It has become pretty com-mon to hear of epic films that have taken five, ten or more years to make it to the big screen, but in the all too frequent assembly line approach taken in the music business, projects created over a considerable period of time appear to be more of a rarity.
Now mind you, taking a long time to make a record is in no way a guarantee of quality. Some of the best recordings in history have been the spontaneous capture of fleeting private emotions (Michael Jackson’s cry at the end of ‘She’s Out Of My Life,’ John Lennon’s ‘Imagine,’ Sly Stone’s ‘If You Want Me To Stay,’ Ray Charles’ ‘America,’ Tupac’s ‘Dear Mama,’ Miles Davis’ entire ‘Kind of Blue’ record). BeBe’s Dream album is a wonderful combination of both of the foregoing elements common to many classic albums which magically capture powerful moments in time and big screen blockbusters crafted over years. The Dream album now in your hands has taken several years in the making (the title song has been a work in progress for five years alone), yet it captures some of BeBe’s most intimate, private thoughts and emotions, many which were not originally recorded for public consumption.
After a long and successful run in the music business (four GRAMMY® awards, multi-platinum records, sold out tours, etc.), BeBe decided to take a much-needed sojourn. During this time (which included a difficult divorce) BeBe explored and expressed his deepest emotions through song, often recording songs never really meant for outside ears to hear. Take a listen to the song ‘Benjamin,’ a very personal message and you will understand what I mean.
Fortunately, for us, these most intimate reflections, expressions of faith, hopes and inspiration so personal to BeBe but so universal to many are shared and preserved here on the first release under the Still Waters banner, a new Hidden Beach Subsidiary dedicated to inspirational and spiritual thought and music. It also marks the first non-specialty recording by BeBe’s own company, The Movement Group.
It is well known that BeBe has been blessed with one of the most remarkable singing voices today but his power with the pen is far less known. While his voice is consistently remarkable, Dream is also a wonderful showcase of his writing talents. This lyrical gift is on display on every original song, however, one of the best examples of his amazing ability to translate pure emotion into music is the case where he created a heart stirring song without actually writing a word: his music, arrangement, performance and translation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 speech, I Have A Dream.
Several years ago while watching television and hearing King’s most famous speech in it's entirety, BeBe was so moved he took a transcript of the speech to the piano with the intention of capturing the feelings King's words had on him in a musical tribute. What emerged is an amazing co-write with Dr. King* where BeBe was able to create a new composition by delicately weaving together the words from the actual speech in a passionate performance. This brilliant piece has carefully been a work in progress for years, finally coming to completion for this special album. Some who were privy to and have all experienced this goose bump generating recording as we were working on it (Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton, Stevie Wonder, Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Tom Hanks, Cathy Hughes, Howard Schultz, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Coretta Scott King, Dexter King, Barack Obama, Reverend Michael Beckwith, etc.) can finally rejoice that it is available to be shared by all. In fact, the universal response has been “everyone should hear this!” That charge is now in your hands. May you have as much fun and pleasure playing this special song and the gems that surround it on the album for your family and friends.
Enjoy this wonderful gift to all of us delivered through the instrument of BeBe Winans.
*With special thanks to Dexter King, the King family, and the King Center