“You can reach me by railway, you can reach me by trailway
You can reach me on an airplane, you can reach me with your mind
You can reach me by caravan, cross the desert like an Arab man
I don’t care how you get here, just – get here if you can” – Oleta Adams
The year was 1990 when singer/composer/musician Oleta Adams warmed our hearts like a roaring fire on a cold winter’s night with her debut release, Circle of One. There was a new voice bringing forth a new song in a time when everything seemed so synthesized. Her resonance grabs you with its clarity. You hear her every note and word without studio enhancements. She tells wonderful stories in her music of love, hope, faith, family, and life. Her musicianship is superb as she mesmerizes you on piano, keyboards, or organ. “Get Here“, written by Brenda Russell, became the unofficial anthem of Desert Storm. The soulful tracks “Circle of One” and “Rhythm of Life” were also popular. Her ballads “I’ve Got to Sing My Song” is a personal testimony and “You’ve Got to Give Me Room” tells poignantly of a love that can no longer grow. Her reading of “Everything Must Change” comes from a heart filled with emotion and the bonus track “Don’t Look Too Closely” invites us to come look deep inside her soul.
Oleta’s roots are in gospel which is evident in her soulfulness, brilliance, and control of a note. She also received classical training. She got her big break when the members of the band Tears For Fears saw her performing in Kansas City. She went on tour with them and recorded the songs “Woman in Chains” and “Badman’s Song” on their Seeds of Love album (“Woman in Chains” can also be found on The Very Best of Oleta Adams.) This pairing lead to a record deal and the recording of her solo album, Circle of One, which Roland Orzabal of TFF produced. Her husband, drummer John Cushon, played on her first album and has been with her ever since.
I got to see her at an outdoor festival earlier this summer and I must say, she gives her all on record and in her live performances. A hush fell over the crowd as she sang “My Heart Won’t Lie“, “Get Here“, and “I Just Had to Hear Your Voice” and we got up and danced on her mid and uptempo songs. She performed for over an hour and a half and she was magnificent. Her star definitely shines bright in my heart and I really hope that we can look forward to some new music from this amazing woman. Enjoy your music.
Oleta and the movies…
LaNita brought to my attention that Oleta sang “Love Never Forgets” in the movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back but it was not included on the movie soundtrack or on any of her albums. I ran out and got a copy of the movie to hear the song again and we will check to see if the song is currently available or will be available in the future. Stay tuned!!
Update: j-notes.com correspondent LaNita has learned that the song was an only an interlude for the funeral scene and not an entire song. This is why it was not included on the original movie soundtrack.
Oleta sang “Many Rivers to Cross” on the Jason’s Lyric movie soundtrack and it also on The Very Best of Oleta Adams. She also teamed with Brenda Russell on the gospel flavored “We Will Find A Way” from the Corrina, Corrina movie soundtrack which also features Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, and Billie Holiday. Amazing how one question can lead you down so many different roads.
Additional Oleta Adams Albums