects (noises) "Wishing You Were Here", effects (Ergasmatron) "(Meeting With My) Main Man", backing vocals "Never Too Late"
  • Mike Gaffey – programming "Footsteps"
  • Simon Fowler – backing vocals "It Won't Be Long"
  • Steve Cradock – backing vocals "It Won't Be Long"
  • John McKenzie – bass "It Won't Be Long" and "Find Me"
  • Blair Cunningham – drums "It Won't Be Long" & "Find Me"
  • Hugh Burns – guitar "This House"
  • Dave Dix – keyboards, piano (Zing) "This House"
  • Graham Henderson – piano "This House"
  • The Mint Juleps – backing vocals "Rise"
  • Rob Rawlinson – bass "Rise"
  • Danny Thompsondouble bass
  • Neil Conti – drums "Wishing You Were Here"
  • Kirsty MacColl – vocals (Elysian Chorus) "Wishing You Were Here"
  • Steve Sidelnik – percussion "Hoodoo"
  • Marius de Vries – programming "Hoodoo"
  • Neil Brockbank – programming "Hoodoo"
  • Deborah Lewis – backing vocals "Back Where I Belong"
  • Michelle Cross – backing vocals "Back Where I Belong"
  • David Steele – bass, programming "Back Where I Belong"
  • Andy Cox – guitar, programming "Back Where I Belong"
  • The Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra – strings "Back Where I Belong"
  • George Chandler – backing vocals "Find Me"
  • Jimmy Chambers – backing vocals "Find Me"
  • Jimmy Helms – backing vocals "Find Me"
  • Eugene Ellis – vocals (end chorus) "Find Me"
  • Joanne Wakeling – vocals (end chorus) "Find Me"
  • Ron "Baby Bio" Aslan – vocals (end chorus) "Find Me"

Production

  • Pete Glenister – producer
  • Dave Dix, producer, arranger, sound mixing "This House"
  • Andy Cox – producer, sound mixing "Back Where I Belong"
  • David Steele – producer, sound mixing "Back Where I Belong"
  • Alison Moyet – arranger backing vocals, arranger "This House"
  • Dave Dix – arranger "This House"
  • Fiachra Trench – arranger strings "Find Me"
  • Martin Rex – sound engineer (tracks: 1, 4, 5, 11)
  • Neil Brockbank – sound engineer (tracks: 1 to 7, 9 to 11)
  • Phil Legg – sound engineer (tracks: 7, 9, 10), sound mixing "My Right A.R.M."
  • Barry Hammond – sound engineer "This House"
  • Chris Dickey – sound engineer "This House"
  • John Fryer – sound engineer "This House"
  • Dave Anderson – sound engineer "Back Where I Belong"
  • Tom Lord Algesound mixing (tracks: 1, 4, 7, 10, 11)
  • Chris Dickey – sound mixing "This House"
  • Neil Brockbank – sound mixing "This House", "Hoodoo"
  • Pete Glenister – sound mixing "This House", "Hoodoo"
  • Steve Lillywhite – sound mixing "Wishing You Were Here"

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
position
Dutch Albums Chart[19] 55
German Albums Chart[20] 36
New Zealand Albums Chart[21] 47
Swedish Albums Chart[22] 42
Swiss Albums Chart[23] 22
UK Albums Chart[5] 11

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hoodoo Deluxe". Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  2. ^ September 27, 2016 (2016-09-27). "Deluxe Edition of Hoodoo –". Alisonmoyet.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  3. ^ a b "Hoodoo –". Alisonmoyet.com. 1991-04-22. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  4. ^ Hoodoo - 2016 deluxe edition CD booklet liner notes
  5. ^ a b c "ALISON MOYET | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  6. ^ "The Sound Of The Crowd - a Discography of the '80s (Third Edition) - Steve Binnie - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 2014-11-27. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  7. ^ "Alison Moyet - Hoodoo at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  8. ^ "The International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002 - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 1983-06-27. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  9. ^ "35th Annual Grammy Awards - 1993". Rock On The Net. 1993-02-24. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  10. ^ "Billboard - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 1994-02-19. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  11. ^ a b AllMusic Review by Tom Demalon (1991-08-27). "Hoodoo - Alison Moyet | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  12. ^ Rolling Stone review
  13. ^ a b "Picks and Pans Review: Hoodoo". People.com. 1991-11-04. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  14. ^ a b "Musician - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  15. ^ a b "Music Magazine - CD Review: Alison Moyet - Hoodoo (Deluxe Edition)". Reflections of Darkness. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  16. ^ "Alison Moyet: Alf | Raindancing | Hoodoo | Essex Deluxe Editions - album reviews". Louder Than War. 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  17. ^ "Album review | Alison Moyet: 'Alf', 'Raindancing', 'Hoodoo' & 'Essex' Deluxe Editions | Attitude Magazine". Attitude.co.uk. 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  18. ^ "Review: Alison Moyet Special Editions". Gay Times. 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  19. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet - Hoodoo". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  20. ^ Steffen Hung. "germancharts.com - Alison Moyet - Hoodoo". Germancharts.de. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  21. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet - Hoodoo". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  22. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet - Hoodoo". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  23. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet - Hoodoo". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 

External links[edit]