Today’s POP RESCUE comes in the shape of Eternal‘s 1993 debut hit album Always & Forever.
At 14 tracks long, Eternal’s debut album was big, and a complete runaway success – giving the group 6 singles, going 4x platinum, and catapulting them to the top of many charts.
The album opens with Stay – their first single, and massive hit. It then leaps effortlessly into the weaker Crazy, the group’s sixth single from the album.
Singles continue with the wonderful Save Our Love (the second single), and the vocally impressive Oh Baby I… (the fifth single). Within the first four tracks of a debut album you’ve got some of the biggest hits of the early 90s.
Track I’ll Be There is a nice mellow soulful track, but sounds like it’s been borrowed from Lisa Stansfield’s So Natural album from the same year – musically and lyrically.
The brilliance culminates somewhere in the fantastic Just A Step From Heaven (the third single) and So Good (the fourth single).
With the likes of BeBe Winans (who would go on to record the incredible I Wanna Be The Only One with the group in 1997) and Al Green (a Let’s Stay Together cover) as writer credits, you can understand how and why this album worked so well.
That said, there are a few turkeys on this album: Don’t Say Goodbye, Sweet Funky Thing (an Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King contribution), Never Gonna Give You Up (particularly dull).
If You Need Me Tonight is a mediocre track, which would have been better suited as a b-side (if it wasn’t anyway).
Final track, a standard cover of Amazing Grace really shines here. Eternal have some great vocal ranges, and this track really allows all of them to shine. A perfect, yet brief, ending.
As for the album title, I can only speculate that it, and the title song, were inspired by the photographer who took their album cover photo: taking always and forever to get a good shot, that they all nodded-off to sleep through boredom.
where are eternal now?
After Louise left for a solo career, the trio managed 2 further hit studio albums before Kelly left for a solo career. After a Greatest Hits album, the sisters – Easther and Vernie – continued to perform, but were unable to retain their former success.
It’s not until ITV’s The Big Reunion that they returned to popularity though when the show brought the sisters and Kelly back together.
They have performed occasionally since, and a full reunion, including Louise, is constantly rumoured.
pop rescue review
- POP RESCUE 2014 RATING: 4 / 5
- 1993 UK CHART POSITION: 2, certified 4x Platinum by BPI.
- POP RESCUE COST: £2.99 (from a British Heart Foundation store)