“All Around The World” by Lisa Stansfield (1990)

There was a brief moment between 1989 and 1991, starting with Soul II Soul, when R&B producers rushed to get string sections back into uptempo records. The Philly Soul renaissance’s greatest song came from…a white girl from England? Okay.

Maybe this wasn’t so much a Philly soul renaissance as it was a Barry White renaissance. Miss Stansfield is certainly giving us much Barry realness during the spoken intro, and she eventually recorded another version of this song with the Round Mound of Sound.

The fact that Lisa was only in commercial favor for a short time (two albums) saddens me, because she was (and is) such a talent. In retrospect (and with knowledge of successful British female singers who came before and after her), maybe mass success wasn’t in the cards for her. She certainly has never been particularly interested in recording gloopy pop ballads. It didn’t help matters that Clive Davis killed her momentum in the U.S. by not releasing her third album, So Natural shortly after she appeared on the Bodyguard soundtrack and the George Michael/Queen Five Live EP. Nevertheless, true music heads are aware that if not for Lisa Stansfield, there might not be an Adele.

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