BELIEVE

 

 

After the poorly-received previous record It's a Man's World, Warner Bros. talked Cher into recording a dance album. Cher began working on Believe in summer 1998 in London, meeting with producers Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling, who had previously worked with Rob Dickins; Additional producers included Todd Terry ("Taxi Taxi") and Junior Vasquez (who had to originally worked on "Dov'è L'Amore" but when he sent back his version from New York, it was rejected by Dickens, who decided instead to give the production of the track to Taylor and Rawling as well); Vasquez's version can be heard in a remix form in the 1999 The Greatest Hits compilation.

Cher worked also with long-time collaborator Diane Warren (who wrote "Takin' Back My Heart") and covered two songs: "The Power" and "Love Is the Groove". Furthermore she decided to introduce a remix form of her 1988 single "We All Sleep Alone" from her 1987 Cher album.
The "Believe" single was originally written only by Brian Higgins, Matt Gray, Stuart McLennen and Tim Powell and circulated at Warner Bros. as an unwanted demo for months. Mark Taylor said, "Everyone loved the chorus but not the rest of the song; As we were already writing other songs for Cher, Rob asked us if we could sort it out. Two of our writers, Steve Torch and Paul Barry, got involved and eventually came up with a complete song that Rob and Cher were happy with."
During early sessions Cher recorded a cover version of "Love Is in the Air" that she previously performed a cappella on the talk show The Magic Hour in 1997. The song was mixed and produced by Junior Vasquez but it did not appear in the final cut of the album. Now it is only available on file sharing networks.
The album featured a new musical direction for Cher, with use of vocoder and auto-tune, most notably in the title track.

 

 

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The album was influenced by Sonny Bono's death in a skiing accident earlier that year. Believe is dedicated to him.

During early sessions Cher recorded a cover version of "Love Is in the Air" that she previously performed a cappella on the talk show The Magic Hour in 1997. The song was mixed and produced by Junior Vasquez but it did not appear in the final cut of the album. Now it is only available on file sharing networks.
The album featured a new musical direction for Cher, with use of vocoder and auto-tune, most notably in the title track. The album was influenced by Sonny Bono's death in a skiing accident earlier that year. Believe is dedicated to him.

Upon release, the album received mixed responses from international music critics. Allmusic's Michael Gallucci called Believe Cher's "latest playground move" and described Cher "merely moves through the beat factory with one drab vocal range into one endless, and personality-free, thump session" and "determinedly, if not wholeheartedly, clinging to the tail end of it". In his review he gave the album two and a half out of five stars. The major criticism was the strong use of vocoder which changed Cher's voice.
In 1999, the album received two Grammy Awards nominations for "Record of the Year", "Best Pop Album", as well as winning the Grammy Award for "Best Dance Recording". Throughout 1999 and 2000 Cher was nominated for, and won, many other awards for the album, including a Billboard Music Award for "Female Vocalist of the Year".

 

Photoshoot from "Believe"