Certain tracks transcend airplay and chart success to become defining of their eras. Few of these become canonical, universally acknowledged as being among the finest songs of all time.
Seal has songs that suit both categories, with “Crazy” eternally evoking the zeitgeist of the early 1990s and “Kiss from a Rose” garnering massive critical and popular acclaim in 1994 thanks to Batman eternally’s promotion.
Seal is revisiting the two self-titled albums from which these tracks originated on his current tour, for which he is accompanied as music director by their producer Trevor Horn.
Seal fans attending his back-to-back dates this weekend in Las Vegas can rejoice that their favorite works from Seal and Seal II will be performed by an artist at the top of his game, while audiophiles with respect for Trevor Horn’s history of audio excellence may be surprised to learn that The Buggles will serve as the opening act.
During his residency in Las Vegas, SEAL performs a set of his greatest hits.
That would be the band with the first video broadcast on MTV for the song “Video Killed the Radio Star.” As he amassed a large corpus of production work, Horn would go on to co-found Art of Noise and refine his innovative approach to studio work and sampling. Prior to meeting young rave enthusiast Seal, he was prepared to adapt his techniques to a pop music endeavor.
Having endured the school of hard knocks, Seal had the inspiration for “Kiss from a Rose” when DJ/musician Adamski asked him to contribute vocals to the uplifting EDM song “Killer.”
By that time, Seal had toured Europe and Asia, developing a style influenced by David Bowie’s art rock, Aretha Franklin’s artistry, Marvin Gaye’s tone, Frank Sinatra’s cadence, and Stevie Wonder’s soul.
His “solitary brother” lyrical contribution to “Killer” helped make the U.K. No. 1 single unforgettable. Horn was the one to recognize Seal’s potential as a solo artist. Seal discovered in Horn not only a person who wanted to hear him when he was a struggling, penniless artist, but also a person who knew precisely what to do with his voice.
Seal was eventually published in November 1990. In 1991, it was the album that everyone had, regardless of taste. The melodies served as dance or dinner music, perfect for getting lost in oneself or another during lengthy drives or evenings. In a time of change when nothing seemed certain, the lyrics were reassuring: “We’re never gonna survive/Unless we get a little crazy.”
Seal II was also a huge success, but it wasn’t until “Kiss from a Rose” became the saving grace of the box office failure Batman Forever that the song was exposed to a broad audience via the film’s end credits and a music video featuring Seal illuminated by the Bat Signal. Now, for a limited time, he is performing the song live while its producer creates its soundscape.