Rapture (Anita Baker album)

Rapture is the second album by American vocalist Anita Baker, released in 1986. This became Baker's breakout album and earning her two Grammy Awards. The album's first track, "Sweet Love", was a top 10 Billboard hit in addition to winning a Grammy Award. The music video for the track "Same Ole Love" was filmed at Baker's Keyboard Lounge.[1]

Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 20, 1986
StudioYamaha R & D Studio (Glendale, California); United Sound Systems (Detroit, Michigan); Music Grinder Studios (Hollywood, California)
Anita Baker chronology
The Songstress
Giving You the Best That I Got
Singles from Rapture
  1. "Sweet Love"
    Released: May 27, 1986
  2. "Caught Up in the Rapture"
    Released: October 3, 1986
  3. "Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)"
    Released: February 1987
  4. "No One in the World"
    Released: July 1987

Background edit

In 1984, Ms. Baker was offered a considerably better recording contract than her previous label, Anita signed with Warner Communications and shortly thereafter begun recording what would become Rapture, teamed with former Chapter 8 bandmate Michael Powell for her Elektra debut.  As she was having some difficulties  with Beverly Glen, she accepted Warner's offer and notified plaintiff that she was no longer willing to perform under the contract.[2]   Beverly Glen then sued Ms. Baker and sought to have her enjoined from performing for any other recording studio. The original injunction request was denied.

Following this ruling, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the action against Ms. Baker. Beverly Glen Music, however, then sued Warner Communications for inducing Ms. Baker to breach her contract and moved the court for an injunction against Warner to prevent it from employing her.  This injunction, too, was denied, the trial court reasoning that what one was forbidden by statute to do directly, one could not accomplish through the back door.[2] An unwilling employee cannot be compelled to continue to provide services to his employer either by ordering specific performance of his contract, or by injunction.  To do so runs afoul of the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition against involuntary servitude. Plaintiff contends that this is not an action against Ms. Baker but merely an equitable claim against Warner to deprive it of the wrongful benefits it gained when it “stole” Ms. Baker away. The judge in the case concludes, An injunction adds nothing to plaintiff's recovery from Warner except to coerce Ms. Baker to honor her contract. Denying someone his livelihood is a harsh remedy.

The case was decided March 19, 1986 in favor of Ms. Baker/Elektra/Warner Communications[2]

Rapture was released on March 20, 1986.

Critical reception edit

Retrospective professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]
Christgau's Record GuideB−[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [citation needed]
MusicHound R&B     [citation needed]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [citation needed]

Baker’s arrival onto the music industry signaled a musical rebellion, affording her voice and range to shine front-and-center.[6]In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, Rob Hoerburger regarded Rapture as a relatively "modest" album compared to more histrionic female singers, while praising the symbiotic relationship Baker shared with her band. Occasionally, he believed, the groove-based music lacked variety, and the singer drifted into "some superfluous scatting and pseudo-jazz harmony", but Hoerburger ultimately deemed her "an acquired but enduring taste".[7] At the end of 1986, Rapture was ranked number 2 among the "Albums of the Year" by NME.[8] It was voted the 23rd best album of the year in the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of American critics, published by The Village Voice.[9] Robert Christgau, the newspaper's lead music critic, was less impressed and viewed the record as merely a soulful, sexier version of soft rock and easy listening: "it's all husky, burnished mood, the fulfillment of the quiet-storm format black radio ... a reification of the human voice as vehicle of an expression purer than expression ever ought to be".[10]

In 1989, Rapture was ranked number 36 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest albums from the 1980s.[11] The same publication would later include the album as number 404 on their 2020 list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[12] In retrospect, AllMusic's Alex Henderson said, "Rapture's tremendous success made it clear that there was still a sizeable market for adult-oriented, more traditional R&B singing."[3] According to The Mojo Collection (2007), "when provocative new trends in black music were exploding from the street by the month, Baker kept her head and made a traditional (i.e., with its roots in the '70s) soul record with brooding, slow-burn minor tunes of romantic celebration and earthy longing."[13] According to CBC Music journalist Amanda Parris, "Baker defined quiet storm in the '80's and her album Rapture is one of the subgenre's milestones."[14] Pitchfork placed the album at number 149 on its list of The 200 Best Albums of the 1980s.[15]

Commercial performance edit

Rapture peaked at number 11 on the Billboard 200 in the United States and number 13 on the UK Albums Chart.[13] Promoted with two hit singles in "Sweet Love" and "Caught Up in the Rapture",[13] the album received significant airplay on both black radio and Top 40 formats, unlike Baker's 1983 debut The Songstress.[16] By October 1987, Rapture had sold three million copies.[17] It propelled Baker to stardom in soul and pop music during the late 1980s, winning two Grammy Awards and eventually sold over eight million copies worldwide.[6]

Track listing edit

1."Sweet Love"Anita Baker, Louis A. Johnson, Gary Bias4:26
2."You Bring Me Joy"David Lasley4:24
3."Caught Up in the Rapture"Garry Glenn, Dianne Quander5:17
4."Been So Long"Baker5:07
5."Mystery"Rod Temperton4:56
6."No One in the World" (Produced by Marti Sharron and Gary Skardina)Ken Hirsch, Marti Sharron4:10
7."Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)"Marilyn McLeod, Darryl K. Roberts4:05
8."Watch Your Step"Baker4:54

Personnel edit

Musicians edit

Production edit

  • Executive producer – Anita Baker
  • Producers – Michael J. Powell (tracks 1–5, 7 & 8); Marti Sharron and Gary Skardina (track 6)
  • Engineers – Barney Perkins (tracks 1–5, 7 & 8); Robert Feist and Gary Skardina (track 6)
  • Assistant engineers on tracks 1–5, 7 & 8 – Keith "KC" Cohen, Fred Law, Tony Ray and Keith Seppanen
  • Mixing – Barney Perkins and Michael J. Powell
  • Mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering (Hollywood, California)
  • Art direction and photography – Carol Friedman
  • Creative director – Hale Milgrim
  • Design – Sue Keston

Accolades edit

Grammy Awards edit

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1987 Rapture Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Won
"Sweet Love" Best R&B Song Won

American Music Awards edit

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1987 Anita Baker Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist Nominated
Rapture Favorite Soul/R&B Album Nominated
1988 Anita Baker Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist Won
Rapture Favorite Soul/R&B Album Won

Charts edit

Certifications and sales edit

Certifications and sales for Rapture
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[31] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[33] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^
Worldwide 8,000,000[34]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ ""People are talking about ...", Jet (April 6, 1987) p 53". Johnson Publishing Company. 6 April 1987. Archived from the original on August 28, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California., Docket No: No. B015417 (1986). "BEVERLY GLEN MUSIC INC v. WARNER COMMUNICATIONS INC (1986)". FindLaw. Retrieved February 5, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. Rapture > review at AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "B". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-73015-X. Archived from the original on July 10, 2020. Retrieved August 16, 2020 – via robertchristgau.com.
  5. ^ Nelson, Brad (March 21, 2021). "Anita Baker: Rapture". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on March 21, 2021. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Revisiting Anita Baker's 'Rapture' (1986) | Retrospective Tribute". Albumism. Retrieved 2022-03-20.
  7. ^ Hoerburger, Rob (September 11, 1986). "Anita Baker: Rapture : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  8. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-09-20. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  9. ^ Anon. (March 3, 1987). "The 1986 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on November 24, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (February 3, 1987). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on February 5, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  11. ^ "Rapture CD Album". CD Universe. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  12. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 22, 2020. Archived from the original on September 25, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Agarwal, Manish; et al. (2007). The Mojo Collection (4th ed.). Canongate Books. p. 501. ISBN 978-1847676436.
  14. ^ Parris, Amanda (November 24, 2017). "From Smokey Robinson to Anita Baker: an ode to quiet storm". CBC Music. Archived from the original on September 19, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  15. ^ "The 200 Best Albums of the 1980s". Pitchfork. 10 September 2018. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  16. ^ Johnson, Connie (December 29, 1986). "Anita Baker Breaks Out Of Pop Pack". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 28, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  17. ^ Hunt, Dennis (October 30, 1987). "Pop Lp Chart". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 28, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  18. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  19. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 45, No. 24". RPM. 1987-03-14. Archived from the original (PHP) on 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
  20. ^ "charts.nz Anita Baker – Rapture" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 2019-11-28. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
  21. ^ "swedishcharts.com Anita Baker – Rapture" (ASP) (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
  22. ^ "Anita Baker > Artists > Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
  23. ^ a b c "Allmusic: Rapture : Charts & Awards: Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  24. ^ "Album Search: Anita Baker – Rapture" (in German). Media Control. Archived from the original on 2021-11-09. Retrieved 2014-05-11.
  25. ^ "Billboard.BIZ  – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1986". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2012-12-08.
  26. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: Year End 1986". Billboard. 2 January 2013. Archived from the original on July 9, 2019. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  27. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1987". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2012-08-02. Retrieved 2012-12-31.
  28. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: Year End 1987". Billboard. 2 January 2013. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  29. ^ "Billboard.BIZ: Top Pop Albums of 1988". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  30. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: Year End 1988". Billboard. 2 January 2013. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  31. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Anita Baker – Rapture". Music Canada.
  32. ^ "British album certifications – Anita Baker – Rapture". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Rapture in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  33. ^ "American album certifications – Anita Baker – Rapture". Recording Industry Association of America.
  34. ^ "#404 Anita Baker, 'Rapture' (1986)".

External links edit