“But we’re never gonna survive, unless, we are a little crazy”. Has that happened for Seal…
Thirty years ago in 1990, Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel better known as Seal (b.1963) made his debut at the top of the charts singing vocals on DJ Adamski’s “Killer“. He followed that with his global smash hit “Crazy” and spent the 1990’s winning awards and collecting Platinum discs from around the world. So if you still compare him to a “Kiss From A Rose”, then you’d better read on!
Seal started out as a club singer before joining the funk band Push in 1987. After a tour of Japan and India, he returned to the UK in late 1989 and met producer and DJ Adamski (Adam Tinley), who had already made his debut with “NRG” at the beginning of 1990. That April the two recorded his follow up, “Killer“, with its ‘futuristic’ video, the song topped the UK singles chart for four weeks in April-May, becoming the fifth biggest seller of the year. Seal was now hot property and was signed to ZZT Records and began work on his own solo material. At the end of September his debut solo single, “Crazy”, was released becoming a huge hit the world over, peaking at No.2 in the UK and No.7 in America.
He followed “Crazy” with “Future Love Paradise” in the Spring of 1991, which was a hit all over Europe and ‘down under’, although it was not released in The States. The single preceded his debut album simply titled “Seal” in June, which would top the UK album chart and be certified double Platinum. It went on to sell over a million copies in America and over four million globally. Three further singles were released, “The Beginning”, which was a US dance chart top ten hit and mid-charted elsewhere, “Violet” and his own version of “Killer“, released just over a year after the original, which reached No.8 in the UK and No.9 on the US dance chart.
After a well earned break, Seal returned in 1994 with his second album, confusingly called “Seal”, although this is known as “Seal (1994)”. The album was preceded by the single “Prayer For The Dying” which charted at No.14 in the UK. Further singles included “Kiss From A Rose” (UK No.20), “Newborn Friend” (UK No.45, US dance No.2) and “Don’t Cry” (UK No.51, US No.33). “Seal (1994)” would prove an even greater success than his debut, but only after “Kiss From A Rose” was featured in the film ‘Batman Forever’ in 1995. A reissue saw the track all the way to the top of the US singles chart and a re-chart in the UK, this time reaching No.4. The album would go on to sell more than four million copies Stateside and again pick up a double Platinum award in the UK with a total of over six million copies sold worldwide.
Seal seemed to take well to film soundtracks, providing the songs “Fly Like An Angel” (UK No.13, US No.10) for the film ‘Space Jam’ and “Lost My Faith” for the film ‘Entrapment’ (1999). This song featured on his third studio album “Human Being”, released in 1998 that included the single “Human Beings”. The album would sell over 500,000 copies in America. Seal returned to the cinema in 2001 with the song “This Could Be Heaven” from the film ‘The Family Man’ before recording began for his fourth album.
Once again, the “Seal” title was used for this album, becoming known as “Seal IV”, released in 2003 and which included three straight US dance chart number one’s, “Get It Together” (UK No.25), “Love’s Divine” (UK No.68, US No.79) and “Waiting For You”. “Seal IV” again sold half a million copies in the US as well as a further two million copies worldwide. He concluded this period in his career with a greatest hits package, “Best”, which featured his version of Dionne Warwick’s classic hit “Walk On By” and another updated version of “Killer”.
Seal was back in the charts in 2007 with his album “System”, which included the single “Amazing” (UK No.74, US dance No.1) and realised a personal ambition the following year with an album of covers titled “Soul”, which proved a major hit, being Platinum certified on both sides of the Atlantic. He has released the albums “Seal 6: Commitment” (2010), “7” in 2015 and his most recent, “Standards”, in 2017, as well as a second slice of “Soul” in 2011. On top of this Seal released the seasonal favourites “This Christmas” in 2015 and “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”, a ‘duet’ with the late Frank Sinatra, in 2017. More recently he featured in the latest TV craze, The Masked Singer, in the US, appearing as The Leopard and coming fourth in the series finale!