In the summer of 1995, dance-pop diva Paula Abdul released her third studio effort, Head Over Heels. While the album, which followed a four-year hiatus from music while the singer battled bulimia, featured work from no less than seven producers, Abdul insisted she was in complete creative control of the project. “I abandoned any fears I had of really getting in there. Previously, I was kind of more in the background with my ideas,” Abdul told Billboard. “This time, I really took a lot more control on this album from beginning to end and was involved in every aspect of it.”
Head Over Heels was spearheaded by the Rhett Lawrence (Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight) produced single “My Love Is For Real”, which featured background vocals from the late Ofra Haza. San Francisco radio station KYLD was one of the first stations to play the song. “I got a hold of a leak of it,” assistant PD/music director Michael Martin explained at the time. “We did a ‘make it or break it’ on the song and played it hour after hour. We didn’t say who it was, and it came back 95% as ‘make it.’ People really liked the song. They compared it to Janet Jackson; some compared it to Madonna.”
A sexy Michael Haussman (Madonna, Chemical Brothers) directed music video for “My Love Is For Real” was put into heavy rotation on both MTV and VH1. The video, which was eventually nominated for several MTV Video Music Awards, was even shown in theaters across America before the start of the movie Clueless. Despite this initial positive feedback, the single would prove to be one of Abdul’s worst chart performing singles; peaking at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming her first single to fall short of the Top 20. Thanks to remixes from Junior Vasquez, Mark Picchiotti, Strike and E-Smoove, the song received a much warmer welcome in clubs across America, hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.
Head Over Heels, which found the former L.A. Lakers cheerleader turning her attention to a more “urban” sound, failed to find a large audience and didn’t match the success of its two predecessors. The album was Abdul’s lowest charting album on the Billboard 200, peaking at #18 and before quickly falling off the chart all together. Paula has not released another studio album since Head Over Heels; although she did release two singles in 2008 and 2009 respectively, “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow” and “I’m Just Here for the Music”. I am still holding out for another album from Paula.