Seal emerged from England\'s house music scene in the early \'90s to become the most popular British soul vocalist of the decade. Although his earliest material still showed signs of acid house, by the mid-\'90s he had created a distinctive fusion of soul, folk, pop, dance, and rock that brought him success on both sides of the Atlantic.
The son of Nigerian and Brazilian parents, Seal was raised in England. After graduating with an architectural degree, he took various jobs around London, including electrical engineering and designing leather clothing. After a while, he began singing in local clubs and bars. He joined an English funk band called Push, touring Japan with the band in the mid-\'80s. When he was in Asia, he joined a Thailand-based blues band. After a short time with that group, he traveled throughout India on his own.
Upon returning to England, Seal met Adamski, a house and techno producer who had yet to make much of an impression within the U.K. Seal provided the lyrics and vocals for Adamski\'s \"Killer,\" which became a number one hit in 1990. After \"Killer\" became a hit, Seal signed a solo record contract. He recorded his eponymous debut album with Trevor Horn, who had previously worked with ABC, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and the Buggles. The first single pulled from the album, \"Crazy,\" became a number 15 hit in the U.K. and reached number seven in America upon its release in 1991. Seal was also a success, reaching number 24 in America and selling over three million copies around the world.
After the success of his debut, Seal took three years to complete his second album. In between the two records, he appeared on the Jimi Hendrix tribute album Stone Free, singing on Jeff Beck\'s version of \"Manic Depression.\" In the summer of 1994, he released his second album, which was also titled Seal. Preceded by the American Top 40 hit \"Prayer for the Dying,\" the album did well upon its release, peaking at number 20 and selling a million copies by the spring of 1995, but it didn\'t really take off until a year after its release, when \"Kiss from a Rose\" was featured on the soundtrack to Batman Forever. \"Kiss from a Rose\" became a number one pop single in America and spent a total of 12 weeks at the top of the adult contemporary charts; the single spent a total of 45 weeks on the adult contemporary charts.
The success of \"Kiss from a Rose\" sent its parent album, Seal, into multi-platinum status; two years after its original release, the album had sold over four million copies in the U.S. alone. Human Being hit the shelves in 1998, with Seal IV following five years later. The career-spanning Best: 1991-2004 appeared in October 2004 with the live CD/DVD combo Live in Paris following a year later. In 2007, Seal returned with the studio full-length System, which featured a duet with his wife, Heidi Klum, whom he married in 2005.
CD Pressing Information
Format: CD, Album
Released: May 1994
Style: Pop Rock
Arranged By [Orchestra Session] -
Arranged By [Strings] -
Anne Dudley , Will Malone*
Carmen Rizzo , Gregg Jackman , Paul Wright , Robin Barclay ,
Sean Chenery , Steve Fitzmaurice , Steve MacMillan , Tim Weidner
Andy Duncan , Andy Newmark , Anne Dudley , Anthony Pleeth , Barry Wilde , Ben Cruft , Betsy Cook , Bill Benham , Bob Smissen , Boguslaw Kostecki , Carmen Rizzo , Charley Drayton , Chris Bruce , Chris Laurence , D\'Influence , David Oladunni , David Theodore , Derek Watkins , Dick Morgan , Eddie Roberts (2) , W. Garfield-Jackson* , Gavin Wright* , George Robertson , Gota Yashiki , Gus Isidore , Harvey Mason , Helen Liebmann , Ian Thomas , Jackie Shave , Jamie Muhoberac , Jeff Beck , Jim McLeod , John Pigneguy , Jon Evans-Jones* , Joseph Fiddler , Judd Procter , Kate Wilkinson* , Laurence Cottle , Lisa Coleman , Luis Jardim , Maciej Rakowski , Mark Berrow , Mark Mann , Martin Loveday , Mike Brittain , Mike De Saulles , Nick Busch , Pandit Dinesh , Patrick Kiernan , Paul Kegg , Perry Montague-Mason , Peter Oxer , Phil Spalding , Pino Palladino , Richard Cottle , Rita Manning , Roger Garland , Roger Smith (3) , Sam Maitland , Sarah Webb , Seal , Tim Weidner , Tony Stanton , Trevor Horn , Wendy Melvoin , Wilfred Gibson* , William Orbit
Mixed By -
Steve Fitzmaurice , Steve MacMillan , Tim Weidner
Programmed By -
Carmen Rizzo , Eric Cadieux , Tim Weidner
Seal II album review from allmusic.com
Review by MacKenzie Wilson
Fresh from his 1991 self-titled debut, Seal followed with another self-titled release. And true to form, it\'s another stunning work, although it becomes clear that a musical maturation has taken place. Produced by ex-Buggles frontman Trevor Horn (Pet Shop Boys, ABC, Yes, Frankie Goes to Hollywood), Seal is far more enchanting than his debut. True, Seal is a bit too relaxed at times, but aside from that criticism, the record is lush with harmonies and over-the-top melodies. \"Don\'t Cry\" flows with the luxuriant vibes of a hushed vocal and a bellowing string arrangement. Seal showcases his collaborative talent with \"If I Could,\" a duet featuring Canadian folkie Joni Mitchell. \"Kiss from a Rose\" and \"Prayer for the Dying\" established Seal as a household name after both became radio and television mainstays. The soul is there, hauntingly similar to singer Terence Trent D\'Arby. But what\'s so unique about Seal is his gift of transforming free-flowing songs into quick dancefloor tracks with a transcendent step into musical magic. His voice has a spell like that, and his second album reflects such skills.
Seal - Seal II (1994)
01. Bring It On 03:57
02. Prayer for the Dying 05:30
03. Dreaming in Metaphors 05:51
04. Don\'t Cry 06:17
05. Fast Changes 05:41
06. Kiss from a Rose 04:47
07. People Asking Why 04:45
08. Newborn Friend 04:04
09. If I Could 04:16
10. I\'m Alive 04:01
11. Bring It On (Reprise) 01:16