Published: 24 October, 2011
Buy Tickets: https://agmp.ticketabc.com/events/alexander-oneal/
R&B legend of “Fake”, “Saturday Love” and “Never Knew a Love Like This” fame.
O'Neal was born in Natchez, Mississippi, but moved to Minneapolis when he was 20. He joined a group called "The Mystics" and played the local coverband circuit. O'Neal spent a short time in a group "Enterprise" before being recruited into Flyte Tyme, a band that included Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Monte Moir. Later signed by Prince to the Warner Bros. label with their name changed to The Time, a disagreement with Prince led to O'Neal leaving the band and being replaced as lead singer by Morris Day. Allmusic profiler John Floyd asserts that O'Neal was ousted for "looking 'too black'".
O'Neal immediately formed a rock and roll band called Alexander and recorded a 12" single, "Playroom", for a Chicago-based independent label. Three years later, in 1984, O'Neal signed a deal with Clarence Avant's Tabu Records. He did some backing vocals for other artists on the same label, including The SOS Band and Cherrelle.
O'Neal released his self-titled debut album in 1985. It included three singles that reached the top twenty of the R&B Singles Chart. He also scored his first R&B top ten single with "Saturday Love", a duet with Cherrelle. The song peaked at #2. It also reached the top ten of the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #6. In 1987, he released the album titled Hearsay. It yielded the #25 pop and #1 R&B single "Fake". The song also peaked at #7 on the dance chart. The follow up, "Criticize", peaked at #4 R&B and #70 pop. It also peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart. The third single, "Never Knew Love Like This", another duet with Cherelle, peaked at #2 R&B and #28 pop.
In 1991, he released his third album, All True Man. The album's title single reached #5 on the R&B chart and #45 on the pop chart. In 1992, his first greatest hits album, This Thing Called Love: The Greatest Hits of Alexander O'Neal, was a top ten album in the UK. In 1993, his final album with the Tabu label, Love Makes No Sense, was released. It was the first album made without production from Jam and Lewis. In 1995, another greatest hits compilation, The Best of Alexander O'Neal, was released.
In 1996, his first album with One World Records, Lovers Again, was released. In 2001, he released an album with Eagle Records, Saga of a Married Man. The album was produced by former Prince drummer, Bobby Z. In 2005, he recorded his first live album, Alexander O'Neal Live at Hammersmith Apollo. It is a collection of many of his songs from throughout his career.