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Artist: D'angelo
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Brown Sugar (Explicit Version) CD 1 of 1
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Learn more about Brown Sugar (Explicit Version):

Format: CD
Sku: 60135770
UPC: 724383262922
UPC 14: 00724383262922
Release Date: 7/3/1995
See more in R&B / Soul

Song Listing

Disc 1
Song Title
1. Brown Sugar ~ D'Angelo (R&B)
2. Alright ~ D'Angelo (R&B)
3. Jonz In My Bonz ~ D'Angelo (R&B)
4. Me And Those Dreamin' Eyes Of Mine ~ D'Angelo (R&B)
5. S.D.M. ~ D'Angelo (R&B)
6. Smooth ~ D'Angelo (R&B)
7. Cruisin' ~ D'Angelo (R&B)
8. When We Get By ~ D'Angelo (R&B)
9. Lady ~ D'Angelo (R&B)
10. Higher ~ D'Angelo (R&B)

Album Notes and Credits

Notes & Personnel Info
Muze PNote Personnel: D'Angelo (vocals, various instruments); Rafael Saadiq (guitar, bass); Mark Whitfield, Bob Power (guitar); Laura Vivino (flute, piccolo); Bob "Bassy" Brockman (trumpet); Tim Christian (piano); Larry Grenadier, Will Lee (bass); Gene Lake, Ralph Rolle (drums); Ali Shaheed Muhammad (drum programming).
Muze PNote Producers: D'Angelo, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Bob Power, Rafael Saadiq.
Muze PNote Engineers: Bob Power, G-Spot, Darrin Harris.
Muze PNote Recorded at Pookie Lab, Sacramento, California; Battery Studios and RPM Studios, New York.
Muze PNote The single "Brown Sugar" was nominated for 1996 Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song, and the album was nominated for Best R&B Album.
Muze PNote "Lady" was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
Muze PNote Personnel: D'Angelo (vocals); Mark Whitfield, Raphael Saadiq, Bob Power (guitar); Winterton Garvey, Alexander Simionescu, Marilyn Wright, Masako Yanagita, Gerald Tarack, Regis Iandiorio, Matthew Raimondi (violin); Sue Pray, Julien Barber, Eufrosina Railenu, Olivia Koppell (viola); Seymour Barab, Jesse Levy (cello); Laura Vivino (flute, piccolo); Bob Brockman (trumpet); Tim Christian (piano); Gene Lake, Ralph Rolle (drums); Ali Shaheed Muhammad (programming, drum programming).
Muze PNote Audio Mixers: G-Spot ; Russell Elevado; Bob Power.
Muze PNote Recording information: Back Pocket Studios, New York, NY; Battery Studios, New York, NY; Pookie Lab, Sacramento, CA; Quad Recording Studios, New York, NY; RPM St; Soundtrack, New York, NY.
Muze PNote Arrangers: D'Angelo; Dunn Pearson, Jr.; Raphael Saadiq.
Muze PNote All the new jacks who talk about molding the forces of classic R&B's style, hip-hop's modernism, and jazz's flexibility into a sleek, soulful package should take a good close look at D'Angelo's debut. BROWN SUGAR is audacious enough to succeed on aesthetics alone. Instead of stilted, synthetic textures, there is the constant warmth of a Fender Rhodes electric piano (evoking Stevie and Marvin's mid-'70s records), and rather than filling the air with shrieking castrato vocals, there are four-part harmonies peeking out from behind every corner. In short, BROWN SUGAR is an honest-to-goodness soul record without the hollow bluster of modern soul.
Muze PNote Some of the credit for this must go to the 21-year-old's choice of collaborators--or the absence of. Rather than hand his talents over to any of the uber-producers who rule modern R&B, D'Angelo handles most tasks himself--from writing and producing to arranging and playing (including all vocals and most of the instrumentation). When he does turn for help, D'Angelo takes on musicians with distinctive feels--Tribe Called Quest DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Tony! Toni! Ton?!'s Rafael Saadiq--then works to their strengths. "Brown Sugar" percolates between Muhammad's breathy, organic jazz track, accented by a sleek snare and laid-back piano, and D'Angelo's playful, sexually-charged delivery. On "Lady," Saadiq's funky licks try to steal the song away from the melodious Four Tops-like chorus, playing to a wonderful draw. When alone, D'Angelo sculpts pieces as warmly innovative as "When We Get By," with its swingin' stride bass, and as traditionally uplifting as the gospel "Higher," on which D'Angelo's organ competes for the spotlight with a choir of his voices.

Musical Guests
Muze Guest Artist Mark Whitfield
Muze Guest Artist Raphael Saadiq
Muze Guest Artist Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Artist Overview

The mid-'90s urban music scene may have been dominated by rap acts, but such sexy soul artists as Maxwell, Tevin Campbell, and especially D'Angelo balanced things out. D'Angelo revisited the smooth and soulful sounds of such legendary '60s crooners as Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and Isaac Hayes on such hit releases as 1995's Brown Sugar and 2000's Voodoo.

Compilation Appearances

Muze Music Compilations Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
Muze Music Compilations Vol. 1-Wu-Chronicles (Explicit Version)
Muze Music Compilations Vol. 2-Chapter Ii (Explicit Version)
Muze Music Compilations Instant Vintage
Muze Music Compilations Home Grown Guide To Understanding V1(Explicit Version)
Muze Music Compilations L-Word: Season 3
Muze Music Compilations Blue Carpet Treatment (Explicit Version)
Muze Music Compilations No Strings Attached (Ost)
Muze Music Compilations Ultimate Grammy Collection: Contemporary R&B
Muze Music Compilations ICON:METHOD MAN(Explicit Version)

Associated Artists and Works


Technical Info

Music Release Date Release Date : 06/26/1995
Music Original Release Date Original Release Date : 1995
Music CatalogId Catalog ID : CTCD 46
Music Label Name Label : Virgin
Music Number of Discs Number of Discs : 1
Music Studio or Live Studio/Live : Studio
Music Mono or Stereo Mono/Stereo : Stereo
Music SPAR code SPAR Code : n/a
Music UPC UPC : 00724383262922

Professional Reviews

Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.74)
- Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."

Rolling Stone (9/7/95, pp.71-72)
- 3.5 Stars (out of 5)
- "...makes the nasty rhythms bubbling underneath his multilayered love songs seem old and new as the same time....a reminder of where R&B has been and, if the genre is to resurrect its creative relevance like a phoenix rising from the ashes, where it needs to go..."

Spin (10/95, p.116)
- 8 (out of 10)
- "...he applies the lesson of sampling --savoring essence while still messing with meaning--in the service of soul's integrationist spirit....the true inheritor of...'70s soul men...for a...substantial reason: he's proven himself...adept in the mysteries of the groove."

Entertainment Weekly (6/30-7/7/95, p.100)
- "Love--both sugary sweet and delightfully nasty--is what D'Angelo's debut serves up....Husky bedroom oohs and ahhs segue effortlessly into airy, retro-styled ballads, suggesting late nights and dimmed lights." - Rating: A

Vibe (8/95, p.125)
- "...determined to give pre-hip hop forms like blues, soul, gospel, and jazz a mid-'90s vibe....inhabits his songs from odd angles, without non-stop Vandross-style aural showmanship....Most of this important debut is a joy to listen to..."

Village Voice (2/20/96)
- Ranked #21 in Village Voice's 1995 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.

Mojo (Publisher)
- Ranked #97 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "BROWN SUGAR is a deep, dope-fuelled meditation on love, sex and betrayal..."

NME (Magazine)
(7/22/95, p.50)
- 9 (out of 10)
- "...D'Angelo's downbeat world blurs the borders..., kicking over the traces of the genre game and shrugging, demanding that you...just absorb the sultry atmosphere he sets up with his little-more-than-nothing beats and Russian doll vocals....a major, major record..."

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