With her classy, refined brand of romantic soul, Anita Baker was one of the definitive quiet storm singers of the '80s. Gifted with a strong, supple alto, Baker was influenced not only by R&B, but jazz, gospel, and traditional pop, which gave her music a distinctly adult sophistication. Smooth and mellow, but hardly lifeless, it made her one of the most popular romantic singers of her time.
Baker was born January 26, 1958, in Toledo, OH, and raised in nearby Detroit, where she grew up listening to female jazz singers like Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, and Ella Fitzgerald. At age 12, she began singing a gospel choir, and by age 16 she was performing with several local bands. In 1975, she successfully auditioned for Chapter 8, one of Detroit's most popular acts at the time; the group eventually signed with Ariola and released an album in 1979, but were immediately dropped when the label was acquired by Arista (which didn't care for Baker's vocals). Chastened, Baker worked low-paying jobs in Detroit and eventually found steady work as a receptionist at a law firm. In 1982, Otis Smith -- an executive who'd worked with Chapter 8 -- contacted Baker about recording for his new label Beverly Glen. Happy with her employment benefits and skittish over the experience with Arista, Baker was reluctant at first, but eventually flew out to the West Coast to record her debut album, The Songstress, in 1983. Though it didn't gain quite enough exposure to become a hit, it did help Baker build a strong fan base through word-of-mouth and she was signed by Elektra in 1985.
Working with producer Michael J. Powell (an old Chapter 8 cohort), Baker released her major-label debut Rapture in 1986. It was a platinum, Grammy-winning smash, appealing to both urban and adult contemporary listeners and producing two all-time quiet storm classics in "Caught Up in the Rapture" and "Sweet Love." Baker toured the world in 1987 and her guest appearance on the Winans track "Ain't Got No Need to Worry" won a Grammy. Her equally stylish follow-up album, Giving You the Best That I Got, appeared in 1988, spawning more staples in the title track and "Just Because." "Giving You the Best That I Got" also won Baker two more Grammys, for Best Female R&B Vocal and Best R&B Song. For her third Elektra album, Baker decided to handle a greater share of the songwriting, hence the title Compositions, which was released in 1990 and featured even stronger jazz inflections than Baker's previous work (not to mention all live instruments).
Following Compositions, Baker took a break from recording and touring; after having her first son in 1993, she returned to the studio to craft Rhythm of Love, which was released in 1994. In the years that followed, Baker was mostly silent, despite her fans' clamoring for a jazz album; instead, she raised her family and became embroiled in contract disputes with Elektra, which eventually led her to move to Atlantic. She began working on a new album in 2000, but had to start over from scratch due to defective recording equipment that made the original tracks unsalvageable. In 2004 it was announced that she had signed with Blue Note and still working on her new album. In the meantime, the Atlantic imprint Rhino released Night of Rapture: Live, a 1987 concert originally available on video. Baker finally returned to the studio in 2003 and issued My Everything, her first album in 10 years. Two years later she released her first holiday album, Christmas Fantasy. Allmusic by Steve Huey
01. Rhythm Of Love 02. The Look Of Love 03. Body And Soul 04. Baby 05. I Apologize 06. Plenty Of Room 07. It's Been You 08. You Belong To Me 09. Wrong Man 10. Only For A While 11. Sometimes I Wonder Why 12. My Funny Valentine
01. Angel 02. You're The Best Thing Yet 03. No More Tears 04. Sweet Love 05. Caught Up In The Rapture 06. You Bring Me Joy 07. Same Ole Love (365 Days A Year) 08. No One In The World 09. Ain't No Need To Worry 10 Giving You the Best That I Got 11. Good Love 12. Just Because 13. Lead Me Into Love 14. Fairy Tales 15. Talk To Me 16. Body And Soul 17. I Apologize 18. It's Been You
01. You're My Everything 02. How Could You 03. In My Heart 04. Serious 05. How Does It Feel 06. Like You Used To Do 07. Close Your Eyes 08. You're My Everything Revisited 09. I Can't Sleep 10. Men In My Life
You would like to permanently remove ads and unlock benefits?
We display ads sparingly on website to help cover
costs without interfering with the browsing experience.
Tired of advertising and pop-ups? Join Now on OdiMusic.
Register on OdiMusic allows you to access to the minimum resources,
minimum advertising (no pop-ups),
if you choose to subscribe for one of our plans after registration
you can acces more than 1.000.000 Albums, Maxi, Cds, Vinyls releases inside!
(80% on demand) (requests, informations, images, tracklists,
reviews, ask for supports & much more!!!)