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2012 Reissue wishlist / Day 10 / Alexander O’Neal / Hearsay

Alexander O'Neal / Hearsay / 25th Anniversary EditionHearsay was released in 1987 and was an R&B and pop phenomenon, particularly in the UK, where the four hit singles (Fake, Criticize, Never Knew Love Like This and The Lovers) were all over the airwaves and played in clubs for the best part of 12 months. The Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis produced album was so successful, that three further singles (Hearsay ’89, What Can I Say To Make You Love Me, and Sunshine) were released almost two years later and all charted.

The album has virtually no filler and is set to the backdrop of a party. This works really well, and side one concentrates on Alexander having a hard time with his ‘girl’. She’s a fake, constantly criticizing him… he reassures her that what she’s hearing is “nothing but hearsay”.. you get the idea. Lots of party noises and chatter fade in and out of the songs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzpe3fIQcf4&feature=watch_response

Side two is where things mellow out. The party is slowing down, and Alexander gets all romantic – Never Knew Love Like This, Crying Overtime and the final track When The Party’s Over.

This was one of those albums that you’d play before going out and then hear much of it again when you were out. A career high for Alexander O’Neal – a massively talented singer – and arguably for Jam & Lewis as well.

The album was out of print for some time and has been reissued (a simple one disc with no bonus tracks), but it deserves some tender loving deluxe treatment for the 25th anniversary, rather like Big Break Records/Cherry Red have been doing to albums like Breakout by the Pointer Sisters.

A thoughtful two or three disc reissue with all the remixes commercially available, is what is called for. Such a deluxe issue would also include the All Mixed Up remix album of Hearsay that was released separately. A DVD of videos and TV appearances would finish things off nicely!

ALBUM: Hearsay by Alexander O’Neal
ANNIVERSARY: 25th
WHY REISSUE?: Amazing record,  somewhat forgotten, loads of remixes.

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Markus

Thank you for all your comments and reviews, incl. Abba , Pointer Sisters, and Alex. I very much enjoyed it. Yes, Alex deserves a lot more credit. What a superb vocalist, those delicious arrangements by Jam & Lewis. Sunshine is one of the most beautiful ballads ever written.

Best Regards,

Markus, Hinesville , USA

Bruno MacDonald

Hearsay was indeed a great album and I fondly recall the glamorous ladies in the accompanying videos, so heartily endorse your suggestion of an accompanying DVD. Even the remixes had some good moments – frankly, you can’t go far wrong with simply making Jam and Lewis’ songs longer. I could listen to Change’s “Change of Heart” alone for 72 minutes, easy.

This is a really good series, Paul. I rarely read speculation about nonexistent releases but your largely unpredictable choices have reeled me in every day.

Steven

I find it extraordinary when I realize that people other than me, who grew up loving the Smiths, New Order and Depeche Mode, also like Alexander O’Neal. In the U.S., the Minneapolis native…friends of Prince and slated to be the original lead singer of The Time, he was a bit underappreciated. I love that this is on here. I hope you have some power to make just a few of these happen in 2012… Happy I stumbled upon this site… If you add things like the forthcoming BIG COUNTRY re-issue, I’ll order through you…in case you get some sort of credit or kick-backs…