Raindancing

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Raindancing
Alison Moyet - Raindancing.jpg
Studio album by Alison Moyet
Released 6 April 1987[1]
Recorded 1986–1987
Genre Pop
Length 39:22
Label CBS/Columbia
(re-released on CD in 1990 by Sony Music Entertainment and in 2000 by Sony-BMG)
Producer Jimmy Iovine (tracks 1–6, 8–10)
Jess Bailey & Alison Moyet (track 7)
Joseph Hughes & David Freeman (track 5)
Jean Guiot (track 6)
Alison Moyet chronology
Alf
(1984)Alf1984
Raindancing
(1987)
Hoodoo
(1991)Hoodoo1991
Alternative cover
US edition
US edition

Raindancing is the second studio album by British singer-songwriter Alison Moyet. It was released in 1987, reached No. 2 in the UK and features the singles "Is This Love?", "Weak in the Presence of Beauty", "Ordinary Girl" and "Sleep Like Breathing". The US version of Raindancing was released with a different cover and the tracks in re-arranged order.

Largely produced by Jimmy Iovine, the album includes contributions from various session musicians such as T. M. Stevens, Omar Hakim and Herb Alpert.

A deluxe edition of Raindancing was released by BMG on 25 November 2016.[2]

Background[edit]

Following the release of her successful debut album Alf, Moyet decided to move to Los Angeles where she remained for almost a year. The move to America had been prompted by Moyet's manager, who himself had found work there for a year and suggested she relocate there too. Once settled in Los Angeles, Moyet's manager hired Jimmy Iovine to produce the majority of the Raindancing album.[3]

The majority of songs that would appear on the album had already been written back in England. For some of these songs, Moyet teamed up with guitarist Rick Driscoll and keyboardist Jess Bailey. "Is This Love?" was co-written with David A. Stewart of Eurythmics while Moyet was living in Los Angeles. As a friend of Iovine's, Stewart had called into the studio to see Iovine, who suggested he and Moyet write a song together. To avoid problems with his publishers, Stewart's contribution was disguised under the pseudonym Jean Guiot.[3] "Sleep Like Breathing" was written by David Freeman and Joseph Hughes of The Lover Speaks. The duo contributed three songs to the Raindancing sessions, though only "Sleep Like Breathing" would be included on the album.[4] "Weak in the Presence of Beauty" was written by Michael Ward and Rob Clarke, and originally recorded by their band Floy Joy in 1986. Moyet chose to record her own version of the song for the album, however would later reveal that she only recorded it because she knew it would be a hit.[5]

Raindancing was released in April 1987. Continuing her success in the UK, the album reached No. 2 and remained on the chart for 53 weeks.[6] In America, the album peaked at No. 94, faring less well commercially than Alf.[7] Across Europe and elsewhere, the album was a commercial success. It topped the charts in both New Zealand and Norway.[8]

The album also spawned four singles. The lead single "Is This Love?" was released in November 1986 and reached No. 3 in the UK, while becoming a hit across Europe and beyond.[6] However, the single failed to chart in America where it was released in March 1987.[9] "Weak in the Presence of Beauty" was the album's second single, released in February 1987. It reached No. 6 in the UK and was also another hit elsewhere.[6] It was released as a single in America in August 1987 but failed to chart.[10] "Ordinary Girl", the album's third single, was less successful commercially when released in May 1987, peaking at No. 43 in the UK and No. 22 in Ireland.[6] The final single was Sleep Like Breathing", a duet with David Freeman. It peaked at No. 80 in the UK after being released in September 1987.[6]

To promote the album, Moyet embarked on her only world tour. Although successful, Moyet would later describe the tour as "lack-lustre", while noting that it signalled her breakdown with her label CBS.[11] In 1988, the success of the album contributed to Moyet receiving her second Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist.[12] Despite the success of Raindancing, Moyet later revealed she was not happy with the album's American sound. Later recalling the album's period in 2007, Moyet felt that using an American producer and giving much control to engineers was a "bad move". Writing for her website, Moyet recalled: "I do like some of the songs but the conception of them was all wrong... what was written as jangly, English irony got the American session, pop treatment. I didn't involve myself in the "sound". I was driving on cruise control. It was made and not felt."[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[13]
Spin favourable[14]
Musician favourable[15]
Bombay: The City Magazine favourable[16]
People unfavourable[17]
Reflections of Darkness 7/10 stars[18]
Louder Than War 7.5/10 stars[19]

In the July 1987 issue of American magazine Spin, writer Barry Walters reviewed Raindancing, commenting:

"Enter the American mega-mainstream FM guru Jimmy Iovine to tip the scales on her new Raindancing. Gone for most part are the R&B grooves. Although synths still rule, there's nothing remotely Yaz-tech about them. Even when funk occasionally surfaces, as on "You Got Me Wrong," it's hammered out with an American rock drum sound that's pure MTV. There's a tangible effort to push Moyet into the 'til tuesday camp of semisweet pop, especially on "Weak in the Presence of Beauty". But most of the originals triumph through Moyet's intimate presence, both as an intelligent songwriter and an anguised voice one never tires of."[14]

In a 1987 issue of the American magazine Musician, a review of the album favourably wrote:

"Unlike its synth-smart predecessor, Raindancing lacks the instant appeal of Swain & Jolley's intellectualized dance music. But though the performances here take a bit more patience to appreciate, they're no less rewarding; if anything, Moyet's interpretive gifts have grown, and Jimmy Iovine's understated production takes pains not to get in the way. Which is why the likes of "Sleep Like Breathing" or "Weak in the Presence of Beauty" hold such lasting allure."[15]

In a 1987 issue of the American magazine People, Jonathan Butler said:

"Moyet's solo career has been like one of those baffling marriages in which you adore the wife but can't figure out what she sees in her oafish husband. It's hard to resist the British singer, who has a captivating voice, gracious, full-bodied and colored with a coppery glow. But it's easy to question some of her career choices. On both her solo records, her producers have dragged her out of her element and into the treacherous waters of corny pop sentiment. They mismatch her with too-fast beats that make Moyet sound frowsy and pedestrian."[20]

In a 1988 issue of Bombay: The City Magazine, a review of the album stated:

"Alf saw the last trace of Vince Clark influence as ex-Yazoo vocalist Alison Moyet set out on her own. Raindancing turns to others like Paul Young and Pet Shop Boys, to provide some breath-taking moments as Moyet strikes a balance between stand-off chic and espresso-warm emotions. And if Raindancing is outstanding for other reasons, they are simple: It has nothing to do with Only You."[16]

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

"The purpose of Raindancing was clear: to establish Alison Moyet as the pop star across the big pond. Raindancing is a continuation of the 80s dance-disco beats that indeed, parades much more production that parlays with the synthetic. Raindancing fits the bar of commercial albums back then, the overproduction provides it with a poppy freshness that Alf lacked."[18]

Speaking of the 2016 deluxe edition, Attitude magazine writer Josh Lee stated: "Big choruses that demand to be sung along to don't come more insistent than "Is This Love?" and "Weak in the Presence of Beauty but their singer wasn't as enthralled by the album as her fans."[21] Gay Times magazine writer Darren Howard wrote: "It's not that it's a bad album, it's just not very 'Moyet' in places. Having said that, it does contain the almighty "Is This Love" and the beautiful "Ordinary Girl" which both show Alison at her best."[22]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Weak in the Presence of Beauty" Michael Ward, Rob Clarke 3:46
2. "Ordinary Girl" Alison Moyet, Jess Bailey, Rick Driscoll 3:23
3. "You Got Me Wrong" Moyet 4:06
4. "Without You" Moyet 3:29
5. "Sleep Like Breathing" David Freeman, Joseph Hughes 4:22
6. "Is This Love?" Moyet, Jean Guiot 3:57
7. "Blow Wind Blow" Moyet, Bailey 5:46
8. "Glorious Love" Moyet, Bailey, Driscoll 4:20
9. "When I Say (No Giveaway)" Moyet, Bailey, Driscoll 2:55
10. "Stay" Moyet, Bailey, Driscoll 3:28

Personnel[edit]

  • See InfoBox for full producer listing
  • Associate Producer: Mike Shipley
  • Recorded & Engineered By Joe Chiccarelli, John Fryer, Robert de la Garza & Mark Desisto
  • Mixed By Jess Bailey, Alison Moyet, Scott Litt, Mike Shipley & Humberto Gatica
  • Mastered By Vladimir "Vlado" Meller
  • Richard Houghton – sleeve photography
  • Rob O'Connor (Stylorouge) – design, art direction

Chart performance[edit]

Original 1987 release[edit]

Chart (1987) Peak
position
Austrian Albums Chart[23] 23
Canadian Albums Chart[24] 36
Dutch Albums Chart[25] 5
German Albums Chart[26] 3
New Zealand Albums Chart[27] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[28] 1
Swedish Albums Chart[29] 4
Swiss Albums Chart[30] 4
UK Albums Chart[6] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 94

1995 release[edit]

Chart (1995) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[31] 98

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Raindancing –". Alisonmoyet.com. 1987-04-06. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  2. ^ "Raindancing Deluxe". Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  3. ^ a b Raindancing – 2016 deluxe edition CD booklet liner notes
  4. ^ "The Lover Speaks album is re-issued with extensive liner notes talking about Eurythmics, Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart – Ultimate Eurythmics:". Eurythmics-ultimate.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  5. ^ "Features | A Quietus Interview | Changeling: Alison Moyet Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "ALISON MOYET | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  7. ^ a b "Alison Moyet – Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet – Raindancing". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  9. ^ "Alison Moyet – Is This Love? / Blow Wind Blow – Columbia – USA – 38-07019". 45cat. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  10. ^ "Alison Moyet – Weak In The Presence Of Beauty / To Work On You – Columbia – USA – 38 07365". 45cat. 2013-11-30. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  11. ^ a b "Raindancing Deluxe –". Alisonmoyet.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  12. ^ "The Brit Awards". everyHit.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  13. ^ "Raindancing – Alison Moyet | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  14. ^ a b "SPIN – Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  15. ^ a b "Musician – Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  16. ^ a b "Bombay: The City Magazine – Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 2016-11-22. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  17. ^ http://people.com/archive/picks-and-pans-main-song-vol-28-no-5/
  18. ^ a b "Music Magazine – CD Review: Alison Moyet – Raindancing (Re-Release)". Reflections of Darkness. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  19. ^ http://louderthanwar.com/alison-moyet-alf-raindancing-hoodoo-essex-deluxe-editions-album-reviews/
  20. ^ http://people.com/archive/picks-and-pans-main-song-vol-28-no-5/
  21. ^ "Album review | Alison Moyet: ‘Alf’, ‘Raindancing’, ‘Hoodoo’ & ‘Essex’ Deluxe Editions | Attitude Magazine". Attitude.co.uk. 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  22. ^ "Review: Alison Moyet Special Editions". Gay Times. 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  23. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet – Raindancing". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  24. ^ "Results: RPM Weekly – Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  25. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet – Raindancing". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  26. ^ Steffen Hung. "germancharts.com – Alison Moyet – Raindancing". Germancharts.de. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  27. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet – Raindancing". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  28. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet – Raindancing". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  29. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet – Raindancing". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  30. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet – Raindancing". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  31. ^ "Chart Log UK: M – My Vitriol". Zobbel.de. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 

External links[edit]