Contemporary R&B is a music genre that combines elements of rhythm and blues, soul, hip hop and electronic music. The genre features a distinctive record production style, drum machine-backed rhythms, pitch corrected vocals, a smooth, lush style of vocal arrangement. Electronic influences are becoming an increasing trend and the use of hip hop or dance-inspired beats are typical, although the roughness and grit inherent in hip hop may be reduced and smoothed out. Contemporary R&B vocalists are known for their use of melisma, popularized by vocalists such as Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Craig David, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Contemporary R&B originated at the end of the disco era, in the late-1970s, when Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones added more electronic elements to the sound of the time to create a smoother dancefloor-friendly sound; the first result was Off the Wall, which—according to Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic—"was a visionary album, that found a way to break disco wide open into a new world where the beat was undeniable, but not the primary focus" and "was part of a colorful tapestry of lush ballads and strings, smooth soul and pop, soft rock, alluring funk".
Richard J. Ripani wrote that Janet Jackson's Control was "important to the development of R&B for a number of reasons", as she and her producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, "crafted a new sound that fuses the rhythmic elements of funk and disco, along with heavy doses of synthesizers, sound effects, a rap music sensibility." Ripani wrote that "the success of Control led to the incorporation of stylistic traits of rap over the next few years, Janet Jackson was to continue to be one of the leaders in that development." That same year, Teddy Riley began. This combination of R&B style and hip hop rhythms was termed new jack swing and was applied to artists such as Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Keith Sweat, Al B. Sure!, Guy and Bell Biv DeVoe. In contrast to the works of Boyz II Men and similar artists, other R&B artists and groups from this same period began adding more of a hip-hop sound to their work, like the innovative group Jodeci; the synthesizer-heavy rhythm tracks of new jack swing were replaced by grittier East Coast hip hop-inspired backing tracks, resulting in a genre labeled hip hop soul by Mary J. Blige and producer Sean Combs who had mentored group Jodeci in the beginning and helped them with their unique look.
The style became less popular by the end of the 1990s, but experienced a resurgence. In 1990, Mariah Carey released Vision of Love, it was immensely popular peaking at number 1 in many worldwide charts including the Billboard Hot 100, it propelled Mariah's career. The song is said to have popularized the use of melisma and brought it in to mainstream R&B. During the mid-1990s, Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album sold over 40 million copies worldwide becoming the best-selling soundtrack of all time. Janet Jackson's self-titled fifth studio album janet. which came after her historic multimillion-dollar contract with Virgin Records, sold over twenty million copies worldwide. Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey recorded several Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits, including "One Sweet Day", a collaboration between both acts, which became the longest-running No. 1 hit in Hot 100 history. Carey released a remix of her 1995 single "Fantasy", with Ol' Dirty Bastard as a feature, a collaboration format, unheard of at this point.
Carey, Boyz II Men and TLC released albums in 1994 and 1995 -- II and CrazySexyCool. In the late 1990s, neo soul, which added 1970s soul influences to the hip hop soul blend, led by artists such as D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Maxwell. Hill and Missy Elliott further blurred the line between hip hop by recording both styles. Beginning in 1995, the Grammy Awards enacted the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, with II by Boyz II Men becoming the first recipient; the award was received by TLC for CrazySexyCool in 1996, Tony Rich for Words in 1997, Erykah Badu for Baduizm in 1998 and Lauryn Hill for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1999. At the end of 1999, Billboard magazine ranked Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson as the first and second most successful artists of the 1990s. In the second half of the 1990s, The Neptunes and Timbaland set influential precedence on contemporary R&B and hip hop music. R&B acts such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton are some of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Following periods of fluctuating success, urban music attained commercial dominance during the early 2000s, which featured massive crossover success on the Billboard charts by R&B and hip hop artists. In 2001, Alicia Keys released "Fallin"', it peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Top 40 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. It won three Grammy Awards in 2002, including Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, it was nominated for Record of the Year. Beyoncé's solo studio debut album Dangerously in Love has sold over 5 million copies in the United States and earned five Grammy Awards. Usher's Confessions sold 1.1 million copies in its first week and over 8 million copies in 2004, since it has been certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America and, as of 2016, has sold over 10 million copies in the US and over 20 million copies worldwide. Confessions had four consecutive Billboard Hot 100 number one singles—"Yeah!", "Burn", "Confessions Part II" and "My Boo".
In 2004, all 12 songs that topped Billboard Hot 100 were
Sarm West Studios
SARM Studios is a recording studio located in Notting Hill, London. The studios were established by Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, were known as Basing Street Studios, it has been known in the past as Island Studios. SARM is an acronym of Recording Mobiles; the studios were built inside a former church, deconsecrated. Blackwell recorded a number of artists there for Island Records, such as Iron Maiden, Bob Marley, Steve Winwood, Bad Company, Robert Palmer, Jimmy Cliff, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, King Crimson, John Martyn, Mott the Hoople, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, Cat Stevens, Spooky Tooth, Traffic, If, Jethro Tull, the Average White Band, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band; the studios were used by notable non-Island Records acts, such as Madonna, ABC, The Clash, Pet Shop Boys, KT Tunstall, Depeche Mode, The Eagles, Dire Straits, East 17, Take That, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Joan Armatrading, Nik Kershaw and the Lighthouse Family.
In 1970, two famous albums were recorded at the studios at the same time: Led Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin IV and Jethro Tull's Aqualung. Bob Marley & The Wailers and the Rolling Stones were in the studios at the same time at one point in 1973. Marley lived for a year in an upstairs apartment at SARM, his personal chef cooked at SARM for most of the 1980s. Queen booked the studios in summer 1977 and recorded part of their album News of the World there, including the hit "We Are the Champions"; the cathedral organ on George Michael's album Faith was played there. In the mid 1970s, Sarm was the first 24-track recording studio in England. In November 1984, Studio 1 at Sarm West was the venue for the recording of "Do They Know It's Christmas" by the members of Band Aid in support of relief efforts for the 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia. In November 2014, the studios were used to record the Band Aid 30 charity single. In May 2011, the studios announced a major refurbishment which would result in two new studios as well as music business offices.
The redesign would include living accommodation, with the aim of facilitating a return to the studios’ 1970s policy of concentrating on long-term bookings. The studios are owned by SPZ Group, a holding company belonging to Trevor Horn and his late wife Jill Sinclair; the Sarm Studios complex houses the offices of the SPZ-owned record labels ZTT Records and Stiff Records, publishing companies Perfect Songs and Unforgettable Songs. Sarm East Studios Official site SPZ Group RecordProduction.com
Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel, known professionally as Seal, is a British singer and songwriter. He has sold over 20 million records worldwide, with his first international hit song, "Crazy", released in 1991, his most celebrated song, "Kiss from a Rose", released in 1994. Seal has won multiple awards including three Brit Awards; as a songwriter, he received two Ivor Novello Awards for Best Song Musically and Lyrically from the British Academy of Songwriters and Authors for "Killer" and "Crazy". He was a coach on The Voice Australia in 2012 and 2013, returned to Australia to work as a coach in 2017. Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel was born on 19 February 1963 at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, to Nigerian mother, Adebisi Ogundeji, African-Brazilian father, Francis Samuel, he was raised by a foster family in London. He worked various jobs in the London area. In the 1980s, Seal spent a short time singing in local bars. In 1987 he joined Push, a British funk band, toured with them in Japan. In Thailand he joined a blues band for a while before separating from the group and journeying throughout India on his own.
He returned to England, sleeping on the couch of friend Julian Bunster a model. He sometimes asked him "do I sing well?" to which he received the response that he sang better than most current artists. He met the producer Adamski and was given the lyrics of the song "Killer", a huge hit in 1990 and catapulted his career. Seal first came to public attention as vocalist on the Adamski single "Killer" in 1990; the single reached number one in the UK. Seal subsequently signed to ZTT Records and released his self-titled début album in 1991. Two versions of the album are known to be in circulation: the original "premix" version and a second, more common version with an updated mix; this is attributed to the demand for a produced single rushing the final album edit and, as Seal puts it, his and producer Horn's "inability to let go". Seal was positively received by critics; the singles "Crazy", "Future Love Paradise" and his own rendition of "Killer" performed well on the charts. In particular, "Crazy" became an international hit in 1991, reaching number two in the UK Singles Chart and number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.
Seal stole the show at the 1992 Brit Awards held at the Hammersmith Odeon, with the first hat-trick of wins in the history of the event. He won in three categories: Best British Video and Best British Album. In 1992 Seal appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation CD Red Hot + Dance, contributing an exclusive track "Crazy"; the album, featuring George Michael and Madonna among others, raised money and awareness in support of the AIDS epidemic by donating all proceeds to AIDS charities. After Seal regrouped with Trevor Horn, his second album self-titled, was released in 1994. A success, the album featured the singles "Prayer for the Dying" and "Newborn Friend", received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. "Prayer for the Dying" became a minor pop hit in the US, peaking at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. A third single, "Kiss from a Rose", performed modestly when released but was featured to much wider popularity when it was remixed for the soundtrack to Batman Forever. "Kiss from a Rose" won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1996, becoming Seal's best performing single on the US market and hit number four in the UK.
In 1998 Seal released Human Being. The album was the product of a turbulent time in his life, including a split and reconciliation with producer Horn as well as Seal's parting with ZTT Records and his signing with Warner Bros. Records in 1997; the record was panned upon its release. It received Gold record certification by the RIAA just two months after its release date; the album provided three singles, "Human Beings", "Latest Craze", "Lost My Faith". In 2001 fans awaited the arrival of a new album, announced as Togetherland. After a protracted post-production period the album was cancelled; the official word was that Seal did not think it made the grade, although this conflicts with other reports, that said the album was turned down by the label because producers felt the album would not be commercially successful. So, one single was released from the album. "This Could Be Heaven" was featured on The Family Man soundtrack. Since December 2006, Seal has indicated that he has plans to excerpt cuts from Togetherland and make them available for streaming download.
Meanwhile, Seal co-wrote and provided vocals for the hit single "My Vision" from Jakatta in 2002. He recorded a successful duet with the French singer Mylène Farmer called "Les Mots" during that same period. In 2002, Seal lent his vocals to the song "You Are My Kind", the fourth track on Santana's album Shaman. In 2003 Seal released his fourth album, again self-titled, except for Australia, where it was released under the title Seal IV. Although it never achieved the sales figures of either of his first two albums, this release brought him back into the public eye in the United States and continental Europe. Singles from the album included. In 2004 a greatest hits album entitled Seal: Best 1991–2004 was released, including a cover of the Bacharach / David classic "Walk On By" an
A CD single is a music single in the form of a compact disc. The standard in the Red Book for the term CD single is an 8cm CD, it now refers to any single recorded onto a CD of any size the CD5, or 5-inch CD single. The format was introduced in the mid-1980s but did not gain its place in the market until the early 1990s. With the rise in digital downloads in the early 2010s, sales of CD singles have decreased. Commercially released CD singles can vary in length from two songs up to six songs like an EP; some contain multiple mixes of one or more songs, in the tradition of 12" vinyl singles, in some cases, they may contain a music video for the single itself as well as a collectible poster. Depending on the nation, there may be limits on the number of songs and total length for sales to count in singles charts. Dire Straits' "Brothers in Arms" is reported to have been the world's first CD single, issued in the UK in two separate singles as a promotional item, one distinguished with a logo for the tour, Live in'85, a second to commemorate the Australian leg of the tour marked Live in'86.
Containing four tracks, it had a limited print run. The first commercially released CD Single was Angeline by John Martyn released on 1 February 1986. CD singles were first made eligible for the UK Singles Chart in 1987, the first number 1 available on the format in that country was "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston in May 1987; the Mini CD single CD3 format was created for use for singles in the late 1980s, but met with limited success in the US. The smaller CDs were more successful in Japan and had a resurgence in Europe early this century, marketed as "Pock it" CDs, being small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. By 1989, the CD3 was in decline in the US, it was common in the 1990s for US record companies to release both a two-track CD and a multi-track maxi CD. In the UK, record companies would release two CDs but these consisted of three tracks or more each. During the 1990s, CD single releases became less common in certain countries and were released in smaller editions, as the major record labels feared they were cannibalizing the sales of higher-profit-margin CD albums.
Pressure from record labels made singles charts in some countries become song charts, allowing album cuts to chart based only on airplay, without a single being released. In the US, the Billboard Hot 100 made this change in December 1998, after which few songs were released in the CD single format in the US, but they remained popular in the UK and other countries, where charts were still based on single sales and not radio airplay. At the end of the 1990s, the CD was the biggest-selling single format in the UK, but in the US, the dominant single format was airplay. With the advent of digital music sales, the CD single has been replaced as a distribution format in most countries, most charts now include digital download counts as well as physical single sales. In Australia, the Herald Sun reported the CD single is "set to become extinct". In early July 2009, leading music store JB Hi-Fi ceased stocking CD singles because of declining sales, with copies of the week's No. 1 single selling as few as only 350 copies across all their stores nationwide.
While CD singles no longer maintain their own section of the store, copies are still distributed but placed with the artist's albums. That is predominantly the case for popular Australian artists such as Jessica Mauboy, Kylie Minogue and, most Delta Goodrem, whose then-recent singles were released on CD in limited quantities; the ARIA Singles Chart is now "predominantly compiled from legal downloads", ARIA stopped compiling their physical singles sales chart. "On a Mission" by Gabriella Cilmi was the last CD single to be stocked in Kmart and Big W, who concluded stocking newly released singles. Sanity Entertainment, having resisted the decline for longer than the other major outlets, has ceased selling CD singles. In China and South Korea, CD single releases have been rare since the format was introduced, due of the amount of infringement and illegal file sharing over the internet, most of the time singles have been album cuts chart based only on airplay, but with the advent of digital music the charts have occasionally included digital download counts.
In Greece and Cyprus, the term "CD single" is used to describe an extended play in which there may be anywhere from three to six different tracks. These releases charted on the Greek Singles Chart with songs released as singles; the original CD single is a music single released on a mini Compact Disc that measures 8 cm in diameter, rather than the standard 12 cm. They are manufactured using the same methods as standard full-size CDs, can be played in most standard audio CD players and CD-ROM disc drives; the format was first released in the United States, United Kingdom, France, West Germany, Hong Kong in 1987 as the replacement for the 7-inch single. While mini CDs have fallen out of popularity among most major record labels, they remain a popular, low cost way for independent musicians and groups to release music. Capable of holding up to 20 minutes of music, most mini CD singles contain at least two tracks, ofte
"Secret Lovers", released in 1985, was the third single from As the Band Turns, the sixth album from American group Atlantic Starr. "Secret Lovers" was Atlantic Starr's true breakthrough hit on the pop charts in both the US and UK, though the group had minor pop and R&B hits in both countries. The flip side "When Love Calls" had been issued in the US in 1981 as a single and proved a substantial club success in the UK where its presence contributed to sales of "Secret Lovers". Sung as a duet between Atlantic Starr members Barbara Weathers and David Lewis, "Secret Lovers" is the story of a man and a woman who are having an affair with each other though they are both married to other people. Although they know their actions are wrong and are forced to keep their relationship secret as a result, they love each other too much to let the affair end, they justify the affair by trying to convince themselves that maybe their spouses have their own "secret lovers" as well. The music video for "Secret Lovers" was shot without backing from label A&M, which had dropped Atlantic Starr on the grounds of lackluster music sales.
Barbara Weathers has publicly expressed her disdain for the video. A new recording of that track has been done by Alexander O'Neal alongside Mica Paris, was released as the first single from O'Neal's album Alex Loves... in 2008. Usher sampled the song in 2008 for his hit single "Love in This Club Part II", which features Beyoncé and Lil Wayne. List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1986 List of number-one singles of 1986 AMG Allmusic Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
ZTT Records is a British record label founded in 1983 by record producer Trevor Horn, Horn's wife, businesswoman Jill Sinclair, NME journalist Paul Morley. The label's name was printed as "Zang Tumb Tuum" and "Zang Tuum Tumb" on various releases. In December 2017, Universal Music Group acquired ZTT Records and Stiff Records. ZTT is an initialism of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's sound poem Zang Tumb Tumb, which described "zang tumb tumb" as the sound of a machine gun; the majority of the creative team at ZTT had first assembled when Horn produced the acclaimed album The Lexicon of Love for British pop band ABC. A precursor to ZTT was the short-lived Perfect Recordings label, spun off from the newly founded Perfect Songs publishing subsidiary of Trevor Horn and Jill Sinclair's company. Perfect Recordings only released The Buggles' Adventures in Modern Recording and the singles derived from it. In 1983 Horn and Morley founded ZTT Records, which soon boomed into success. Sinclair became ZTT's managing director.
In the same year Sinclair and Horn acquired Basing Street Studios from Island Records in exchange for distributing the ZTT label. ZTT's first major signing was Frankie Goes to Hollywood, whose hits "Relax" and "Two Tribes" were among the most influential and best-selling singles of the decade, it was the label's second single, that became the label's first number one in January 1984. Relax stayed in the Top 75 for a full year and ZTT was well and established. During the 1980s Grace Jones and Art of Noise were ZTT acts to chart. In the early days, the label helped to shape the structure and format of pop music and turned every aspect of the business of pop into entertainment. In 1984, the Horn-Sinclair family businesses were reorganized as SPZ Group, which consisted of Sarm West Studios, Perfect Songs and ZTT records. From the beginning, the majority of ZTT releases were published by Perfect Songs and recorded at Sarm West Studios; the latter part of the decade was eclipsed by the bitter legal battle between ZTT and Holly Johnson who fought his way out of the strict, long recording agreement.
In disagreement, a few other ZTT artists, such as Art of Noise and Propaganda, left the label. Propaganda's case was settled out of court. In the late 1980s, ZTT refocused on the emerging dance music scene. Manchester group 808 State would reach the top 10 with its anthemic song "Pacific State" and three other singles and one album during the early'90s. Seal was the next major ZTT act to emerge in the 1990s, the label scored hit singles and albums with MC Tunes and Shades of Rhythm. ZTT Records pioneered music cover art as forms of high art in their own right. Paul Morley commissioned videos from then-unknown directors who would go on to become acclaimed in their field, such as Anton Corbijn, Godley & Creme, Zbigniew Rybczyński and Andy Morahan. Morley commissioned early ZTT sleeve design and photography to pioneers of the medium such as Accident, Malcolm Garrett/Assorted Images, AJ Barratt, Anton Corbijn, Mark Farrow, Jean-Paul Goude, Johnson Panas, The London Design Partnership, Mat Maitland, Me Company, John Stoddard, Stylorouge, T&CP Associates and XL.
The labels work in the visual field was profiled by Tony Enoch in Design Week, who positioned ZTT as "from a time when a record label meant something - a happening, a sense of belonging. Labels defined people's youth. Think Apple, Beggar's Banquet, ZTT and Stiff: small, independent British labels appearing to be able to do anything they wanted, reinventing the rules."In 2008, Ian Peel curated a first exhibition of ZTT sleeve art for galleries in London and Tokyo, in 2013 he curated the visual archives of ZTT and Sarm West Studios before the studios were demolished. In 2009, Peel compiled a DVD of the labels most acclaimed videos entitled The Television is Watching You which received a British Board of Film Classification 15 Certificate. † as one-time UK distributor for Tommy Boy Records As part of ZTT internal cataloguing of releases they maintained two series. The Action Series was issued to singles and albums by a majority of the labels artists; however to confuse matters the series contains a booklet and a concert.
The Action series paused in 1988 and was restarted by label manager Ian Peel in 2012. AS1: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax AS2: Propaganda - Dr. Mabuse AS3: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Two Tribes/War AS4: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Welcome to the Pleasuredome AS5: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - The Power of Love AS6: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - And Suddenly There Came A Bang! AS7: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Welcome to the Pleasuredome AS8: Propaganda - Duel AS9: Roy Orbison - Wild Hearts AS10: The Value Of Entertainment AS11: Art of Noise - Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise AS12: Propaganda - p:Machinery AS13: Propaganda - A Secret Wish AS14: Various - The Shape Of The Universe AS15: Glenn Gregory & Claudia Brucken - When Your Heart Runs Out Of Time AS16: Grace Jones - Slave To The Rhythm AS17: Andrew Poppy - The Beating Of Wings AS18: Various - Zang Tuum Tumb Sampled AS19: Anne Pigalle - Everything Could Be So Perfect... AS20: Propaganda - Wishful Thinking AS21: Propaganda - p:Machinery AS22: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Rage Hard AS23: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Liverpool AS24: Das Psycho Rangers - Starve God There's Choice AS25: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Warriors of the Wasteland AS26: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Watching the Wildlife AS27: Andrew Poppy - Alphabed AS28: Act - Snobbery and Decay List of record labels List of elec