Throwback: Seal-The Beginning

Seal’s introduction as an alternative pop star in 1991 came with a brilliant album of clever synth-pop-influenced R&B courtesy of producer Trevor Horn. “The Beginning” was the third single but the first song on the album. Seal’s voice was tender and had conviction in the midst of Horn’s winding production of strings, synthesizers and hasty percussion. In the video, he was a leather-clad torch-carrying mystic hero with dreadlocks. It was an unusual look and sound for a Black artist from anywhere at the time.

Horn’s epic sound had become a staple of ’80s pop and together with Seal they were able to create a new classic. “Crazy” and “Future Love Paradise” were the previous singles and both charted internationally and satisfied the critics. He became a mainstream name almost immediately with regular video and radio play in America and his native UK as well as several European countries. Seal’s first full-length won Best British Album at the 1992 Brit Awards and started his career with a successful punch to stereotypes about the look and sound of Black singers. Seal: Deluxe Edition was released in 2022 as a remastered boxset with CDs, vinyl and 4K/HD versions of the videos.