Sananda Maitreya celebrates the 35th anniversary of his landmark debut album ‘Introducing The Hardline According To…’ with today’s digitally remastered and spatial audio edition, overseen by original producer Martyn Ware, under the new abridged title – removing the artist's former name.
Originally released in 1987, album ‘Introducing…’ made a phenomenal global impact that has rarely been matched. The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist inspired feverish comparisons with a multitude of iconic artists, from the era’s biggest talents - Michael Jackson and Prince - back to some of music’s most influential forefathers: Sam Cooke, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix.
Powered by his unforgettable hits ‘Wishing Well’ (UK #4), ‘If You Let Me Stay’ (#7) and ‘Sign Your Name’ (#2), ‘Introducing…’ was unmissable. It debuted at #1 in the UK and returned to the top spot several months later for a seven-week run. Certified 5 x Platinum, only four records spent more time at #1 in the entire decade. It was similarly successful in the States, where it reached #4 and double-Platinum status, while the single ‘Wishing Well’ flew to #1. The album climbed charts the world other, also reaching #1 in Australia, Italy and Japan. It would lead to award recognition too, winning the BRIT Award for International Newcomer and a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. The album is now over 10x Platinum worldwide.
The new spatial audio edition of the album provides a deeper immersive quality and physicality, which presents it in a whole new light. While the record is synonymous with the late ‘80s, it has aged just like fine wine: his heady mix of superstar vocals, classically-informed songwriting and surfeit of charisma means it more than holds its own today. The big hits remain irresistible, but they never overshadow the rest of the album - ‘Dance Little Sister’ is another global smash, and the closing Smokey Robinson’s ‘Who’s Loving You’ a Motown classic.
The Album was remastered by the album’s original producer Martyn Ware who also mixed the spatial audio.
Sananda says, “Veni, Vidi, Vici. Before the internet, before YouTube, this album led into my initial foray after which things wouldn’t be the same again. I am very proud; what remains 35 years later is a work that still has the blessing of time upon it. Sometimes you just find yourself fortunate enough to be at the right time and the right place. And such was my luck. I am who I am (for better or worse) because it was what it was. And as I like to say, ‘’It Ain’t What You THINK It Is, But It IS What It Looks Like”. The album arrived in 1987, the year of ‘Harmonic Convergence’. My old friend & the album’s producer, the great MARTYN WARE was of the utmost value to bring back into the project that together we initiated 35 years ago. As in the beginning, his contribution was incalculable & worth the wait.”
Sananda Maitreya followed up with ‘Neither Fish Nor Flesh’. Raw, vivid, uncompromising, riveting. One of the initiating influences on what later became ‘Alternative Radio’, as well as a seminal influence on what would later be recognized as ‘Grunge’, not to mention, ‘Nuevo Soul’. ‘An envelope pusher’. Landed in 1989. It was used in Japan for medical purposes, helping people regaining consciousness from coma; something he is very proud of.
Sananda returned to the UK Top 5 in 1993 with ‘Symphony Or Damn’. He has been consistently creative since his rebranding of 2001, with every album he has released being a double album or two-volume set. He presents his music as Post Millennium Rock: a style that prioritises heart, soul and curiosity that spans rock, pop, reggae, gospel, blues, jazz, country and classical.
His 12th and latest studio album ‘Pandora’s PlayHouse’ was released on March 15th 2021 and not coincidentally contains songs such as ‘Her Kiss’, ‘The Ballad of Smokey Robinson’ and ‘Prince!’
His music continues to be discovered by new generations, in part due to his songs being featured in ‘Sex Education’, ‘Black Mirror’ and ‘Grand Theft Auto’. He has over a million monthly listeners at Spotify, while the original ‘Introducing…’ album has amassed over 150 million streams, despite being released almost 30 years before Spotify was founded.
‘Introducing The Hardline According To…’ tracklist:
1. ‘If You All Get to Heaven’
2. ‘If You Let Me Stay’
3. ‘Wishing Well’
4. ‘I'll Never Turn My Back on You (Father's Words)’
5. ‘Dance Little Sister’
6. ‘Seven More Days’
7. ‘Let's Go Forward’
9. ‘Sign Your Name’
10. ‘As Yet Untitled’
11. ‘Who's Loving You’