C/D, S/D... Anita Baker...

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I would've made this a 'Taking Sides', but I can't think of anyone who isn't either:

  • so markedly inferior (Paula Abdul, Jody Watley) as to be no challenge.
  • so markedly superior (Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday) as to be insurmountable. (Unless some wag out there wants to hijack this to spout out about how Aretha and Billie are not as gloriously sacrosant and beyond reproach as we have been led to believe.)
    So anyhow...Anita Baker, Classic or Dud/Search and Destroy!

    (oh...almost hit submit...)
    Ah! What about Whitney Houston?
    There we go:
    Taking Sides... Anita Baker vs Whitney Houston. FITE!

    Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 14:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Rapture and " Giving You the Best That I Got" were inescapable on urban radio in the 80s. I quite liked them.

amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 14:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


Okay...hell with Whitney...
Sade!
Taking Sides: Sade vs Anita Baker! FITE!
(A closer match. Whitney kept letting me down. But Anita Baker and Sade have never dissapointed me.)

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Wednesday, 20 August 2003 14:41 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

'rapture' not q as classic as people made out at the time
and has dated terribly to boot. it's all mid 80's poxy synth
sounds, rotten shoulder pad/jazzbar/filofax
production etc etc. BUT 'been so long' and 'sweet love' are fantastic.

piscesboy, Wednesday, 20 August 2003 14:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i agree with piscesboy. "rapture" has not dated well production-wise in comparison to say, "diamond life".

even so, the glory of her voice transcends the sound that they are packaged in, and i find many of her songs to be beautiful and very moving. i love anita. she definitely does not get enough props nowadays, it seems to me (though "rapture" was included in mojo's top 1000 records book if i'm not mistaken, for whatever that's worth)

Dallas Yertle (Dallas Yertle), Friday, 22 August 2003 00:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I've always found it a mystery how she just disappeared basically

nnnh oh oh nnnh nnnh oh (James Blount), Friday, 22 August 2003 00:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
She has a new CD.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Wednesday, 25 August 2004 23:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dud. She should be shot out of a cannon into a burning lake of lava. Blecchhh!!!!

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 August 2004 02:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

alex, is there a book you consult to come up with new, graphic imaginary torture methods for musicians whose music you dislike?

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Thursday, 26 August 2004 03:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

He stole that one from Mario 64.

R.I.M.A. (Barima), Thursday, 26 August 2004 17:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I don't even know what Mario 64 is.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 August 2004 17:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

it's a video game where Mario and Luigi have to save a princess from badly aged mid-'80s R&B

Gear! (Gear!), Thursday, 26 August 2004 17:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm all for it, then.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 August 2004 17:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

http://www.games.no/images/games/16122003154305_355_6-10.jpg

Gear! (Gear!), Thursday, 26 August 2004 17:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Does someone actually get fired from a cannon into a lava lake? I'm-a hafta pick that one up, then.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 August 2004 17:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I had an Equadorian co-op mate who explained to me very persuasively in 90/91 that Anita was a woman ("woooman") where most female pop singers of that moment were "girls."

I'd say "Giving You the Best That I Got" is classic, easily, but I'm sure I've just avoided the duds...

Pete Scholtes, Thursday, 26 August 2004 22:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Good Love" is brilliant.

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 26 August 2004 22:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It really saddens me that someone with that beautiful a voice has left such permanent scars on me. I was over at a friends the over day and someone had put Rapture on and a couple of us were begging for it to be removed. Her style of singing , simultaneoulsy mannered and also attempting 'soulful' is painful beyond belief.

Sade kicks her ass without anu doubt.

Whitney has not a tenth of the singing abilty of Anita but is at least listenable (sometimes).

H (Heruy), Friday, 27 August 2004 00:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

(Anita Baker disappeared because Toni Braxton appeared on the scene and she has the same voice only slightly stronger and is about 8,000,000,000,000,000 times cuter.)

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 27 August 2004 02:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

She's gone too, though.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 27 August 2004 02:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

In case you hadn't noticed, pop music isn't that kind to great singers these days. Christina and Beyonce are the only two who could have a hope of hanging with the back-in-the-day divas and they're both too enslaved in the Mariah Carey School of Melismania to really measure up.

Also, Toni at some point decided she wanted to act rather than sing.

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 27 August 2004 02:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

VengaDan, I kiss you. You have just summarized the past 20 years of female solo R&B. Although Deborah Cox could have hung with Anita no prob, if she'd styled herself so.

Joseph McCombs, Friday, 27 August 2004 02:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That's actually a good point; most of the big-voice R&B/gospel singers are doing house music now.

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 27 August 2004 02:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"melismania" is the best neologism i've heard in months.

amateur!!!st (amateurist), Friday, 27 August 2004 03:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"melismania" is the best neologism i've heard in months.

Seconded.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 27 August 2004 03:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

God, "Sweet Love" still sounds great, but I agree with whoever said upthread that her vocal trills are more mannered than they oughta be.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 7 June 2007 03:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i got this girl and she wants me to duke her
i told her ill come scoop her around 8 she said SUPER

and what, Thursday, 7 June 2007 19:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Giving You The Best That I Got is sublime, son.

P'zone, Thursday, 7 June 2007 19:47 (eleven years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

SO CLASSIQUE.

The Brainwasher, Monday, 13 August 2007 20:17 (ten years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

hugely underrated stylist

J0hn D., Saturday, 12 April 2008 19:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

the "new album" referred to upthread, My Everything, is outstanding despite one of the least encouraging album covers ever (a portrait, nominally, but something about it is so Wards-portrait-studio as to make me wonder "who the fuck greenlighted the sleeve?" every time I see it). most of the tracks apparently recorded live by the band, three of them with Anita singing live with them - if you don't go in for quiet-storm-all-smooth jazz stylings, you'd still hate it, but if you do have love for such stuff as I do, it's a hugely slept-on album. At the very least, people who liked her at her most popular should look into a song called "serious" because it is SWEET.

J0hn D., Saturday, 22 November 2008 04:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

I remember reading that Greil Marcus hated her "conservatism" or some such nonsense. "Sweet Love" and "Watch Your Step" are two of the greatest R&B songs of the era.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Saturday, 22 November 2008 06:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

He called her "lifestyle music" or something, right?

As for her more-or-less disappearance, didn't she leave the scene to raise her kids? I saw her opening for Maze in the mid-'90s 'cause she wanted to fly back home after the show.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Saturday, 22 November 2008 06:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

Good Enough, Priceless, and You Belong to Me are all beyond fantastic.

The New Herb Stempel (PappaWheelie V), Saturday, 22 November 2008 07:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, her version of "You Belong to Me" is cool. Really smart choice for her.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Saturday, 22 November 2008 07:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

The "Rapture" album was ace. Did she ever release anything else at all?

Geir Hongro, Saturday, 22 November 2008 11:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

The follow-up, Giving You the Best that I Got, was at least as good as Rapture; Compositions is great; My Everything, as I said above, is fantastic if you like what she does. I haven't heard Rhythm of Love, her '94 album, or The Songstress, her solo debut (she came from a group called Chapter 8), but I expect I'll have them eventually; I love the four albums I do have - the word "underrated" is overused but her records really do have a singular vibe, a considerably more lively & invested take on "quiet storm"/"lifestyle music"/whatever you want to call jazz-inflected mid-tempo pop.

J0hn D., Saturday, 22 November 2008 12:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

<3 Anita Baker; will check out the new one.

Manchego Bay (G00blar), Saturday, 22 November 2008 12:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

(btw if you get curious about Chapter 8, the LP changes hands for big money but its single is on youtube - - pretty great!)

J0hn D., Saturday, 22 November 2008 12:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

Rapture has enormous personal significance, but The Songstress remains her finest album IMO. Couldn't get enthused about the new one, when a friend played it to me on a late night car journey. I think I might just have been struggling with the genre... it's been a long time, and I couldn't altogether acclimatise.

mike t-diva, Saturday, 22 November 2008 13:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's not the sort of sound I can listen to all the time, but I still think she's great.

_Rockist__Scientist_, Saturday, 22 November 2008 18:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

"Everybody's got opinions about the way our story's gonna END."

cool and remote like dancing girls (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 8 May 2010 01:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

"mid 80's poxy synth sounds, rotten shoulder pad/jazzbar/filofax production"

in other words, my favoite music ever?

CLASSIC. definitely search the RAPTURE album ASAP.

akaky akakievich, Saturday, 4 December 2010 03:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

fAvoRiTe

akaky akakievich, Saturday, 4 December 2010 03:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

"Watch Your Step," y'all.

look at it, pwn3d, made u look at my peen/vadge (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 4 December 2010 03:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

"You Bring Me Joy," y'all.

go down on you in a thyatrr (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 4 June 2012 00:00 (six years ago) Permalink

christ Been So Long is fantastic.

piscesx, Monday, 4 June 2012 01:21 (six years ago) Permalink

also the cover of Rapture.. (fans self)

piscesx, Monday, 4 June 2012 01:22 (six years ago) Permalink

yep -- "Been So Long" sunk its claws into me tonight.

go down on you in a thyatrr (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 4 June 2012 01:42 (six years ago) Permalink

"Same Ole Love (365 Days)" is so fantastic

kel ler/pharmacists (some dude), Monday, 4 June 2012 02:08 (six years ago) Permalink

I should poll this thing, only because it's impossible to choose one perf.

go down on you in a thyatrr (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 4 June 2012 02:32 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

she has a new single, she's in great voice, album coming out, she is the fucking best

steven fucking tyler (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Wednesday, 15 August 2012 13:44 (five years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

fuck it -- I'll poll Rapture. Hoping every song places.

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 12 April 2013 20:06 (five years ago) Permalink

that album is kind of unfuckwitable

sandra dayo connor (The Reverend), Friday, 12 April 2013 21:26 (five years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

Nooooooo.

Eric H., Friday, 21 March 2014 12:30 (four years ago) Permalink

(Not an RIP.)

Eric H., Friday, 21 March 2014 12:31 (four years ago) Permalink

Is she still on the run from the cops and the contractor who says she didn't pay for her house work...?

curmudgeon, Friday, 21 March 2014 13:37 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

So y'all know

http://www.thefader.com/2018/01/02/anita-baker-final-concert-retirement

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 19:35 (five months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

i love compositions so much

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 29 March 2018 02:04 (two months ago) Permalink

That's the one I heard most on car trips and remember, "Lonely" in particular.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 29 March 2018 02:17 (two months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

i just saw her at jazzfest and it was one of the most joyous and powerful experiences i’ve ever had. she kept talking about how exhausted she was, which was fitting, bc she was pouring p much all of her energy into every song. also, what a beautifully preserved voice. the setlist was so perfect i wrote it down:

lady marmalade
mystery
sweet love
been so long
caught up in the rapture
no one in the world
same ol love
just because
giving you the best that i got
fairy tales

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Sunday, 6 May 2018 00:49 (one month ago) Permalink

"Been So Long"!

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 6 May 2018 01:09 (one month ago) Permalink

gonna go see her next month and I am soooo amped. I'm really hoping she does "serious" from a few years back, that song is a JAM.

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Sunday, 6 May 2018 02:05 (one month ago) Permalink

joan you are going to have a BLAST

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Sunday, 6 May 2018 02:41 (one month ago) Permalink

There isn't a week I don't listen to quiet storm that I don't hear "Same Ole Love."

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 6 May 2018 02:45 (one month ago) Permalink

off topic but: maura was watching aerosmith at the same time i was watching anita baker and they played “last child” and “adam’s apple”. wish i could’ve split myself in two

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Sunday, 6 May 2018 02:46 (one month ago) Permalink


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