In the same year that the “Paradise” album by Inner City was released, Adeva was taking us to Vocal Heaven with her self-titled bomb Adeva! This album was a game changer in the true sense of the word, it represented a new approach to house, and marked a significant departure from the way records had been made in the eighties. Of the ten tracks on the album, half of them were released as singles, and all of them have a place in club land history. Three of them got into the top 20 here in the UK, all have been sampled countless times. Of the remaining five tracks not released as singles, are five wonderful songs, that played next to the aforementioned singles, leave one feeling that it is a complete album.
Different tracks were bigger than others in other countries, where the less popular tracks in one country would be the most popular in the next, it balanced out. The first track on the album “Respect” made people think she had covered Aretha Franklin’s classic track with the same title, that seemed quite logical, the minute you heard the first baseline you knew you were in for a treat! You’ve got to remember that Ladies back then were all about tracks like the gold-diggers anthem “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent” by Gwen Guthrie with lyrics like “No romance without finance”. I use the phrase gold-diggers affectionately here (the dub version of that is a classic Paradise Garage record and a personal favourite), women were finding a new identity and this was reflected in the lyrics of the day. “I Thank You” is one of those tools you loved as a DJ, depending on the crowd it was a true floor filler, in that if you were playing to an empty or emptying dance floor it retained and pulled people back, in a house set it makes an excellent end of night record, DJ’s used to kill the sound when that was playing and rewind it or use two copies and have the whole room singing with their hands in the air, a completely infectious record.
Adeva was in charge on this album, she was the Boss, she knew it and you knew it as well, powerful and intelligent. Of all dance records, this is most memorable for having such wonderfully written and sung songs that spoke to the listener.
This album is a blueprint of what some call “Soulful House” today, and people in the nineties called “Garage” and a huge record for me the year it came out and since, certainly a cassette one had on “Heavy Rotation!”.