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Forever Your Girl single

 

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Forever Your Girl single
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DISCOGRAPHY

Singles from Forever Your Girl

Knocked Out
The Way That You Love Me
Straight Up
Forever Your Girl
Cold Hearted
Opposites Attract

Studio Albums

Forever Your Girl
Spellbound
Head Over Heels
Unreleased Album

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Forever Your Girl (single release)

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Still image from the Forever Your Girl music videoAfter the success of "Straight Up," Virgin Records quickly released another single to satisfy the public’s newfound interest in Paula Abdul.

Released on February 20, 1989, "Forever Your Girl" is the 4th single from the album of the same name. It was written and produced by Oliver Leiber. The song became the second #1 from her debut album, which would eventually yield a record of four #1 singles.

After the release of the song, the phrase “Forever Your Girl” became a career slogan for Abdul, and is still often used in articles about her to this day.

The video was directed by David Fincher, and featured Abdul acting as a choreographer and director of a children's performance (a 6-year-old Trevor Wright, 8-year-old Elijah Wood and 10-year-old Nikki Cox were among them). The "Forever Your Girl" video spent two weeks at number one on MTV's video rotation and helped Still image from the Forever Your Girl music videoestablish Abdul as a leading visual entertainer.

The video also satirized Robert Palmer videos, having three little girls dressed like the three women who play backup guitars in his videos (black dresses, red lipstick, white makeup, and hair tied in buns).

“It was a magical video for me – I just loved working with the kids.  Sometimes, when I was having my hair and makeup done for the shoot I would drag the stylers onto the set so I could watch them play”, says Paula.
Still image from the Forever Your Girl music video
The song was also a part of a medley Abdul sang at the 1989 MTV Music Video Awards.

"Forever Your Girl" spent two weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1989, and charted at #24 in the UK and #17 in Germany.

The video was released commercially on VHS and DVD and is also available for download on the U.S. iTunes store.

Single Releases & Tracklisting

Forever Your Girl

US 12" Record 0-96565:

1. Forever Your Girl - Saunderson-Grosse House of Love Mix
2. Forever Your Girl - 12" Version
3. Forever Your Girl - Yo! Greg Dub Version
4. Straight Up - Kevin Saunderson Club Mix
5. Next to You - LP

US CD Promo PRCD 2647:

1. Forever Your Girl - 7" Remix  [Lyrics]

US Cassette 7 99230-4:

1. Forever Your Girl - 7" Remix
2. Next To You - LP

UK 3" CD SRNCD 112:

1. Forever Your Girl - 7" Remix
2. Straight Up - Edit
3. Next To You - LP
4. Forever Your Girl - 12" Version

Single Credits

Written by Oliver Leiber
Produced and arranged by Oliver Leiber for The Noise Club

© 1988 Ollie Leiber Music (ASCAP)
Recorded at Creation Audio, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mixed at Larabee Studios, Los Angeles, California
Engineered by Steve Weise
Mixed by Keith "K.C." Cohen
Lead Vocals: Paula Abdul
Drum Programming, Keyboards, Guitar: Oliver Leiber
Bass, Organ: St. Paul
Saxophone: Troy Williams
Background Vocals: Paula Abdul, The Wild Pair, Tami Day, Lucia Newell
Additional drum programming and keyboards: Jeff Lorber

Song Notes / Interview with Oliver Leiber

Paula Abdul's signature song, this was the title track to her first album. Abdul was a former cheerleader and successful choreographer when she was signed to Virgin Records, who put a lot of resources into launching her music career. Paula was looking for the Minnesota Funk sound popularized by Prince, and she found it in Oliver Leiber, who was an unknown songwriter/producer living in Minnesota. His demo of "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" found Paula when she was choreographing the "Rich Man" video for Oliver's friend Paul Peterson, who recorded as "St. Paul."

After recording "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me," Oliver worked with Paula on another song: a tune he had written as "Small Town Girl." In an interview with Oliver Leiber, he said: "It was going to be about this girl I was dating from Fargo, North Dakota. It had a sort of innocence, and was very major. I played Paula this track, and she really dug it. She's like, 'Can you write something for me?' And, having spent a little time with her, and in the process of cutting vocals on 'The Way That You Love Me,' I got a sense of her personality, and this track ended up being 'Forever Your Girl.' It was the same spirit, a very sweet sort of major-y pop song, so it wasn't a large departure to go from 'Small Town Girl' to 'Forever Your Girl.' As all of us writers do, you try and crawl inside the artist and assume their personality, and try and write something that feels germane to them. So 'Forever Your Girl' was me writing to Paula's personality and perspective. I finished that and sent a demo, and they dug it."

Oliver Leiber is the son of Jerry Leiber from the famous Leiber and Stoller songwriting team, but if you think he coasted through the business on his pedigree, you'd be mistaken. Determined to make an impact outside of his father's influence, Oliver kept quiet about his famous father and worked his way up, living in a cramped apartment where he created tracks in his bedroom. The track that formed the basis for this song was a happy accident. Says Oliver: "That was a three-chord idea that came about by trying to show one of my five roommates what a sequencer was. It was very new back in '84-5, and I was showing him how you could record into the computer. So these three chords came out, and that became the basis of a track."

In 8 seasons as a judge on American Idol, Paula Abdul was by far the most forgiving panelist, frequently finding something nice to say about even the most dreadful performances. She seemed to understand what the contestants were going through, and they always appreciated her encouragement.

To understand why Paula found it so hard to eviscerate contestants Simon Cowell-style, take a look at her early recording session. The first track she recorded was "Knocked Out" in a session helmed by the famous producers LA Reid and Babyface. Her next sessions were with the unknown Oliver Leiber, first recording "'The Way That You Love Me," then "Forever Your Girl."

Oliver explains: "Paula needed encouragement - she struggled with her confidence, and she really needed someone who was very nurturing and very positive. Paula's first experience in the studio with a pair of hit producers that I won't mention had been very, very discouraging. They had basically told her, 'You can't sing, you can go home, we're gonna finish this song without you.' Like, you suck, get outta here, we'll finish this somehow. No need to keep singing and no need to come back.

That was her first experience on this record, song number one that she recorded. She was devastated, because she had confidence issues to begin with, knowing she wasn't the strongest singer. And to have these two very successful producers basically say, 'Don't bother to come back,' she was not in a very confident place. [’The Way That You Love Me’ was] the second song they were recording on the album, and they needed it to be a positive experience, or they were going to have a very damaged artist on their hands. I was fueled with gratitude for having this gig – it was my first gig – and also knowing that I needed to be a really positive person. So, no amount of hours were too long, no amount of takes were too many, and there was lots of cajoling and coaxing and joking. We were going to get this one way or the other."

Paula Abdul herself will tell you she isn't the greatest singer, but she certainly had star power. Leiber adds: "She's not the strongest vocalist, and everyone knew that. But when her voice is put in a certain setting, and when it's layered, it smoothes out and it has a definite sound. A lot of people really love the way she sounds on these records. She's not Chaka or Mariah or Christina, or any of those women who can blow, but she had a sound on those records that totally worked. Much like Madonna, she wasn't the strongest vocalist, but Paula was a tireless worker. She flew out to Minnesota with a vocal coach who was present for the vocals on all of the first sessions that I did with her, and if I couldn't get a word or a pitch or something, the coach would chime in with various techniques for pitch and breath control to help her sing: 'tell Paula to sing this vowel sound rather than that vowel sound.' There was a lot of help from this particular vocal coach to warm Paula up and to help her to deliver the vocals."

When it comes to Paula Abdul's persona on American Idol, Leiber says: "I understand where Paula's compassion and empathy and pathos comes from, because she can so relate to being the person having to work hard and struggle. She's got a tremendous amount of empathy for that reason, and the irony wasn't lost on me."

Like he did with "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me," Leiber sent this song in completed form to Los Angeles. Says Leiber: "Part of the deal that I struck with the studio that let me use their place (in Minnesota), I got the engineer to get a crack at actually doing the mixes, which he did. And they ended up wanting the same person to mix the whole record, so it did get re-mixed in Los Angeles. And I was flown out here and I remixed it with Keith Cohen, who ended up mixing the whole album. So those two songs were delivered and finished in Minneapolis. I ended up flying out here with the masters and remixing them at Larrabee with Keith Cohen."

Interview courtesy of Song Facts.

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