Cherry Pop has continued its series of reissues from Debbie Gibson's Atlantic catalogue with a deluxe 2-CD expanded edition of the singer's 1990 album Anything Is Possible. The original 16-song album has gained 17 bonus tracks in its most comprehensive presentation yet.
The singer-songwriter burst onto the scene with 1987's Out of the Blue, yielding a number of worldwide hits including Billboard top 10 entries "Foolish Beat" (No. 1), "Only in My Dreams" (No. 4), "Out of the Blue" (No. 3), and "Shake Your Love" (No. 4), all of which she wrote and co-produced. A No. 7 album in the U.S. (No. 26 in the U.K.), Out of the Blue sold over 5 million copies worldwide and was certified 3x platinum in the United States. Gibson's hotly-anticipated follow-up, 1989's Electric Youth, took the dance-pop chanteuse to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for five weeks. A No. 8 entry in the U.K., the 2x platinum LP yielded more single smashes including the chart-topping "Lost in Your Eyes" and moderate successes "Electric Youth," "No More Rhyme," and "We Could Be Together."
Anything Is Possible was a more than apt title for Gibson's third effort. The album represented key steps in the artist's transition from teen-pop superstar to a more mature artist, and while it was her first LP to miss the top ten of the Billboard 200, it remains a beloved entry in her discography. Notably, the album marked her first album to feature collaborative songwriting efforts, namely four songs co-authored with Motown legend Lamont Dozier. Alan Connor's liner notes reveal that Debbie had been performing a Motown medley in her shows, and Atlantic's Paul Cooper encouraged her to work with the veteran songwriter behind some of the most immortal pop smashes of all time including "Where Did Our Love Go," "Stop! In the Name of Love," "Reach Out, I'll Be There," "Baby, I Need Your Loving," and "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)," all with brothers Brian and Eddie Holland. More recently, Dozier had penned the 1988 No. 1 hit "Two Hearts" with artist (and Motown devotee) Phil Collins. Gibson recalled their process as Dozier coming up with the basic tracks and Gibson shaping the melody and lyrics before they jointly put the pieces of each song together.
The first single and title track was one of the Dozier collaborations. "Anything Is Possible" and the other three Dozier co-writes ("Reverse Psychology," "One Step Ahead," and "It Must've Been My Boy") was one of eight songs on the "NRG Up" side which featured all uptempo, danceable tracks. Side Two of the LP, the "Mood Swings" side, offered the ballad side of the singer-songwriter. "Anything Is Possible" was recognized for its similarity to Madonna's work of the era, and scored Gibson a No. 26 berth on the Hot 100. "One Step Ahead" was co-produced by dance guru and Madonna collaborator John "Jellybean" Benitez; with its pronounced club feel, it became a top 20 Dance hit. Fred Zarr, co-producer of Gibson's first two LPs, returned to co-produce the assertive, driving "Stand Your Ground." Anything Is Possible found its biggest audience in Japan, where the LP skyrocketed to No. 5 and solidified Gibson's loyal audience there. Two of the ballads, "One Hand, One Heart" (not the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim song from West Side Story) and "(This So-Called) Miracle" were also selected for single release though radio proved cool to them.
Cherry Pop's expanded edition appends two tracks to Disc One's album presentation, the non-LP B-sides "So Close to Forever" and "The Most Beautiful Love Song." (Note that the Japan-only bonus track "Without You" is not included here, as it was featured on Cherry Pop's reissue of Electric Youth.) Disc Two has fifteen remixes from the likes of Masters at Work, Jellybean, and Harding and Curnow, also including previously unreleased PWL remixes of "One Step Ahead." The six-panel digipak features a full-color 16-page booklet with the interview as well as a basic discography of the album and singles (but not of all the remixes which lack annotations). Simon Murphy has remastered all tracks.
Debbie Gibson's fourth and final Atlantic album, Body Mind Soul, would arrive in 1993, and is slated for release as part of Cherry Pop's series. Gibson would continue to record as well as carve out a musical theatre career which has seen her earn plaudits on and off Broadway in productions of such musicals as Funny Girl, Gypsy, Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret, Les Miserables, and Grease. In 2020, she returned to the U.S. Dance chart with the No. 4 hit "Girls Night Out," and her duet remake of "Lost in Your Eyes" with NKOTB's Joey McIntyre also gained radio airplay. The Deluxe Edition of Anything Is Possible is out now from Cherry Pop. You'll find the track listing and order links below.
CD 1: Original Album plus Bonus Tracks
- Another Brick Falls
- Anything Is Possible
- Reverse Psychology
- One Step Ahead
- Stand Your Ground
- Deep Down
- It Must've Been My Boy
- Lead Them Home My Dreams
- One Hand, One Heart
- Negative Energy
- Mood Swings
- In His Mind
- Where Have You Been?
- (This So-Called) Miracle
- So Close to Forever (Atlantic single 7-87793-B, 1990)
- The Most Beautiful Love Song (Atlantic single 74-87710-B, 1990)
CD 2: Remixes
- Anything Is Possible (Remix Edit) (Atlantic single A7735CD, 1991)
- Anything Is Possible (12" Harding and Curnow Remix) (Atlantic single A7735CD, 1991)
- Anything Is Possible (Jellybean Dance Mix) (Atlantic 12" single 0-86101, 1990)
- Anything Is Possible (Radio Edit of Dance Mix) (Atlantic 12" single 0-86101, 1990)
- Anything Is Possible (Dub Mix) (Atlantic 12" single 0-86101, 1990)
- Anything Is Possible (Instrumental) (Atlantic 12" single 0-86101, 1990)
- (This So-Called) Miracle (Edit) (Atlantic promo single PRCD 3770-2, 1991)
- One Step Ahead (Hot Radio Mix) (Atlantic promo maxi-single PRCD 3944-2, 1991)
- One Step Ahead (Club Mix) (Atlantic promo maxi-single PRCD 3944-2, 1991)
- One Step Ahead (Masters at Work Mix) (Atlantic promo maxi-single PRCD 3944-2, 1991)
- One Step Ahead (Underground Mix) (Atlantic promo maxi-single PRCD 3944-2, 1991)
- One Step Ahead (Radio Mix with Rap) (Atlantic promo maxi-single PRCD 3944-2, 1991)
- One Step Ahead (Bonus Beats) (Atlantic 12-inch single DMD 1663, 1990)
- One Step Ahead (PWL 7" Edit) (previously unreleased)
- One Step Ahead (PWL 12" Remix) (previously unreleased)