One of the finest (and grittiest) soul singers to break out during the 1980s, with releases for the Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis production machine.
On November 15, 1954, was born Alexander O'Neal, an R&B and blues singer, songwriter and arranger from Minneapolis, Minnesota. With a a solid career spanning more than 30 years, he came to prominence in the middle of the 1980s as a solo artist, releasing fourteen singles that entered the top forty charts in the 1980s and 1990s. His solo singles, sometimes dealing with lost love include "If You Were Here Tonight", "Fake", "Criticize", "The Lovers", "(What Can I Say) To Make You Love Me", "The Christmas Song", "All True Man", "Love Makes No Sense", "In the Middle" and ¨What's Missing¨. He is also known for duets with fellow R&B singer and labelmate Cherrelle; such as "Saturday Love" and "Never Knew Love Like This".
This Minneapolis, Minnesota (via Natchez, Mississippi) soul man cut his teeth in the Time but bounced before the band signed with Warner Bros. His tough voice has the same grain and range as that of Otis Redding. Like that master, Alexander O'Neal was comfortable with pumping dancefloor burners and slinky couch-cuddlers. He's certainly the best singer Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have ever produced, and the strength of his material and his robust voice can be heard on releases including 1985's Alexander O'Neal, 1987's Hearsay (a number two R&B album), 1991's All True Man (a number three hit on the same chart), and 1998's Lovers Again. During the '80s and '90s, he racked up several Top Ten R&B singles, including two smash duets -- "Saturday Love" and "Never Knew Love Like This" -- with Tabu labelmate Cherrelle. He relocated to Britain, where his efforts had always been better received, and began to set up permanent shop there. His first British-only release, 2002's Saga of a Married Man, showed him developing into a smoother and more mature singer compared to his previous output. Later in the decade, he released the covers set Alex Loves... (2008), then started the 2010s with Five Questions: The New Journey and continued to perform on a regular basis. In 2013, his Tabu releases were part of a comprehensive reissue program in the U.K.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
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