Today the world will finally be able to purchase the final album of the late great Teena Marie entitled “Beautiful.” This album is bitter sweet in the sense that it will be the last new album of songs, from one of the best voices ever to record R&B/Soul music.
The album is executive produced by Teena‘s daughter Alia Rose who recently told Rolling Stone “The album was actually finished right before Christmas – she was getting ready to go get a deal, and she didn’t make it there. I started moving the day after the funeral.” Alia is featured on featured on the tracks “Rare Breed” and a cover of Curtis Mayfield‘s “Give Me Your Love.”
Alia Rose spoke to Rolling Stone about the single “The Long Play” saying “It’s like you’re going on a journey with her to where she was going. When you take time and really listen to the lyrics, it’s like she’s singing about what’s about to happen and what she’s about to do,” she says. “I do believe she in a sense knew what was going to happen, and that she was almost documenting it for us.”
Listen to the full album below and make sure you download it from iTunes which fetures the exclusive “OOO Baby Baby” or pick it up at your local retailer!
Teena Marie signed to Motown in 1976 when she was just 20 years old, but didn’t record her first album, co-produced by Rick James, until 1979. What fans had heard of but never had confirmed, is that Teena recorded at Motown from April 1976 – May 1977, nearly two years before James “discovered” her. Those rare and precious early recordings, was later approved for release by Teena for a 2-CD set entitled “First Class Love: Rare Tee.”
Teena‘s first release on Motown was the album “Wild and Peaceful” in 1979. The albums packaging did not include an image of Marie. Rumor has it, it was so R&B buyers would not dismiss her on discovering that she was White. The albums first single “I’m a Sucker for Your Love” reached #8 on the R&B charts and her mentor Rick James appeared on the single “I’m a Sucker for Your Love“.
Teena released four albums for Motown between 1978-1981 (Wild and Peaceful (1979), Lady T (1980), Irons in the Fire (1980) and It Must Be Magic (1981)). Lady T, her second Motown album, featured the massive funk hit “Behind The Groove” and became a top 20 R&B success. Though James produced her first album, Richard Rudolph (Minnie Riperton) co-produced her second. With “Now That I Have You,” “Aladdin’s Lamp” and “Behind The Groove” (#21 R&B in the U.S. and a Top 10 disco smash in the U.K.) —Marie would be the major writer and sole producer of her remaining albums.
“Irons In The Fire,” her third album was her first self-production, the album was a top 10 Urban and top 40 Pop smash led by the hit “I Need Your Lovin’,” as well as key album tracks, from the hard-hitting “First Class Love” to the jazzy “You Make Love Like Springtime.”
Teena would go Gold with her next release, 1981’s Grammy-nominated “It Must Be Magic,” which included the Top 5 R&B “Square Biz,” the jazzy “Portuguese Love” and the Top 30 R&B title track. “Square Biz” expressed her deep feelings for Motown‘s musical heritage, with allusions to Smokey Robinson and the Marvelettes, and vocal backup by The Temptations.
That was Teena‘s last album on Motown, she would later sue the company due to nonpayment of royalties in 1982. At the time Teena owed the label one more album, however after settling with her out of court they let her out of her deal. Teena then signed with Epic Records. Her first release for the label was 1983’s “Robbery.”
Teena‘s next album 1984’s Platinum “Starchild” became the highest-selling album of her career. The single “Lovergirl” from that album to this date has been Teena‘s biggest mainstream hit reaching #4. “My Dear Mr. Gaye” was a single on the album she recorded as a tribute to Marvin Gaye who had been shot by his father earlier that year.
1986’s “Emerald City” is where Teena stepped away from her “blue-eyed soul” label for a minute and recorded somewhat of an Jazz/Rock album. “Lips to Find You” and “Love Me Down Easy” were the two singles released from that album.
“Naked to the World” released in 1988 would be the album that featured Teena‘s very first and only #1 R&B single “Ooo La La La.” Rick James appears on “Call Me (I Got Yo Number),” “The Once and Future Dream.”
“Ivory” released in 1990 was Teena‘s last album for Epic Records and featured the singles “If I Were a Bell,” “Here’s Looking at You” and “Since Day One,” all of them were hits.
Teena would release her next album on her own independent label Sarai, entitled “Passion Play.” The album included the single “Wild Horses. While the album featured to guest, Lenny Kravitz on “Main Squeeze” and rapper Yo-Yo on “Sweet on You.”
“La Doña” was the eleventh album by Teena Marie, which was released in 2004 on Ca$h Money. This album brought Lady T back in the lime-light and introduced her music to a whole new breed of fans. The lead-off single “I’m Still in Love” (which sampled Al Green’s 1972 track “I’m Still in Love with You”) was nominated for a Grammy award in 2005 in the category Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Rick James was featured on “I Got You” which turned out to be the last recording he recorded before his death. Other guests included Gerald Levert on “A Rose by Any Other Name,” Common on “Revelations 3:8 Introduction,” Birdman on “Off the Chain,” MC Lyte on “The Mackin’ Game” and Teena’s daughter, Alia Rose made her debut on “High Yellow Girl.” The album reached #6 on the Billboard 200, her highest ever on that chart, while reaching #3 on the R&B albums chart. The album went Gold.
On “Sapphire” her second release for Ca$h Money released in 2006, Teena Marie delivered the goods expected by her loyal fan base. It’s the perfect blend of sultry ballads, uptempo funk jams and down right “feel good” music. The album features collaborations with R&B legend Smokey Robinson on “God Has Created,” west coast rapper Kurupt on “Baby Whose Is It.” “You Blow Me Away” is a single Teena recorded for the set to pay tribute to Rick James, and another song “Resilient (Sapphire)” is dedicated to the victims and survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
Teena‘s last album before her death was 2009‘s “Congo Square.” Released on Stax/Concord, the album featured guest appearances by MC Lyte, George Duke, Shirley Murdock, Howard Hewett, Alia Rose and Faith Evans on the lead single “Can’t Last a Day.” The album reached #4 on the R&B albums chart.
Through her musical career Teena also blessed many other recording artists with her incredible voice, by recording with them. “Fire and Desire” her duet with Rick James for his “Street Songs” album is still a classic till this day! Other artists Teena recorded with include Hip-Hop recording artists Snoop Dogg, YoYo and Eve.
A pioneer for women, Lady T was that rare soul diva who writes, produced and arranged much of her material, and her creative influence has been acknowledged with tributes by The Fugees (“Fu-Gee-La”) and Soul II Soul (their collaboration “Since Day One”). When she performed in early 2000 at the Los Angeles House of Blues, the sold-out crowd was filled with hip-hop heads as well as fans of Old School R&B.
Teena Marie’s Final Album “Beautiful” Is In Stores Now!
(Skyyler & Aries – UrbanBridgez.com)