Soul Tracks - Tracking the World's Greatest Soul Music

Alexander O'Neal

     
Alexander O'Neal

Web Sites:
My Space page
Official Website

Biography

Alexander O'Neal had the distinction of being perhaps the best pure singer to come from Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis' 80s production stable, and working with them released a number of memorable tracks that clearly bear the heavily synthesized sound of their era but still hold up relatively well today. But while he has continued to perform around the world for three decades now, his commercial success as a singer was almost exclusively tied to his work with Jam and Lewis, and his departure from their production and songwriting machine in the early 90s marked an abrupt pause in a noteworthy and popular recording career.

Born in Natchez, Mississippi in 1953, O'Neal moved North at age 20 and took odd jobs in Chicago and Philadelphia during the day, while singing in a number of bands at night. He ultimately would up in Minneapolis and became the lead singer of the group Flyte Tyme, which also included future stars Jam, Lewis and Jesse Johnson (of course, Jam and Lewis later named their famed production company Flyte Tyme). The emergence of singer Morris Day combined with personal issues led to O'Neal's dismissal from the group when it was renamed the Time and was mentored to success by Prince.

After briefly forming his own rock group Alexander and releasing an independent solo album in the early 80s, O'Neal, with the help of old friends Jam and Lewis, signed with Tabu Records and recorded a legitimate national solo debut that focused largely on his powerful vocals fronting a basketful of rhythmic ballads and midtempos written by the production duo. The marvelous single "If You Were Here Tonight" became a soul smash and, with the solid follow-up "A Broken Heart Can Mend," led the album to the Soul Top 20. Between albums, O'Neal scored even bigger with his duet with Cherelle (another Jam/Lewis singer), "Saturday Love."

O'Neal hit his personal peak on his second Tabu album, Hearsay, a monster disc that included his biggest solo hit, the jumpy dance number "Fake," as well as the hits "Criticize" and the duet with Cherelle "Never Knew Love Like This." O'Neal followed in 1988 with a relatively unsuccessful Christmas album, but shot back to the top of the Soul charts in 1991 with All True Man, which yielded big hits with the title cut and "What's This Thing Called Love."

O'Neal parted ways with Jam and Lewis for 1993's Love Makes No Sense, and the fallout was swift, as the album failed to hit the top 10 or yield a significant single. He then left Tabu for Motown, but languished for three years with nothing from his recording sessions being released by the label.

While O'Neal's popularity in the US waned, he continued to have a solid following in the UK, where he spent much of the next several years touring. That also led him to sign with EMI's UK division for 1997's Lovers Again (later released in the US on the independent Ichiban label). He then dropped from sight for several years before independently releasing Saga of a Married Man in 2002. He subsequently issued a live album in Europe titled Live at the Hammersmith Apollo.

In 2010, after an eight year absence from the studio, O'Neal issued Five Questions the New Journey on the CC Entertainment label. Working with longtime musical director Billy Osborne, O'Neal recorded a good combination of new material and some remakes very much in the Minneapolis R&B style of his biggest hits.

by Chris Rizik


Available Music

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5 Questions - The New Journey
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Greatest Hits

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Video

Comments

Alexander O'Neal where have you been??????

Sandy McDowell:

In this house we have all your CD's. We have missed you so much. YOu are a talented and great man. I understand that you will be performing in NYC my questions is where? When? I want to go a see you live. My husband of 31 years will bring me for sure. Just let me know where ok.

God bless you now and always
Mrs. Sandy McDowell age 51 in NJ

Alexander O'Neal

Alex will be performing at BB Kings in New York on 23rd October 2007 with Cherrelle.

The link at the top is wrong, his myspace address is www.myspace.com/alexanderoneal

If you want to find out where is performing, times, dates etc then that is the place to go.

no tickets

hi could you please tell me if your are doing any concerts in the uk later on in the year, been trying to get tickets to see u, but they are sold out. many thanks jade90

Tickets

Alexander O'Neal will be back later in the year performing up and down the country although dates are yet to be confirmed.

Keep checking his official myspace.

I am so looking forward to

I am so looking forward to Alexander's comeback! My all time favorite is Love Makes No Sense--that is all!!

lol

for now

Thanks for this! I had no

Thanks for this! I had no idea Alexander O'Neal was still putting out music...I'm definitely going to into it!

c. shennett I am too glad

c. shennett I am too glad the man I love looking at & listening to all these yrs will be doing more music & touring/concerts. I hope to see him Thanksgiving weekend in Vegas my life dream to see him in person. The only thing better would be to look him in the eyes & talk with him & give him a big hug and kiss. I love you Alex,,,