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When Atlantic had chosen not to renew Debbie's contract, strangely enough she started to gain a bit more fame in England by joining neighbours star and sometime chart botherer Craig McLachlan in the London revival of Grease. Deb's made a great Sandy and the show was sold out for the 6 months she was in it. (more tomorrow on other musicals Deb has been in...) A single was released from the cast soundtrack (You're The One That I Want) which made 13 in Britain, but I was busy swishing away to the track below

MP3: Hopelessly Devoted To You

Deb wasn't labeless for too long though when SBK (home of Wilson Phillips) picked her up and the result was the 1995 album Think With Your Heart. Considered one of her best albums, it was a collection of (mainly) piano ballads about love and loss which really let Debs perfect pitch shine through. Sadly though it was the time of Alanis Morrisette and angry grrl rock ruled the charts so there was no room for Deborah. However, i think this album was vastly overlooked and set a precursor for people like Delta Goodrem and Laura Michelle Kelly today.

MP3: Didn't Have The Heart
MP3: You Don't Have To See

With sales low and the album failing to chart, SBK unsurprisingly decided not to continue their relationship so like many other popstars Debs started her own label and started marketing herself as Deborah Gibson. Her next album came out in 1998 and was called Deborah - a more rounded set that TWYH (a more even mix of pop and ballads) the lead off single Only Words was a biggish dance smash, but is presented here in its album format. While there were no big hit singles from this album, i think several could have been marketed easily including a beautiful torchsong Naturally. There was a great b-side to that single in Japan called My Girlfriend's Boyfriend which showed a more perky tongue in cheek side to Deb

MP3: Only Words sneak preview version
MP3: Naturally sneak preview version
MP3: My Girlfriend's Boyfriend unplugged version

By the turn of the millenium, it seemed that the the pop world had all but forgotten Debs but she was getting acclaim for her work in musicals on Broadway and touring the country. She still found time to write and record in one take her feelings on the turn of the millenium on this fan club only track which is one of my all time fave songs...

MP3: With All My Heart

Deb pushed ahead with an album that I believe if it had been marketed properly could have been her pop comeback a la Kylie and Light Years. MYOB was a collection of upbeat dance/pop and a more languid almost jzaay style to her ballads. The title track was remixed for the clubs but is best in its album version while Your Secret was also a Billboard Club Chart smash that came in a variety of mixes. Deb even got to tour as opening act for NSync in a bid to get back in with the pop crowd, but sadly to no avail... I remember buying this album in Vegas about March 2001 and Darren hiding from embarrassment and the young guy at the counter asking if she was new!

MP3: What you Want pop mix2

Around the same time Deb also appeared on the Zorro The Musical concept album "playing" Carlotta. I can't say I have listened to the whole album, but the standout for me is What Makes A Hero which Deb rewrote the lyrics to for a 9/11 benefit concert. I have often belted this out at the top of my lungs on the way to work in the morning...

MP3: What Makes A Hero

And that was the last original Deb studio album we have had. There is still more to come, but below is how I think her second greatest hits package should have lined up...

  1. For Better or Worse (mp3)
  2. Didn't Have The Heart
  3. Think With Your Heart
  4. You Don't Have To See
  5. Only Words
  6. Naturally
  7. Cry Tonight
  8. Moonchild
  9. With All My Heart
  10. What You Want
  11. MYOB
  12. Your Secret
  13. Down That Road
  14. Wishing You Were Here (remix) (MP3)
  15. What Makes A Hero

Tomorrow! theatre! Collaborations!! What next for Deb??! If you like the music let me know :)

(buy debs albums here)


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