on 25 February 2006
Go to a bookshop (or online) and go to the music section. There will be a number of publications that will endeavour to depict the best albums of all time. On some occasions, this album will feature. Well, I’m of the opinion that this is one of the greatest albums of the 20th Century.
2006 marks the 20th anniversary of the original, so it’s an appropriate time to outline why ‘Rapture’ is regarded in my book as a truly great recording.
Simply, it’s a perfect production. Do not be put off by the fact it is only 8 tracks long clocking in around 40 minutes. Sometimes less is more! Also each song last around 5 minutes and when originally released on vinyl, there wasn’t the space to fit the same amount of tracks that a digital disc can with hold.
Anita Baker was known on a small scale following her debut ‘The Songstress’ and accumulated a fan base in America and Europe, but when signing to Elektra Records, her debut brought the little lady with the big voice to the masses. ‘Rapture’ opens with ‘Sweet Love’, a signature song of hers, and Anita shows the versatility of her voice, from the low whispery notes (a lead Toni Braxton later followed) before taking the listener to a vocal climax by using her higher register which posses both power and beauty. ‘You Bring Me Joy’ once again demonstrates that God-given vocal quality, and ‘Caught Up In The Rapture’ is a soul classic. ‘Mystery’ is a personal Baker favourite which is a fine arrangement that incorporates passion and intensity that so few vocalists are graced with. ‘No One In The World’ is stunning, and ‘Been So Long’, ‘Same Ole Love’ and ‘Watch You Step’ only prove this albums worth.
IN 2005, I was fortunate to see Anita Baker in concert at her one night only engagement at the Royal Albert Hall, London, and she sang all 8 songs from this album. Hearing and watching this very talented lady performing an album that has become such an important component in my musical repertoire was sheer joy, and I cannot recommend this album enough. The recently released live album ‘One Night Of Rapture’ recorded during the 1986 tour is also worth a listen, just to believe that Anita Baker is a gifted vocalist who deserves recognition.
Anita Baker epitomises the female vocalist with gusto! If you are yet to hear this amazing album, then send this straight to “Your Basket” and proceed to “checkout” and allow yourself to be caught up in the rapture of Anita Baker!
on 4 September 2005
On its release, immediate comparisons between Anita Baker and Nancy Wilson plus Sarah Vaughan abounded. These comparisons were a compliment, of course. However, Anita Baker really is in a class all by herself.
"Rapture" is such a classy album. The difference here was that Ms Baker didn't have to alter her style to cater to a mainstream audience; instead, that mainstream audience came to her.
I remember listening to this album for the first time all those years ago - it was such a breath of fresh air. Ms Baker's unique blend of nuanced soul, adult contemporary pop and modern jazz was a stunning. The album opens with the soaring vocals of "Sweet Love" which is excellent. However, it's "You Bring Me Joy" that puts shivers down my spine. The calibre of this gorgeous track is out of this world. I'll give this one 10/10!
"Caught Up In The Rapture" is perhaps the most radio-friendly track on the album. It's a real easy, mid tempo track with a lovely, catchy chorus.
"Been So Long" is a sophisticated, jazzy track with a Sarah Vaughanesque vocal performance. There's not one duff track here and I can quite happily listen to this album from beginning to end - without skipping any tracks. The music has stood the test of time and it still sounds fresh when played today. If you haven't discovered the treasures of this album, I recommend that you give it a try - you won't be disappointed!
on 12 October 2015
I purchased this to replace a very worn out copy of it that I have had for many years. It is a fantastic rarity in an album with every track being as brilliant as the last.
I never tire of it and have often recommended it as a great Soul Album to friends who are genuinely surprised that they have never heard of it before.
Well worth buying and definitely worth listening to. With every track being a classic its hard to pick the best one, although "No One In The World" always send chills up my spine. The whole thing runs beautifully, you put it on, press play, it starts with "Sweet Love" and goes from one great track to another and before you know it its all finished and you just press play again.
on 5 September 2013
This recording has been beautifully remastered by Music On Vinyl and is so much better than CD which I also have. My original LP I have had since the album was released has been played so many times that it needed replacement. There is not a bad track on the album. This is an absolute must for anyone who likes Anita.
The 1980s represented a particularly fruitful period for great soul music with the likes of Luther Vandross, Frankie Beverly & Maze and many, many outstanding female singers, of which Anita Baker was a prime example. Baker may not have had the vocal, or stylistic, range of an Aretha Franklin or even a Mary J Blige, but with this outstanding album from 1986 she achieved a well-deserved commercial breakthrough. What is particularly notable about Rapture is that, unlike soul albums from previous eras which often showcased one or two successful singles, here there is simply not a weak song – all eight songs have the potential to be hit singles and, indeed, four were. Baker also demonstrates her writing talent, taking sole writing credit for Been So Long (which features some great vocal pyrotechnics) and Watch Your Step, as well as delivering great versions of Rod Temperton’s Mystery and No One In The World (previously covered by Dionne Warwick). Haunting, beautiful melodies abound and Baker’s vocals are throughout infused with great emotion and passion. Highly recommended.
on 25 October 2004
This is one of my all-time favourite albums. I bought the LP when it came out, but it's well played and scratchy and I just needed to have the CD. EVERY single track on this album is absolutely amazing and I know the words by heart to all of them. Anita has a velvet-smooth voice and seems to express her innermost emotions in her music. When I watch her "Sweet Love" video she seems to be in a trance (almost resembling the swaying of Stevie Wonder) and gives her heart and soul to every single word. No other diva that's currently around can compete with her! While Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey sing technically perfectly and reach all the high and low notes, their vocals seems to be clinical compared to Anita Baker's. I don't think she cares much about singing "perfectly", she rather feels the music and lets her feelings carry the tune. All tracks are soulful, but I particularly love the more jazzy "Been so long". Perfect music for a romantic evening, for singing along when you have a broken heart and for lifting you up after a stressful day at work. Well, actually it's a joy to listen to at ANY time... I've got 2 other albums by Anita Baker and they are good too, but 8 times out of 10 I go for this one! I just feel the songs on this album are more outstanding and memorable than the later ones. Still, her new album is on my Christmas wish list.
on 19 December 2001
Buy this album !
I've just seen that "Rolling Stone" magazine have this as no.36 in the list of top albums of the 1980's. I think I'll be going round Mick Jaggers house to give him a dry slap !
This is possibly the greatest album of all time (any category)never mind the 80's. There's a fight going on in my house at the moment between "Rapture" and Marvin Gaye's "Whats Going On" and they are neck and neck on points.
Guaranteed to induce goosepimples, guaranteed to set a romantic mood, guaranteed to improve your life.......... get caught up in this rapture now!
on 15 December 2013
This was one of the best albums to come out in the '80's and I love it! Anita Baker didn't get the appreciation her beautifully husky voice deserved. This is an absolute cracker of an album and I'm really pleased to be able to have it on my iPhone to listen to as much as I ever did. It's an 'everyone who remembers the 80's' should have one!!
on 1 October 2007
This is an album that came out when I was a teenager and still at school. I hadn't heard about Anita Baker, had no idea who she was but when my older brother came home with this stuck under his arm one day and played it to me, well I just totally fell in love with it.
Every single track on here is brilliant. None of them, I repeat, none of them fall below par in any way whatsoever. There are only eight tracks on the album but they are all stars in their own right. My personal favourite is Been So Long but I love the other 7 just as much.
If you like Jazz, Soul, RnB then you absolutely have to make sure this is in your collection if it's not there already. It will be money well worth spent and you will not be disappointed. It is pure quality, nothing less.
on 30 November 2012
I bought this as a gift for my wife, whose tape got chewed in her car some years ago. After a few hundred hints I finally got the message.
Since then It has been in the CD player non stop, I think it was on repeat for the first week.
I think its safe to say she loves it.