Alexander O'Neal was a member of the Time before striking out on his own and hitting chart pay dirt in 1985 with the top 15 R&B single "Innocent." With a sexy, gritty, bedroom-ready voice, O'Neal

Alexander O'Neal was a member of the Time before striking out on his own and hitting chart pay dirt in 1985 with the top 15 R&B single "Innocent." With a sexy, gritty, bedroom-ready voice, O'Neal more than held his own against such fellow '80s soul icons as Freddie Jackson. This second album—originally released in 1986 and produced by his former Flyte Tyme bandmates Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis—spawned four hits: "Fake," "Sunshine," "Criticize," and "Never Knew Love Like This Before." The last of which was a duet with labelmate Cherrelle and a follow-up to their first successful teaming ("Saturday Love"), which appears on Cherrelle's 1986 sophomore set. Hearsay —along with Cherrelle's High Priority, the S.O.S. Band's Too, and Brainstorm's Funky Entertainment—is among the nostalgic treasures found in the second wave of classic reissues from Clarence Avant's Tabu label, a major R&B force in the '70s and '80s. Digitally remastered and with new liner notes, these Tabu albums are being reissued through an arrangement with EMI Catalog Marketing, the Right Stuff, and Montbello Records. The first rollout began in October 2002 with the debut albums of O'Neal, Cherrelle, Brainstorm, and the S.O.S. Band.—GM

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