vanity albums

Where the ocean meets the sky
Lay shadows on the crimson tide
I’m gonna give you steady love
And love you ‘til the storm subsides
And when the water fills your lungs
And your soul begins to die
I’m gonna give you steady love
I’m gonna bring you back to life
—  Steady Love / Christina Grimmie

On this day in music history: August 11, 1982 - “Vanity 6”, the debut album by Vanity 6 is released. Produced by Prince (aka “The Starr Company”), it is recorded at Kiowa Trail Home Studio in Chanhassen, MN, and Sunset Sound in Hollywood, CA from March - April 1982. The female vocal trio is created as an outlet for Prince’s prolific songwriting output (though the songs will be credited to the individual group members on the record). Originally dubbed “The Hookers”, Prince will pair his then girlfriend Denise Matthews (aka “Vanity”) together with his former girlfriend Susan Moonsie, and wardrobe mistress Brenda Bennett, forming the group. Prince’s personal assistant Jamie Shoop was initially to be the third member, but she is dropped from the group after he meets and begins a relationship with Matthews. Playing most of the instruments himself, Prince will also enlist assistance from bandmate Dez Dickerson and Time members Jesse Johnson and Terry Lewis who will co-write songs. The album’s initial single, “He’s So Dull” will fail to make an impact, and is quickly followed up with “Nasty Girl”. The sexually provocative and funky track will become an immediate smash on club dance floors, also becoming a solid hit on R&B radio. Original vinyl copies of the album will feature labels that read “Side 1 and Side 6”. It will spin off three singles including “Nasty Girl” (#7 R&B, #1 Club Play, #101 Pop) and “Drive Me Wild”. Originally released on CD in 1988, the album has been out of print since the mid 90’s, commanding a premium price on the collector’s market due to its enduring popularity, also being heavily bootlegged as a result. “Vanity 6” will peak at number six on the Billboard R&B album chart, number forty five on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

I think lyrically it’s a really vulnerable album. There are a couple of songs that will be a good bridge from Torches to some of the other songs on the new record that are a different feel for us. Torches to me was an about escapism. It was a record that you could put on and it would lift you out of whatever mood you were in and just kind of let go. I think this record is much more about confronting your thoughts and being introspective, and challenging the thing in the room that’s bothering you as opposed to running from it. I think tonally that’s one of the biggest differences between the two records.
—  Mark Foster on Supermodel
Will Taylor Swift make history? If Taylor does, in fact, pull off the album of the year win, she will become the only female solo artist in history to have won two album of the year awards (she took home the prize in 2010 for her second album, Fearless).
—  Vanity Fair- (x)
The Lensblr Gallery presents:

Travis Huggett

New York City photographer, Travis Huggett, grew up in Rhode Island and studied photography at The Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Though working primarily in portraiture, music and fashion, Travis also travels with the Vanishing Cultures Foundation as their staff photographer. His photos have been exhibited in galleries and museums in New York City and Boston and his clients include Target and Anthropologie. His photographs have also appeared in Vanity Fair, and as album covers for the Vanguard Records roster, as well as on his mother’s mantelpiece.

He lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with his wife, Ridgeway, and their son, Orson.

(Some of the photographs exhibited can also be seen at Travis Huggett’s Last Night at the Bus Stop Tumblr blog)