Dive (ALBUM)
:: SARAH BRIGHTMAN
:: introduction : publication : tracklisting : production : reviews

:: INTRODUCTION

This was the first album to feature Frank Peterson as producer and composer for Sarah Brightman, but it showed that besides being an expert arranger, he was a master at creating intricate melodies which immediately impress their beauty upon you. Sarah Brightman has a magnificent voice which is fully explored throughout these tracks. A remarkable album, full of refreshing melodies and emotional arrangements (especially the last three tracks which are amazing). This album shows that the Peterson/Brightman partnership is truly going to be bringing us many hit-songs in the future. This is just the beginning, it can only get better.

:: PUBLICATION DETAILS

Release Date April 1993
Label A&M Records
Catalogue # 6001210665038 / STARCD 6015
Purchase Buy
Lyrics Available

:: TRACKLISTING
 
1. Dive
0:53
 
  Music: Peterson / Lyrics: Heathcote Williams
2. Captain Nemo SINGLE
5:16
 
  Music: Holmberg / Lyrics: Lancelot
3. The Second Element SINGLE
4:13
 
  Music: Schwarz, Peterson, Meissner / Lyrics: Peterson, Weiss
4. Ship Of Fools
2:24
 
  Music: Peterson / Lyrics: Peterson, Andrews
5. Once In A Lifetime
4:21
 
  Music: Peterson, Schwarz, Meissner / Lyrics: Peterson, Brightman
6. Cape Horn
0:50
 
  Music: Peterson, Wehr
7. A Salty Dog
3:49
 
  Music: Brooker / Lyrics: Reid
8. Siren
1:15
 
  Music: Peterson
9. Seven Seas
4:10
 
  Music: Peterson / Lyrics: Peterson, Andrews
10. Johnny Wanna Live
4:39
 
  Music: Peterson, Cretu / Lyrics: Cretu, Hirschburger
11. By Now
3:23
 
  Music: Schwarz, Meissner, Peterson / Lyrics: Schwarz, Brightman
12. Island
4:23
 
  Music: Peterson / Lyrics: Peterson, Andrews
13. When It Rains In America
3:43
 
  Music: Schwarz, Meissner, Peterson / Lyrics: Peterson, Schwarz, Brightman
14. La Mer
3:34
 
  Music: Peterson / Lyrics: Peterson, Brightman
15. The Second Element II
4:48
 
  Music: Peterson, Schwarz, Meissner / Lyrics: Peterson, Pirs

:: PRODUCTION DETAILS

Produced by: Frank Peterson with Sarah Brightman
Tracks 1, 6 & 7 Arranged by: Frank Peterson and Michael Wehr
Tracks 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 14 & 15 Arranged by: Frank Peterson
Tracks 3, 5, 9 & 13 Arranged by: Matthias Meissner, Thomas Schwarz and Frank Peterson
Track 11 Arranged by: Thomas Schwarz and Matthias Meissner

Keyboards: Frank Peterson, Matthias Meissner, Michael Wehr, Sarah Brightman
Guitars: Peter Weihe
Add. Guitars: Tom Leonhardt, Thomas Schwarz, Gunther Laudahn
Bass: Ben Huellenkremer
Drums & Percussion: Udo Dahmen and Frank Peterson
Backing Vocals: Sarah Brightman, Gunther Laudahn, Thomas Schwarz, Frank Peterson, The Sisters Of Oz, The London Community Gospel Choir, The A.L.W. — Tour Ensemble

Recorded & Mixed at: Nemo Studios (Hamburg)
Mixed & Engineered by: Frank Peterson and Michael Wehr
Audioframe Digital System Operated by: Michael Wehr
Overdubs Recorded at: Metropolis Studios (London) by Matt Howe, Fairlight Studio (Madrid), Sedic Studios (Tokyo) by Koba Yashi
Mastered by: Dave Collins at A&M Mastering

Design & Art Direction: Stylorogue
Photography: Simon Fowler

:: TRACK BY TRACK ANALYSIS & REVIEW

Dive (Music: Peterson / Lyrics: Heathcote Williams)
A short, ambient introduction with whale cries in the background as Sarah intones a saying from the book "Whale Nation" by Heathcote Williams. This song takes a similar approach to the opening track on the first Enigma album which also featured spoken voice introducing us the album. And quite seamlessly we are already into the next track... TRACKLISTING

Captain Nemo (Music: Holmberg / Lyrics: Lancelot)
This song can probably be viewed as the title-song: for its orchestral-like instrumentation and beautiful use of voices and ambient effects. A heavy guitar rhythm is built up towards the end and heralds The London Community Gospel Choir. The choir provide an excellent and powerful support for the chorus, as their voices are combined with Sarah's vocals. TRACKLISTING

The Second Element (Music: Schwarz, Peterson, Meissner / Lyrics: Peterson, Weiss)
A short silence lets the choir fade into the distance as a touching, gentle tune fills the air. This song is more of a ballad, but it retains a soft ambience. The chorus, like most of these songs, is extremely infectious and you'll be humming it long after the song has finished. This second element refers to water and the sea, which is the major theme of this album. TRACKLISTING

Ship Of Fools (Music: Peterson / Lyrics: Peterson, Andrews)
Another ballad, with the piano serving as the main instrument. Unfortunately this track is very short, which is probably the only thing wrong with the songs on this album: I want to hear more! A classical guitar takes over in the chorus to great effect. There are no other voices in the background, making this track more intimate and loving. TRACKLISTING

Once In A Lifetime (Music: Peterson, Schwarz, Meissner / Lyrics: Peterson, Brightman)
First sung by The Sisters Of Oz for Peterson's solo-group, Gregorian. This version, however has received a few major updates: the beat is more pronounced and the lyrics are more evocative, such as "wet black leather on my skin..." Sarah's voice is perfect for this type of song with her crisp, powerful vocals making it a song to remember. TRACKLISTING

Cape Horn (Music: Peterson, Wehr)
A very dark and sombre track, that features an excerpt from MGM's film "Mutiny on the Bounty" made in 1962. A vocal sample from the movie, of two sailors talking to one another, is mixed with Peterson's brooding background synths. TRACKLISTING

A Salty Dog (Music: Brooker / Lyrics: Reid)
This track's title sounds awful, but the song is as usual, quite beautiful. It seems to be a dedication to sailors who have been lost at sea. This is an excellent song to show off Sarah's perfect vocal pitch and marvellous ability to reach those high notes. Just a pity for the slightly pop-sounding instruments in the bridge (then again the music wasn't even written by Peterson, who can only write perfect songs without exception). TRACKLISTING

Siren (Music: Peterson)
This sounds similar in style to Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" with eerie instruments and an angelic vocal by Sarah. A superb instrumental, but it is very short and quickly moves on to the next track. TRACKLISTING

Seven Seas (Music: Peterson / Lyrics: Peterson, Andrews)
This song is a steady progression of music. The verses are repeated but with more and more instruments being added in the background each time. First a guitar, then a harp and finally a heavy bell take part in the rhythm. This builds up the music to a shattering climax of glorious sound. TRACKLISTING

Johnny Wanna Live (Music: Peterson, Cretu / Lyrics: Cretu, Hirschburger)
Now this is interesting. A song that both Peterson and Michael Cretu wrote for Sandra (as featured on her album Paintings In Yellow), now re-interrpreterd by Peterson for Sarah Brightman. This version is more sad and emotionally unsettling than the original. Some new arrangements have been added, but the melody is still the same. I'm extremely happy that Peterson decided to bring this song back (it's my favourite Sandra song) and Sarah does a marvellous rendition. TRACKLISTING

By Now (Music: Schwarz, Meissner, Peterson / Lyrics: Schwarz, Brightman)
Slightly disappointing in its over-emphasis of the pop-rock aspect in the chorus, but it is still very catchy. I much prefer the ambient/ballad tracks. This song actually sounds out of place for this album, it is more reminiscent of Sarah's earlier, pre-Peterson days. TRACKLISTING

Island (Music: Peterson / Lyrics: Peterson, Andrews)
Now this is more like it. A flowing stream and some interesting samples open up this song. A lonely-sounding track, but having a slight dance-edge. Actually in some parts it sounds similar in style to the songs of Jim Steinman (composer of the Meat Loaf albums). TRACKLISTING

When It Rains In America (Music: Schwarz, Meissner, Peterson / Lyrics: Peterson, Schwarz, Brightman)
This has become one of my favourite songs from the album. It captures the innocence of life and that freedom you feel when you stand in the rain and just listen to nature. Once again, beautiful use of background vocals reminiscent of Angelo Badalameti's "Twin Peaks" soundtrack. TRACKLISTING

La Mer (Music: Peterson / Lyrics: Peterson, Brightman)
I rate this as one of my top three favourite songs of all time. The song uses a background beat from Enigma's album, MCMXC a.D. and a beautiful piano progression/melody. Sarah sings the most gorgeous chorus I have ever heard if only Peterson would have extended it, or used it more often in the song. This track shows exactly why these songs should be longer: they're absolutely fantastic. If I could have given this song more than ten, I would have. TRACKLISTING

The Second Element II (Music: Peterson, Schwarz, Meissner / Lyrics: Peterson, Pirs)
I thought this would be a simple reprise of The Second Element but I should have known not to underestimate Peterson's brilliance. This song actually sounds like the music featured in the closing titles of a Western film, as our heroes ride off into the sunset. With new lyrics and using the acoustic guitar as the main instrument, this is the perfect choice for a finale. It leaves you in a good mood, but strangely has an emotional effect and you just have to listen to the album again from the beginning. You've become addicted to the music of Sarah Brightman and Frank Peterson! TRACKLISTING


:: EXTERNAL REVIEWS

track-by-track review at John's Sarah Brightman Page