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  • Rob


This is ‘Seal’ by Seal, not to be mistaken for ‘Seal’ by Seal, you understand. (I'm sure you will agree that a lot of thought went into naming his first two albums.)  This is the 1994 album, sometimes known as Seal II, which includes ‘Kiss From A Rose’ rather than the one that includes ‘Crazy’.

This album was bought by my girlfriend when it was released and played to death by me.  Originally picked up on the strength of ‘Rose…’, it didn’t take long to find out that it has some absolute belters and the hit featured in the Batman Forever soundtrack.

Tracks like ‘Prayer For The Dying’, ‘Dreaming In Metaphors’ and ‘If I Could’ all helped keep this album on repeat at a time when Britpop was almost all-consuming to me.  The record is filled with softer, melodic ballads that acted as a balm to all the angry, angular guitar music I bought then.

I’ve always loved the production on this album and just found out that it was Trevor Horn twiddling the knobs which explains a lot.  The album doesn’t just feature a superstar producer; plenty of respected artists pop up on the record, including Wendy & Lisa, Jeff Beck and Joni Mitchell, to name a few.

The album topped the UK album charts and sold over 5 million copies worldwide, winning three Grammy Awards, an Ivor Novello Award, two BMI Pop Awards, and several Brit Award nominations.

The record celebrated its 30th anniversary in May, and to honour this milestone, HMV included it in this year’s 1921 Edition releases, presenting it on what they describe as ‘milky clear vinyl’.  It isn’t cheap, coming in at a whopping £50, but it does come with a side of rarities, including a couple of decent Jimi Hendrix covers. 

Each listen convinces me it is worth every penny, though, as the memories from three decades ago come flooding back.  It has been a joy giving this record a blast for the first time in years. 

Tracks To Try: ‘Prayer For The Dying’, ‘Dreaming In Metaphors’, ‘Don’t Cry’, ‘Kiss From A Rose’, ‘People Asking Why’, ‘Newborn Friend’, ‘If I Could’


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