The Songstress

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The Songstress
AnitaBaker-Songstress-orig.jpg
Cover of the original 1983 release.
Studio album by Anita Baker
Released May 31, 1983
November 12, 1991 (reissue)
Genre
Length 42:00
Label Beverly Glen
Elektra (reissue)
Producer Patrick Moten, Otis Smith
Anita Baker chronology
The Songstress
(1983)
Rapture
(1986)Rapture1986
Singles from The Songstress
  1. "Angel"
  2. "You're the Best Thing Yet"
  3. "No More Tears"
  4. "Feel the Need"
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [1]
BBC (positive) [2]
Robert Christgau B+ [3]

The Songstress is the debut solo album by the American R&B/soul singer Anita Baker. It was originally released in 1983 by Beverly Glen Music, and was Baker's only album for that label prior to signing with Elektra Records with whom she had a string of hit albums. The Songstress was not a commercial success upon its initial release, though the album met with moderate success on the R&B charts.

Baker became a major international success after signing with Elektra Records (a division of Warner Music Group) in 1986, and Elektra acquired the rights to The Songstress and re-released it with a new cover in 1991. Between 1992-2007, the album sold 307,000 copies in the US according to SoundScan figures.

Reception[edit]

"No More Tears" peaked at number 49 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, becoming Baker's first entry on the Billboard's singles chart;[4] "Angel," number five on the same chart;[5] "You're the Best Thing Yet," number 28.[5]

Alex Henderson of AllMusic rated the album all five stars. Henderson praised Baker's ballads and 'slow jams' as "honest [and] heartfelt", like "No More Tears", "Angel", and "You're the Best Thing Yet", and her faster tempo in "Squeeze Me".[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Angel" (Baker, Patrick Moten, Sandra Sully) - 4:57
  2. "You're the Best Thing Yet" (Moten, Geronne C. Turner) - 5:36
  3. "Feel The Need" (Moten) - 5:35
  4. "Squeeze Me" (Moten) - 4:40
  5. "No More Tears" (Michael J. Powell) - 5:38
  6. "Sometimes" (Moten, Sully) - 5:53
  7. "Will You Be Mine" (Moten, Carlos Turrentine) - 5:24
  8. "Do You Believe Me" (Moten) - 3:55

Personnel[edit]

  • Nathan East - Bass
  • David T. Walker - Guitar
  • Paul Jackson, Jr. - Guitar
  • James Macon - Guitar
  • Craig Cooper - Guitar
  • Raymond Calhoun - Drums
  • James Gadson - Drums
  • Patrick Moten - Keyboard
  • "The Waters": Maxine Waters, Julia Waters, Luther Waters & Oren Waters - Background Vocals
  • Carmen Twillie - Background Vocals
  • Phil Perry - Background Vocals
  • James Gilstrap - Background Vocals
  • Clydene Jackson - Background Vocals
  • Bunny Hull - Background Vocals

Production[edit]

  • Executive Producer: Otis Smith
  • Producers: Patrick Moten & Otis Smith
  • Background Vocal Arrangers: Patrick Moten & Otis Smith
  • Contractors: Antony T. Coleman, Billy Page
  • Rhythm Section Arranger: Patrick Moten
  • Engineer: Barney Perkins
  • Assistant Engineer: Tom Cummings
  • Mastering: John Matousek, Hitsville Studios, Hollywood
  • Digital Remastered & Edited: John Matousek & Gerard Smerek at Soundworks West, Hollywood
  • Art Direction & Design: John Coulter Design
  • Front Cover & Inside Photo: Kevin Winter
  • Back Cover Photo: Adrian Buckmaster

Charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
US Billboard 200 138
US Billboard Top R&B Albums 12

Singles

Year Title US R&B
1983 "No More Tears"
B-side: "Will You Be Mine"
49[4]
"Angel"
B-side: "Do You Believe Me"
5[5]
"You're the Best Thing Yet"
B-side: "Squeeze Me"
28[5]
"Will You Be Mine" 87

References[edit]

  1. ^ Henderson, Alex. The Songstress > review at AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  2. ^ O'Donnell, David (December 11, 2008). "The Songstress > review". BBC. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "The Songstress > review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  4. ^ a b VH1 Rock Stars Encyclopedia, p. 58
  5. ^ a b c d Whitburn, p. 25.
  6. ^ Henderson, Alex (2003) [circa 1991]. Anita Baker – The Songstress. All Music Guide to Soul: The Definitive Guide to R&B and Soul. p. 30. Retrieved June 18, 2016 – via Amazon.com.