Title - Out of the Blue: Deluxe Edition [3CD/1DVD]
Artist - Debbie Gibson
For those unaware, Cherry Red Records (UK) have just announced the first in a series of Debbie Gibson reissues.
Signed to Atlantic Records at 16, Debbie became a teen sensation in 1987. Thanks to a string of international pop hits, the singer-songwriter rapidly became a household name around the globe.
Within the space of 12 months, Debbie had scored US Top Ten singles with Only In My Dreams (US #4, UK #11), Shake Your Love (US #4, UK #7), Out Of The Blue (US #3, UK #19) and Foolish Beat (US #1, UK #9), all taken from the Out Of The Blue album, which would ultimately sell over five million copies worldwide, earning a Gold record in the UK.
After completing a sell-out tour of the USA, the singer enjoyed further chart success with her albums Electric Youth, Anything Is Possible and Body, Mind, Soul before joining the West End production of Grease, playing Sandy. Further albums and a successful film and TV career followed.
Her debut smash, Out of the Blue, is released this autumn (October 22nd, 2021) as a Deluxe Edition on Cherry Pop (UK), encompassing 3 CDs and a DVD (Region 0 NTSC).
Disc One: Out of the Blue
1. OUT OF THE BLUE
2. STAYING TOGETHER
3. ONLY IN MY DREAMS
4. FOOLISH BEAT
5. RED HOT
6. WAKE UP TO LOVE
7. SHAKE YOUR LOVE
8. FALLEN ANGEL
9. PLAY THE FIELD
10. BETWEEN THE LINES
11. ONLY IN MY DREAMS (Vocal)
12. ONLY IN MY DREAMS (Dreamix)
13. SHAKE YOUR LOVE (Bad Dubb Version)
14. FOOLISH BEAT (Extended Mix)
15. STAYING TOGETHER (Dub Edit)
Bursting onto the pop scene in 1987 with ten self-penned songs, Debbie Gibson ushered in a new era of teen pop that artists like Tiffany and New Kids on the Block would soon follow.
This wave was short lived for all of these artists, as by 1990, their stars had faded to near-obscurity. What then of this first dose, Out of the Blue?
The album was very successful, with the four aforementioned Top 5 singles in the form of Only in My Dreams, Shake Your Love, Out of the Blue, and Foolish Beat.
The first three sparkle with youthful exuberance about teenage love, while Foolish Beat is a dramatic ballad wrought with regret over letting go of a love too soon.
These are a mixed bag, in my opinion, with Out of the Blue and especially Shake Your Love feeling a little too frothy. Only in My Dreams is a winner, though, its peppy verses building to a glorious crescendo of a chorus, serving as a shimmering beacon to the youthful excitement of the feeling that anything is possible.
If Only in My Dreams highlights a sense of heightened wonder, Foolish Beat reveals the other side of the teenage experience, chronicling that first moment of heartbreak with adolescent intensity.
It serves as a reminder of the sort of absolutism that defines the teenage years, when the stakes of every decision feel especially amplified.
Indeed, despite being just 16, Debbie insists she will never love again after having foolishly let her ex go. The lyrics may read like a teenage diary, but the way she admits there was no reason before repeating the phrase with all-caps disbelief (THERE WAS NO REASON!) is rather well done.
Produced solely by Debbie herself, it is an impressive feat, as she creates an appropriate atmosphere with both yearning and heartache.
Thankfully, the rest of the album manages to not fall off too much. The forthright Staying Together is relegated to forgotten 5th single status, but its youthful punchiness is charming.
Elsewhere, Red Hot, Fallen Angel, and Play the Field sparkle as sugary uptempo time capsules of late-80s neon. Really, only the middling Wake Up to Love and lackluster closing ballad Between the Lines fail to deliver, in my humble opinion.
It is easy to award bonus points for Debbie given the fact that she wrote all the songs and had a hand in co-producing several as well, but my thoughts here do not reflect that, simply because Out of the Blue stands as a pretty excellent pop album regardless of who did what, even now.
While her next album Electric Youth saw Debbie score her biggest hit with Lost in Your Eyes, it marked the beginning of the end of her chart dominance, as she never scored another top 10 hit in the US.
Thus, Out of the Blue - which here now contains no less than 25 bonus remixes, extended versions and oh-so much more - consequently serves as the most prominent offering of her brand of heartfelt and unabashedly youthful pop wonder.
Disc Two: The Remixes: Part 1
1. ONLY IN MY DREAMS (Extended Club Mix)
2. ONLY IN MY DREAMS (Dub)
3. ONLY IN MY DREAMS (Percapella/Vocal)
4. ONLY IN MY DREAMS (Heartthrob Beats)
5. SHAKE YOUR LOVE (Vocal/Club Mix)
6. SHAKE YOUR LOVE (Bonus Beats)
7. SHAKE YOUR LOVE (Vocal/Bassapella)
8. SHAKE YOUR LOVE (Shake The House Version)
9. OUT OF THE BLUE (Vocal/Club Mix)
10. OUT OF THE BLUE (Bonus Beats)
Disc Three: The Remixes: Part 2
1. OUT OF THE BLUE (Drumapella)
2. OUT OF THE BLUE (Dub Version)
3. SHAKE YOUR LOVE (Live)
4. FOOLISH BEAT (Instrumental)
5. ONLY IN MY DREAMS (Dream House Mix)
6. MEDLEY (Debbie Gibson Megamix)
7. STAYING TOGETHER (Remix)
8. STAYING TOGETHER (Dub Version)
9. STAYING TOGETHER (Bonus Beats)
10. STAYING TOGETHER (LP Version w/ Vocal Re-cut)
Disc Four: The DVD
1. ONLY IN MY DREAMS (Video)
2. SHAKE YOUR LOVE (Video)
3. OUT OF THE BLUE (Video)
4. FOOLISH BEAT (Video)
5. STAYING TOGETHER (Video)
6. STAYING TOGETHER (Live)
7. FOOLISH BEAT (Live)
8. SHAKE YOUR LOVE (Live)
9. IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT (Live)
10. LOST IN YOUR EYES (Live)
11. SHOULD’VE BEEN THE ONE (Live)
12. OUT OF THE BLUE (Live)
13. ONLY IN MY DREAMS (Live)
14. WE COULD BE TOGETHER (Live)
15. CROCODILE ROCK (Live)
16. UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL (Bonus Interview Featurette)
FSK rating: 0, all ages. NTSC region free
With a 2021 introduction written by Debbie, and many mixes, new-to-CD, from the original master tapes, this incredible Out Of The Blue: Deluxe Edition [3CD/1DVD] is simply Heaven on a stick for all her fans!
Including ‘Out of the Blue: Live In Concert’ plus a bonus (and brand new) Up Close And Personal interview special on the DVD, this is exactly just what all her fans have been craving for the past few decades!
Official 3CD+DVD Purchase Link