Debbie Gibson began 1992 by stepping into the role of Eponine in Broadway's Les Miserables, inaugurating a stage career that's since encompassed three more Broadway shows and many more regionally and abroad. While appearing nightly at the Imperial, the singer-songwriter was still juggling the demands of a pop career. In June, three months after wrapping up her stint in Les Mis, Gibson was back in the studio. Her fourth and final album for Atlantic Records, Body Mind Soul was released in January 1993. It's recently returned from Cherry Red's Cherry Pop imprint in a 2-CD deluxe expanded edition adding more than disc's worth of bonus tracks.
Debbie's third Atlantic album, Anything Is Possible, emphasized her versatility. Anchored by four songs co-written with Motown legend Lamont Dozier, it helped her reject the "teen pop" label and grow as a mature artist. Body Mind Soul would continue her development as both a singer and a songwriter, and once again team her with collaborators from the world of R&B. The team of Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken of dance-pop group Rythm [sic] Syndicate joined Debbie to co-write and co-produce six of the original album's eleven tracks. They had some experience with former teen idols, having penned strong material for Donny Osmond on his self-titled 1988 Capitol album and its 1990 follow-up Eyes Don't Lie, including the hit "Soldier of Love." Sturken and Rogers brought their fizzy, upbeat sensibility to tracks such as the opening "Love or Money" and the funky, hip-hop-infused "Shock Your Mama." They also delivered a smooth R&B midtempo groove on the appealing "Losin' Myself."
Three of Debbie's own compositions were produced by Elliott Wolff (Johnny Gill, Paula Abdul, Taylor Dayne). She assertively confronted the issue of sexual violence on "When I Say No" ("When I say no, that's what I mean/Not maybe so or what's in between") and gently urged commitment and monogamy on "Kisses 4 One" while expressing empathy for those affected in a "world where love is deadly." The frothy "Little Birdie" echoed her earliest work.
Some venerable talents came on board, too. Debbie once recalled that the first album she ever purchased was Billy Joel's 52nd Street, produced by Phil Ramone. On Body Mind Soul, Ramone helmed Gibson's plea for unity and equality, "Tear Down These Walls," with his trademark taste and sophistication. Gibson also teamed with composer Narada Michael Walden and lyricist Carole Bayer Sager to write "Goodbye," an attractively bittersweet piano ballad which she, Sturken, and Rogers produced.
"Losin' Myself" was chosen as the first single in the U.S.; it returned the artist to the Billboard Hot 100 but stalled at No. 86 even after a number of remixes and an attention-grabbing music video in which Debbie portrayed a stripper. In the U.K., the label went with the tongue-in-cheek "Shock Your Mama" but it, too, ended up in the lower reaches of the U.K. Singles Chart (No. 74). Despite its strong and varied material, Body Mind Soul peaked at No. 109 on the Billboard 200. It fared best in Japan, where it reached an impressive No. 13.
Cherry Pop's reissue adds four bonus tracks to the first disc including the Japan-only bonus track "Eyes of the Child," the B-side "Love or Lust," the London Apprentice Edit of "Shock Your Mama," and the Radio Mix of "Losin' Myself." The second disc offers a selection of the many dance remixes released contemporaneously with the album including eight versions (!) of "Losin' Myself," two of "Free Me," and one, the Percapella Mix, of "Kisses 4 One."
Audio has been remastered for this release by Simon Murphy. The two CDs are housed in a six-panel digipak alongside a 16-page booklet with photos, credits, an essay by Anthony Kay, an album discography, and a new introduction by Debbie Gibson.
Since leaving Atlantic, Debbie Gibson has continued to record in a variety of settings. She concentrated on original songs on Think with Your Heart (1995), Deborah (1997), and The Body Remembers (2021), and engaged with a number of new collaborators on M.Y.O.B. (2001). She brought her signature style to covers of classic showtunes, Japanese pop songs, and Christmas tunes on Colored Lights: The Broadway Album (2003), Ms. Vocalist (2010), and Winterlicious (2022), respectively. All the while, Gibson has continued to perform live in concert as well as in television and on the legit stage. Body Mind Soul closed one chapter of her diverse career. Now, it closes out Cherry Red's reissue program for Debbie's Atlantic albums. It's available now at the links below.
- Love or Money
- Do You Have It In Your Heart?
- Free Me
- Shock Your Mama
- Losin' Myself
- How Can This Be?
- When I Say No
- Little Birdie
- Kisses 4 One
- Tear Down These Walls
- Love or Lust (Atlantic maxi-single 7567-85779-2, 1992)
- Eyes of the Child (from Atlantic (Japan) CD AMCY-505, 1993)
- Shock Your Mama (The London Apprentice Edit) (Atlantic maxi-single 7567-85779-2, 1992)
- Losin' Myself (Radio Mix) (Atlantic promo single PRCD 4917-2, 1992)
- Losin' Myself (12" Masters at Work) (Atlantic 12-inch single 0-85785, 1992)
- Losin' Myself (Masters at Work Dub) (Atlantic 12-inch single 0-85785, 1992)
- Free Me (Extended Mix) (Atlantic promo 12-inch single DMD 2001, 1992)
- Losin' Myself (G-Man/Marz "Hot" Mix) (Atlantic 12-inch single 0-85785, 1992)
- Losin' Myself (G-Man/Marz Alternate "Hot" Mix) (Atlantic promo single PRCD 4917-2, 1992)
- Kisses 4 One (Percapella) (Atlantic single 4-87363, 1992)
- Losin' Myself (T-Ray's Hip-Hop) (Atlantic 12-inch single 0-85785, 1992)
- Losin' Myself (T-Ray's Acoustic Mix) (Atlantic 12-inch single 0-85785, 1992)
- Free Me (Smoove Free Club Mix) (Atlantic promo 12-inch single DMD 2001, 1992)
- Losin' Myself (Masters at Work "Hot" Mix) (Atlantic promo single PRCD 4917-2, 1992)
- Losin' Myself (Masters at Work 12" Edit) (Atlantic promo single PRCD 4917-2, 1992)