Songwriters: Seal, Alan Griffiths
Original Release: Seal (IV)
Definitive Version: None
I had Seal IV on my Amazon wishlist for six years, and no one got it for me for Christmas. Normally, I would have bought it right away, but because it came out when I was living in Cleveland and had next to no disposable income—and by then Seal no longer was an essential purchase—I put it on my wishlist.
Sometime in early 2009, Laurie and I had the TV on and flipped to a skating exhibition. So, of course, Laurie wanted to watch it. If I recall correctly, it was to the music of Seal. Whatever, for sure, this song was one of the songs used, and I really liked it. Hey, you know what? I’m making money again, and no one else is going to buy it for me, so it’s time finally to get Seal IV.
So I did—and learned that in the six years hence he had released three other albums. One was a collection of covers. I didn’t care about that one, but I now was two albums behind.
Well, I’m still one album behind. Last summer I got System, from 2006, after Laurie and I saw Seal at Ravinia. When I saw he would be playing there, I had to get tickets. I saw him twice in less than a year in 1994-95, and I was good with that, but Laurie had never seen him before and absolutely LOVED his music.
It was an interesting show, although in my inexpert opinion, it didn’t measure up to the earlier performances. What I noticed was that his stage presence had completely changed in the ensuing 18 years. In 1994-95, he stood primarily behind the mike stand center stage. This time he worked the crowd, prowling the stage like a tiger and sometimes leaving the stage completely to sing amongst the crowd.
Laurie loved it, although she didn’t love it as much as she might have. This was due to an unfortunate lack of air movement in the amphitheater on a fairly hot July evening.
When we go to Ravinia, which—forgive me if I’ve already mentioned this—is an outdoor concert area, we ALWAYS sit on the lawn, so we can have a picnic. And, because you can’t see the stage from the Ravinia lawn, tickets are dirt cheap. (The sound is more than adequate.) We had to SEE Seal, so I got tickets in the amphitheater. The seats were great, but although she said it was a great show, it wasn’t the full-scale ecstatic happening for which she hoped.
He didn’t do this song, unfortunately, but he did several from his newer albums, of course. So I got System, which is all right. Taken as a whole, it’s better than Seal IV. One song in particular, If It’s In My Mind, It’s On My Face, stood out. I thought it was the song he opened the show with—it definitely sounds like a concert-opener—but it wasn’t. It’s a great song, and it would now be on my list, below this song but not too far below—somewhere in the 800s, maybe 700s.
Eventually, I’ll get around to getting Commitment. In the interim, I’ll just put it on my wishlist.