The Sweetest Illusion

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The Sweetest Illusion
Basia - The Sweetest Illusion album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 28, 1994 (1994-04-28)
Genre
Length52:46
LabelEpic
Producer
Basia chronology
Brave New Hope
(1991)
The Sweetest Illusion
(1994)
Basia on Broadway
(1995)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
BillboardPositive[2]
Record Collector3/5 stars[3]
Sound of the Crowd4/10 stars[4]

The Sweetest Illusion is the third solo studio album by Polish-born singer-songwriter Basia, released in May 1994 by Epic Records. The record spawned the hit "Drunk on Love".

Overview[edit]

The album took two and a half years to make. It was primarily recorded at Whitfield Street Recording Studios in London, apart from piano parts, which were recorded at London's Westside Studios. The material was mastered at Sony Music Studios in New York. Contrarily to Basia's previous albums, The Sweetest Illusion moves away from electronically generated music towards traditional live instruments. Basia dedicated this album "to her family and compatriots in Poland as well as those scattered around the world". Two songs on the album incorporate Polish language: in "An Olive Tree" Basia sings: "Oliwkowe drzewo może spełnić twe marzenia" (English: "An olive tree can make your dreams come true") and towards the end of "Yearning", she sings the opening line from a Polish folk song: "Szła dzieweczka do laseczka, do zielonego".[5] The latter was described by Basia as the song she is most proud of and the best she has ever written. Its lyrics are about "missing home" and to emphasize this feeling, the track includes whale vocalization, which was Danny's idea.

"More Fire Than Flame" was released as Japan-only single in 1993.[6] In mid-April 1994, the ballad "Yearning" was serviced to contemporary jazz stations as the first US single,[7] although in other territories it was released as the album's final single in late 1994. The track was accompanied by a music video directed by Howard Greenhalgh, in which Basia and her two nieces appeared in Polish folk costumes.[8] The song failed to chart, but entered the Tokio Hot 100 list on Japanese radio station J-Wave.[9] "Drunk on Love" was released as the next single in June 1994 and topped Billboard's Dance Club Songs. It was followed by "Third Time Lucky" later in 1994.

The album was met with particular commercial success in Japan where it became Basia's biggest-selling album and her only platinum record there.[10] In the USA though, The Sweetest Illusion did not repeat the success of the two previous albums, nonetheless, it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in December 1994 for sales in excess of 500,000 units.[11] It was her final major-label full-length studio album. In 2016, the album was re-released by independent UK label Cherry Red Records as 3 CD deluxe edition featuring instrumental versions and remixes.[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Basia Trzetrzelewska and Danny White, except where noted.

  1. "Drunk on Love" (Trzetrzelewska, White, Peter Ross) – 4:46
  2. "Third Time Lucky" – 5:01
  3. "Yearning" – 5:22
  4. "She Deserves It/Rachel's Wedding" (featuring Trey Lorenz) – 4:52
  5. "An Olive Tree" (Kevin Robinson, Trzetrzelewska, White) – 5:01
  6. "The Sweetest Illusion" (Trzetrzelewska, White, Ross) – 4:58
  7. "Perfect Mother" – 3:50
  8. "More Fire Than Flame" (Trzetrzelewska, White, Ross) – 4:13
  9. "Simple Pleasures" – 4:53
  10. "My Cruel Ways" – 4:54
  11. "The Prayer of a Happy Housewife" – 4:56

Personnel[edit]

Musicians
  • Basia Trzetrzelewska – lead vocals, backing vocals (3, 11), crowd vocals (5)
  • Danny White – keyboards, whistling (2), crowd vocals (5)
  • Mark Anthoni – backing vocals (3, 11), crowd vocals (5)
  • Patrick Clahar – saxophone (2, 6), alto saxophone (5), tenor saxophone (5)
  • Julian Crampton – bass (1, 3, 6, 9, 11), double bass (4)
  • Bosco De Oliveira – percussion (2, 7), shaker (4)
  • Chris DeMargary – baritone saxophone (5), flute (11), alto flute (11)
  • Andy Gangadeen – drums, triangle (6), shaker (7)
  • Steve Gregory – saxophone (10)
  • Randy Hope-Taylor – bass (8, 10)
  • Nick Ingman – string arrangements (3, 10)
  • Andres Lafone – bass (2, 5, 7)
  • Trey Lorenz – lead and backing vocals (4)
  • Kevin Robinson – trumpet (1, 2, 5, 6, 8), flugelhorn (2, 5, 9, 10, 11), crowd vocals (5), French horn (9)
  • Andy Ross – electric guitar (3), mandolin (4, 10), bandurria (4), guitar (6, 10, 11)
  • Karl Vanden Bossche – percussion (1, 2, 3, 5, 7-11), wind chimes (4)
  • Fayyaz Virji – trombone (2, 5, 8, 9, 10)
  • Peter White – guitar (1, 2, 4-11), acoustic guitar (3), accordion (4, 7)
  • Gavyn Wright – strings leader (3, 6, 10), violin (4)
Production
  • Produced and arranged by Basia Trzetrzelewska and Danny White
  • Recorded by Mark Chamberlain
  • Assistant recording – Jason Scott Westbrook
  • Pianos recorded by Paul Mortimer, assisted by Lee Phillips
  • Mixed by Dave Bascombe
  • Mastered by Vlado Meller
  • Design and artwork – Bill Smith Studio, London
  • Paintings – Halina Tymusz
  • Photography – Paul Cox
  • Management – Dee Anthony
  • Make-up – Helen Whiting

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Japan (Oricon)[10] Platinum
United States (RIAA)[11] Gold 500,000

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Japan 28 April 1994[14] CD Epic
Worldwide 3 May 1994[18] CD, cassette, LP
25 November 2016[12] 3 CD deluxe edition Cherry Red

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jonathan Widran. "The Sweetest Illusion - Basia | Songs, Reviews, Credits". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  2. ^ "Album Reviews". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 1994-05-14. p. 70. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  3. ^ Ian Abrahams (2017). "The Sweetest Illusion - Record Collector Magazine". Record Collector. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  4. ^ Steve Binnie (2016-12-06). "Basia: "The Sweetest Illusion" 3CD deluxe edition | Sound Of The Crowd". soundofthecrowd.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  5. ^ "Kocham wiele gatunków muzycznych - Basia Trzetrzelewska dla JazzPRESS-u (październik 2013)" (in Polish). slawek-orwat.blogspot.com. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  6. ^ "モア・ファイヤー・ザン・フレーム | バーシア | ORICON NEWS" (in Japanese). www.oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  7. ^ Newman, Melinda (1994-03-26). "Epic Eagerly Anticipates Basia's 'Sweetest Illusion'". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. p. 20. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  8. ^ "Video". www.basiasongs.com. Archived from the original on 2013-06-14. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  9. ^ "Hits! In Tokio". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 1994-10-29. p. 103. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  10. ^ a b "Basia Trzetrzelewska gościem programu Cała Muzyka!" (in Polish). tuba.pl. 2018-05-17. Event occurs at 9:37. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  11. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". RIAA. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
  12. ^ a b Paul Sinclair (2016-11-03). "Basia / The Sweetest Illusion 3CD set". www.superdeluxeedition.com. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  13. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2018-09-21. (Select "BASIA" from the drop-down menu.)
  14. ^ a b "バーシアのCDアルバムランキング、バーシアのプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE" (in Japanese). www.oricon.co.jp. Archived from the original on 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  15. ^ "Basia Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Basia Chart History (Top Album Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  17. ^ "オリコン アルバム 1994年TOP100" (in Japanese). www.geocities.jp. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  18. ^ "You'll Be Hypnotized". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 1994-04-16. p. 7. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2018-09-25.

External links[edit]