To a Cher devotee such as myself this is an album that forms part of the collection, if not a devotee then you may be better off with a Greatest Hits. Make sure you get a copy of the song 'Believe' though, it is on The Greatest Hits.
I bought this album on cassette when it came out in 1987. I'm listening to the CD as I write this review. It is one of Cher's over-the-top albums, and I say that lovingly. It's fun, full of catchy tunes, with an overblown production with credits that read like a who's who in studio musicians. It is perfect listening when you are stuck in a traffic jam, or when you need music to propel you to clean your house. The high energy songs will help turn washing your windows or dishes into a tightly choreographed routine. Some reviewers refer to it as a comeback album, but for some of us, Cher never went away. There might have been a few years absence from the music charts, but does it really matter?
This is the first of three albums Cher recorded for the Geffen Company and it's a clear departure from her previous music. This was released in 1987 and marked Cher's return to the music business, after investing in a very sucessful film career. She hadn't recorded any new music for six years and this album marked also the beginning of a new sound for her. Moving to the Rock area, here she performs songs from Desmond Child, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Diane Warren (who has been writing great songs for her ever since) and Michael Bolton. Not distinguished for writting her own material, Cher's sucess as a singer his due to her powerful renditions of compositions by others. And here she is at her best. I FOUND SOMEONE (previously performed by Laura Branningham), was the first single release, followed by the amazing WE ALL SLEEP ALONE (this was recorded as a dance version for BELIEVE). BANG-BANG was a song from the Sonny & Cher days and here it is given a very distinct approach. SKIN DEEP became a club hit and it's a rock-dance song. There are also ballads in this, MAIN MAN and the great HARD ENOUGH GETTING OVER YOU, which could have been a great single. PERFECTION, DANGEROUS TIMES, GIVE OUR LOVE A FIGHTING CHANCE and WORKING GIRL are also worth the listen. A lot of the songwritters and producers working on this album would also appear in her two next ones, HEART OF STONE and LOVE HURTS. These were her most notorious albums for the 80's and all of them contain some of her most impressive, inspired and heartfelt vocal performances. Since this one was the first, it's a classic just for that.
Very few artists have successfully reinvented themselves as much as Cher has. In many ways, she's like America's version of Scotland's songbird Lulu, effortlessly adapting to the latest musical styles, and lifting herself from out of obscurity. Cher is an incredibly versatile talent, and it is her albums cut as a rock chick, a mistress of the power ballad on the Geffen record label, which I regard as being among her very best in such a long and varied career. The only reason why I have rated her self-titled Geffen debut, which was already her 18th studio album from 1987, four stars, is because I believe it's 1989 follow-up 'Heart of Stone' to be considerably stronger, but fans must not ignore this powerful, and very enjoyable comeback release.
With this one, Cher enlisted the writing and production talents of Desmond Child, who went onto do great things for Alice Cooper's ailing career as well, and penned half of these tracks. His contributions include the lovely power ballad 'Main Man', the catchy 'Working Girl' with Michael Bolton, and the hit single 'We All Sleep Alone', which was a collaboration with Bon Jovi's frontman Jon, and lead guitarist Richie Sambora, who was Cher's beau at the time.
Michael Bolton also co-wrote the powerful 'I Found Someone', a great song about a woman who has finally found another man who has given her the love and attention she needed from her boyfriend, and the beautiful album closer 'Hard Enough Getting Over You'. Powerful husky-voiced Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler provides the opening vocals to another Desmond song, 'Perfection', with Darlene Love on backing vocals. Another great moment is Cher's re-recording of 'Bang Bang', a song that was written by her boyfriend and singing partner Sonny, that she had hit gold with in the 1960s, but the similarities between the two versions couldn't have been more different, rather like Marianne Faithfull's 1964 version of 'As Tears Go By', and her superb re-recording of it, which coincidently, was also in 1987.
Cher gave everyone a surprise when she released this powerful album, demonstrating a very different sound. It put her back on the map as a major female star, reminded people of her excellent, emotional and sinecure deep vocals, and there were even better things to come.
This Cher album seems like a start for yet another BIG era of Cher songs. It includes awsome hits like I Found Someone, We All Sleep Alone and Bang Bang, which are still played live in concert. Also a very beautiful and touching ballad Main Man is on this album. After this album came If I Could Turn Back Time, so I really think this was the prelude to that explosive era of Cherdom!
I have given this product a 5 star rating because it is by far the best 'Cher' CD that she has done. My relative loves it and plays it all the time. It has some of her best songs on it and is well worth purchasing if you are a 'Cher' Fan. Thank you