Believe image

Believe

Album by Cher
1998, 10 tracks, 42 mins 7 sec

Narratives(2)

Jun 28, 2019

This is the one album where the re-engineering that the artist constantly performs finally paid off.

A little above thirty years have passed since the American diva, Cher conquered her fear of crowds and unveiled her awesome musical skills to the world and contrary to the popular notion that her career was going to fall as easily as it arose, she was still doing what she did best. “Believe” is the artist's twenty second album and quite a number of them were successful (some more than others). She dedicated the album to her ex-husband Sonny Bono who had died the same year the album was released. I think it’s nice that despite their divorce they still managed to remain friends. This album in particular was the follow up for a failed album. Rather than giving up, she went back into the studio and cooked up these beats which are quite eccentric. The pop diva followed a new direction musically, she changed her genre from pop to dance pop and her songs featured the use of auto tunes. Her lyrics communicated a different message this time, rather than lamenting about the lows of falling in love, she focused on topics of freedom; freedom of anyone to choose how, when, where and why s/he wanted to live and who they wanted to live that life with. Before the release of the album, her label wanted to take out the auto tunes but thankfully she refused. Eventually, the album was a great success. It was so good it won the Grammy award for “best dance recording” that year. It topped the chart in six countries and was listed among the top ten in several other countries. Based on these two achievements, the use of auto tunes became an accepted practice worldwide. The particular tune she used today is known as the “Cher effect” in the auto tune manual. Despite all the things that she achieved through this album, it really does not sound as good as the statistics say it is. If I was to rate the album, it will be below average. The auto tunes really didn’t work well with her vocals and that made it difficult to hear her words. Although the vibe was strong and thrilling, it really didn’t sound like Cher. It was as though I was listening to an entirely different artist.

May 10, 2019

Cher Ruled The World’s Dance Clubs In A Track That Made All Of Us Believe

There was a time when radio played a big role in introducing new songs to listeners as we, the audience, didn’t have the worldwide-web at that time. Arguably, the Internet has really democratized how musicians and artist can release their music. During my youth, in a way, radio programmers dictated to the listeners what they wanted us to listen to. Also, competition was not as intense as it is today, where there are so many distractions around the listener, that musicians and artists only have a short window of opportunity to attract the listener’s attention. Anyway, in the late 90s, Cher had already been off the radio radar for a long time, and it had been a decade since she had hits like “If I Could Turn Back Time” or “Just Like Jesse James” - and local radio in the Philippines would most likely not play her. Unless of course, she debuted in the popular radio program during my time, the American Top 40 – and at around this time, Rick Dees was already the DJ. That programme aired every 2-6PM Sunday afternoons and I would always be glued to my favorite radio station at those times. One particular Sunday, around December 1998, Rick Dees introduced Cher’s new single at that time, “Believe” which debuted at #40, so it was the first song played in the countdown. It was a magical listening moment – three minutes of pure bliss and joy, astounded at how Cher sounded and how futuristic the song sounded, in a sea of mostly urban and R&B flavored hits of the late 90s. The only other time I felt that way listening to a song for the first time was 10 years earlier when Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” also debuted at #40 in the same radio countdown. Well, everybody knows now about the Auto-tune and how that helped Cher sound so modern in the song. I guess they had to do that because of Cher’s long history in music (she started way back in the 60s) so they made sure that the 60s and 70s and 80s Cher did not sound like how she sounded in the song “Believe”! The rest is history and the song is now one of the most memorable dance songs ever produced and it finally won for Cher a Grammy award for Best Dance Recording.

Written by @tonyfabelous from Fabelousity

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Album Info

"Believe"

Artist

Released

  • Oct 26, 1998

Genres

  • Dance-Pop

Label

  • Wea
  • Warner Bros.

Producer

  • Mark Taylor
  • Brian Rawling
  • Junior Vasquez
  • Todd Terry
  • Rob Dickins (executive producer)

Studio

  • Dreamhouse Studios, LondonSoundworks Studios, New York

About

Believe is the twenty-second studio album by American singer-actress Cher, first released on October 22, 1998 by WEA and distributed in North America by Warner Bros. Records. Following the failure of her previous studio album It's a Man's World, her record company encouraged her to return to the studio to pursue a new musical direction. Recording took place over the summer at the Dreamhouse Studios in London and the Soundworks Studios in New York under the guidance of English producers Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling. The album was dedicated to her ex-husband Sonny Bono, who died earlier that year.
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