|First posted 4/1/2008; updated 11/24/2020.|
Forever Your Girl
Released: June 21, 1988
Peak: 110 US, 3 UK, 1 CN, 11 AU
Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.3 UK, 18.0 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: dance pop
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)
3.722 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)
Quotable: “A consistent album with some great dance-pop songs” – Bryan Buss, All Music Guide
About the Album:
Paula Abdul started her career as a cheerleader for the L.A. Lakers, later becoming the head choreographer. She became an in-demand choreographer for music videos for artists including Janet Jackson, George Michael, Duran Duran, and ZZ Top. WK Jeff Ayeroff, who’d worked with Janet Jackson, signed Abdul to a record deal with Virgin Records after she made a singing demo. He said years later, “Here’s someone with a personality and she’s gorgeous, and she can dance. If she can sing, she could be a star. So she went into the studo and cut a demo record and she could sing.” WK
She was relatively untrained as a singer, but worked with coaches and producers to develop her voice. While she still had “a slight voice, her voice is distinct and perfectly suited to…synthesized late-‘80s dance-pop.” AMG Her first album, Forever Your Girl, became the most successful debut album of all time. WK It sold 7 million copies on the strength of of four chart-topping singles in the U.S., a first for a debut album. WK
As big as it became, the album’s rise was slow and steady. It didn’t really take off until Straight Up, the third single. The first single, Knocked Out, stalled just outside the top 40 and It’s Just the Way That You Love Me failed to hit the pop charts. It would, however, rechart and reach #3 after it was re-released a year later.
Before it recharted, however, Abdul followed “Straight Up” straight to the top of the charts with two more #1 songs – the “sweet and accessible” AMG and the “insistent and catchy” AMG Cold Hearted. Her fourth trip to the top, Opposites Attract, teamed her up with the Wild Pair and was marketed by a clever video of her dancing with a cartoon cat.
“There is some filler – Next to You, for example – that hasn’t aged as well as the better material, but overall this is a consistent album with some great dance-pop songs. Unfortunately, as Abdul and her material matured, her audience waned.” AMG
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