Shara Nelson

Decades: 1990s


London, England. Nelson, formerly vocalist for Massive Attack on their groundbreaking Blue Lines, began her solo career in July 1993 with the UK Top 20 hit ‘Down That Road’. The single was released on Cooltempo Records after Nelson had returned to London from Bristol. Both Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osbourne were involved in remixing the single, which marketed her as the ‘new Aretha Franklin’. She readily admitted to her Motown Records influences, and the arrangements on her debut album were sumptuous affairs, with heaped strings and gushing choruses. However, she did not desert her dance/hip-hop roots entirely, with co-writing credits for Prince Be of P.M. Dawn (‘Down That Road’), Adrian Sherwood (the title track) and Saint Etienne (‘One Goodbye In Ten’) offering a good balance. The latter track was the second single to be taken from the album. What Silence Knows ’ commercial performance was something of a breakthrough...

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