Beyonce Knowles - I Amů Sasha Fierce album
Released November 18, 2008
Genre R&B, pop
Length 41:40 (standard edition), 61:46 (deluxe edition), 78:37 (platinum edition)
Producer Beyonce Knowles, (also exec.), Mathew Knowles (exec. producer), Babyface, The Bama Boyz, Bangladesh, Darkchild, The-Dream, Evan "Kidd" Bogart, Jim Jonsin, Toby Gad, Rico Love, Ryan Tedder, Sean Garrett, Stargate, Tricky Stewart, Elvis "BlacElvis" Williams, Harold Lilly
I Amů Sasha Fierce is the third studio album by American R&B recording artist Beyonce, first released on November 8, 2008 in Japan and later worldwide throughout November and December from Columbia Records. The album reached the top ten on thirty-two charts worldwide. It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, making Knowles the third female artist this decade to have her first three albums debut in the top spot, with first two artists being Britney Spears and Alicia Keys. The album has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold over 5 million copies worldwide to date.
A remixed version of the album, Above and Beyonce, was released on June 16, 2009, featuring a CD of dance remixes and DVD of music videos. In September 2009, a platinum edition of the album, featuring all of the songs from the deluxe edition plus the bonus tracks and a DVD video anthology of all of the music videos from the album, was released in select countries.
So far, the album has spawned four successful worldwide hits: "If I Were a Boy", "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", "Halo" and "Sweet Dreams". "Broken-Hearted Girl" has been chosen as the fifth worldwide single. Two U.S.-only singles "Diva" and "Ego" were also released and received moderate success. "Video Phone" has been chosen as the the third U.S.-only single.
Knowles worked on the album for nearly a year, longer than she had spent on her previous solo albums and records with former group Destiny's Child. Initial press reports of the album gave its tentative title as Worldwide. She revealed that she had co-written and co-produced over seventy songs. In a statement released on Knowles' official website, she wrote:
"I am in a different place right now and I wanted people to see the many sides of me. The music is upbeat for the dance, fun side and it is reflective, passionate and serious for the personal side. I have taken risks here. I am not afraid and my music will explain it all. There is no label or tag on my sound. It's me and I am so excited to share it with the world on November 18."
Knowles' father-manager, Mathew, explained the two-disc album, saying, "Beyonce was adamantand she has complete creative controlabout dividing her songs. She felt she couldn't mix the songs together. She's in a much different space now than she was one year ago. She's married and in a really good place and this album reflects that." Beyonce recorded many songs and a few songs like "Control", "Poison", "Slow Love", "Forever to Bleed", "I'm Alone Now", "Roc" and "Stop Sign" have actually leaked onto the internet. Sessions with producers Timbaland-protege Danjahandz and The Neptunes were also said to take place, but their records did not make the final cut.
The album formally introduces Knowles' alter-ego Sasha Fierce. Knowles said that Sasha was "born" during the making of her 2003 hit single "Crazy in Love." In an interview with Entertainment Weekly magazine, Knowles noted that her alter-ego is "strictly for the stage." The magazine has described it as "the singer's sensual, aggressive alter ego."
Knowles wears a "roboglove" in public to complement Sasha Fierce. It was Knowles' concept, and New York-based jeweler Lorraine Schwartz made the titanium glove. It consists of several pieces, including a ring, a glove, and a separate component that covers Knowles' upper arm. The glove first appeared in the video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Knowles later wore it on the red carpet during the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards, when she performed on Saturday Night Live, on the cover of Gotham magazine,in the music video for "Diva", and when she performed 'Single Ladies' at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
In a Billboard magazine interview, Knowles described the two sides of the album: "... One side has songs that are more mainstream and another has my more traditional R&B songs for my fans who've been there the whole time. Some of it sounds like Barbra Streisand, Karen Carpenter and the Beatles around the 1970s." Knowles explained on The Oprah Winfrey Show that the difference between I Amů Sasha Fierce and Knowles' earlier solo albums is that it includes more ballads. It is Knowles' first album not to feature any duets or collaborations. The second disc, Sasha Fierce features 80's synthpop, electropop, and electro displayed in songs like "Radio", "Diva", "Sweet Dreams", "Scared of Lonely", and "Video Phone". "Smash into You" was included during the closing credits of the 2009 motion picture Obsessed, a film which the Knowles had a lead role. Originally recorded by Jon McLaughlin in the form of "Smack into You", it was never officially release by either artist. The-Dream had re-produced the song using different instruments Beyonce is credited as a writer for the song as she decided to change "Smack" into "Smash" during the chorus and hook. Additionally with the album's release "Ave Maria" charted at number 150 in the UK due to digital sales. The song was also performed live during the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree on December 3, 2008. On June 28, 2009, the song was sung live as a tribute to Michael Jackson at the BET Awards, where she performed part of the song in Latin in a identical way she performs the song on her I Amů Tour. The song "Halo" was originally offered to British singer Leona Lewis, but when Lewis didn't find time in her schedule to record the song, Ryan Tedder gave it to Beyonce.
Promotion and release
The singles "If I Were a Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" were initially targeted to radio on October 7, 2008; however, they were premiered on the following day on selected radio stations in the United States. On the same day, a video was released by Knowles' record label Columbia, featuring footage on the making of the music videos to "If I Were a Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", and the photo shoot for the two singles and the album.
A deluxe edition of the album, which contains bonus tracks, was released simultaneously with the standard version. Mathew Knowles held a listening party for the album in New York on October 22, 2008. Prior to the album's earliest release date, the entire album was premiered on November 11, 2008 through Knowles' MySpace account.
To correspond with the double album release, Columbia Records created a teaser website for Sasha Fierce. The website features a contest where fans are given the chance to describe Beyonce's alter ego, Sasha Fierce.
"Si Yo Fuera un Chico," the Spanish version of "If I Were a Boy," was released on the Mexican/iTunes Spain release of the album. The song was later released digitally in the US on February 3, 2009. Then, on June 16, 2009, Above and Beyonce - Video Collection & Dance Mixes was released. This CD/DVD release included dance remixes to the singles of the album (as well as the "Ego" remix with rapper Kanye West) and the videos previously and unpreviously released for these singles.
A platinum edition of I Amů Sasha Fierce was released in select countries in Fall 2009, featuring a CD and DVD. The album includes songs from the deluxe edition, as well as the four bonus tracks: "Save the Hero," "Why Don't You Love Me," the "Ego" remix with Kanye West, and a cover of Billy Joel's "Honesty." The DVD includes the videos previously released for the album's singles. A re-release deluxe edition of the album with revised tracklist and new album cover will also be released in US on November 24, 2009
I Amů Tour
In early October 2008, Billboard magazine announced that Knowles was embarking on a world wide tour to support her new album. The tour kicked off in Edmonton, Canada on March 26, 2009. The European leg of the tour started on April 26, 2009 in Zagreb, Croatia, and will end on June 9, 2009 in London, England the last of a string of sold out shows in the UK. For the third leg of the tour she travels through North America starting on June 21, 2009 in the first of two shows in New York City, USA and then finishes in August with a 4-day stint at the Encore Theater, at Encore Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip. After a short break she takes her tour to parts of Asia and Australia, starting on September 15, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia and finishing on September 24 in Perth, Australia. Knowles then returns to Europe (mainly England) to do few more shows. On November 15, 2009 a special concert will be held at the 02 Arena in London. This concert is sponsored by Cadbury's Trident chewing gum. The audience for this event will be made up entirely of competition winners.
Critically Knowles's Magum Opus; the album has received generally positive reviews, scoring 62 out of 100 points based on 22 reviews on review aggregator Metacritic. Mariel Concepcion of Billboard magazine writes, "Beyonce devoted half of the tracks on this double-disc set to her feisty alter ego Sasha Fierce ... But, it's the classic, more timeless R&B songs on the [I Am...] portion of the album that seem like a much-welcomed stretch for the singer." Comparing the songs on the "Sasha Fierce" disc to B'Day, "less fun, less impulsive, and yes, less fierce", said Allmusic. Vibe magazine's Amy Linden ponders on the album's double-sided personality, favoring Knowles over her alter-ego: "Ironically, it's the more tame (and nameless) persona that's the most intriguing, commanding and sexual. ... Beyonce Knowles sounds relaxed, confident and, if for no other reason than the fact that you can't hear her trying, hits the mark. Maybe someone should let her therapist and label know that letting Sasha shine too bright dims Beyonce's light".
Christian Hoard of Rolling Stone magazine noted the slow songs in the album as having "thoroughly memorable tunes", although he dismissed its lyrics, claiming they are "full of bland self-affirmation and saggy lines". Hoard, instead, complimented Knowles' presentation of her alter ego, writing: "But the "Sasha" disc boasts Beyonce's most adventurous music yet ... Another plus: The girl who blew up going all melismatic has never sung with more restraint than she does on Sasha." Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly magazine said the album offers "two compelling sides" of Knowles, describing the first disc as "romantic, vulnerable, soft" and the other as "aggressive, sexual, and, well, fierce". She adds, "The collection might have been better served had she edited it down to one disc, rather than belabor what ultimately seems like a marketing gimmick. And while fans will surely speculate, there's little in the lyrics that feels more revealing than previous emotional fire-starters such as 2006's "Ring the Alarm".
I Amů Sasha Fierce was ranked number two on Entertainment Weekly magazine's list of the 10 Best Albums of 2008.
I Amů Sasha Fierce first appeared on Japan's International Albums Chart, where the album had its earliest release. The album debuted at number 5, then moved to #1 on the chart, becoming Knowles' third #1 album in the country. Overall in Japan, it charted at number three.
The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, moving 482,000 units in its first week, giving Knowles her third consecutive album to debut at number 1. It received double platinum certification by the RIAA, the highest-certified album in the first audit of 2009. I Amů Sasha Fierce is the tenth top-selling album of 2008, according to Billboard.
In the United Kingdom, I Amů Sasha Fierce debuted at number ten, becoming Knowles' lowest-debuting album in that country. However, the album's first week sales in the United Kingdom for I Amů Sasha Fierce has sold more than B'Day's first week sales in 2006: I Am... Sasha Fierce sold 38,609 copies in its first week compared to 35,012 copies for B'Day. Following Knowles' performance at the 2008 The X Factor finale with winner Alexandra Burke, the 2006 B'Day single "Listen" ascended to number eight, while "If I Were a Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" also moved up, all of which helped the album to reach number nine on the UK Albums Chart. The album had sold 102,536 copies in this week alone, becoming Knowles' second highest weekly sale ever, behind Dangerously in Love's debut of 113,000. The album has now been certified double platinum by the BPI. The album entered the UK R&B Albums Chart at #1 in late 2008 and has since spent 19 non-consecutive weeks at the top spot (six of those in 2008 and thirteen in 2009). On April 26, 2009 the album reached a new peak of number 3 after rising four places from the previous week, giving Knowles her third consecutive top 3 platinum album in the UK, and her second multi-platinum top 3 album overall. Due to the release and success of Sweet Dreams and the previous successes of If I Were a Boy, Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) and Halo, in August 2009, I Am... Sasha Fierce began to rise in the UK Albums Chart again. In it's 39th week on the chart (August 16) it rose from #5 to it's highest peak of #2, behind only Michael Jackson. The album is the second best selling album of Beyonce to date in the UK with sales of 854,000 as opposed to Dangerously in Love which sold over 1 million copies.
In Ireland, I Amů Sasha Fierce debuted at number three, making it Knowles second top three album in the country. After the lead singles "If I Were A Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" gained popularity on the Irish singles charts, and the announcement of additional dates to Knowles' European leg of her I Am... Tour, the album rose to top the Irish Albums Chart, making I Am... Sasha Fierce Knowles' second number-one album in Ireland, after Dangerously in Love.
In New Zealand, I Amů Sasha Fierce debuted at number sixteen. Knowles' lead singles "If I Were a Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" gained major popularity in New Zealand, the album rose up to its new peak at number six. The album was certified Platinum after twenty-three weeks on the chart, shipping over 15,000 copies to retailers. Album sales are still rising, due to Knowles' latest single "Sweet Dreams" which is her first single from I Am... Sasha Fierce to peak at number one on the New Zealand chart. That, along with the album re-released as a Platinum Edition, made it chart at a new peak of number three in its 39th week on the chart.
In Australia, I Amů Sasha Fierce debuted at number nine and originally peaked at number eight for two weeks (its 7th and 8th week on the chart); however, the album managed to rise back and set a new peak position of number three in late September 2009, it's 45th week on the chart, almost a year after its debut, thanks to the growing popularity of the new singles "Broken-Hearted Girl" and "Sweet Dreams" and the smash hit "Single Ladies" rebounding to the top 20. The album is now certified 2x Platinum and sold over 178,000 copies there.
In early October, Billboard magazine reported that with the debut of "Video Phone" on the charts, I Amů Sasha Fierce will be the first album in a decade to yield 6 entries on the Mainstream R&B/Hip Hop Chart (Single Ladies, If I Were A Boy, Diva, Halo, Ego and Video Phone).
- "If I Were A Boy" was the first single from the album. impacting officially on US radio on October 8, 2008. The song peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, having being certified platinum and selling over 2,000,000 units digitally. It topped 11 charts worldwide, mostly in Europe, and to-date Knowles' best-selling UK single.
- "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" went on to become a critical and commercial success with more than 3,000,000 downloads in USA, becoming Knowles' fifth song to peak at the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100, and peaking in the top ten in various countries. It ranked at number one on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the Best 100 Singles of 2008 and number two on MTV's list of the Best Songs of 2008.
- "Diva" was released as the third single debuting on the Billboard Hot 100, at number 96, and has peaking at number 19, becoming Beyonce's 12th Top 20 single as a solo artist. It was certified Gold by RIAA and Sold nearly 1,000,000 units digitally.
- "Halo" was released as the fourth single from the album, debuting on the Hot 100 at number 93 and peaked at number 5, becoming Knowles' 12th Top 10 single on the Hot 100 as a solo artist and was certificated as Platinum and sold nearly 2,000,000 units digitally. Internationally the song reached top 10 in twenty countries.
- "Ego" was the fifth single from the album and was shipped with a remix featuring Kanye West to US radio on May 19, 2009. "Ego" peaked at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100, her 6th single from the album to peak in the top 40. It was certified gold by RIAA and sold nearly 500,000 digital units.
- "Sweet Dreams" replaced "Broken-Hearted Girl" as the sixth single from the album and was sent to US radio on June 2, 2009. The song peaked at number 1 in New Zealand, making it the 4th top 3 single there. It peaked number 2 in Australia and was certified Platinum, number 5 in the UK, and number 12 in the US.
- "Broken-Hearted Girl" was then released as the seventh single after initially charting in 2008 in the UK at 194. Beyonce's website confirmed that it would be released to promote the Platinum edition of the album. It was released on August 28, 2009 in Australia and has so far reached number 14 on the ARIA Charts. and number 4 on the Australian Urban Chart. It is scheduled for release in the UK on November 2, 2009, but has already climbed the chart to a peak of number 45 on the UK Singles Chart and 15 on the UK R&B Chart
- "Video Phone" also charted early on due to digital sales before it was announced as a single. It was sent to U.S. radio on September 22, 2009 as the third US only release (eighth overall single) from the album. Also, Amazon.com listed the single's CD release for purchase on November 10, 2009.
The deluxe edition adds bonus tracks, containing eight tracks on each disc. Both iTunes versions of the album contain the exclusive bonus track "Save the Hero"; pre-orders also contain "Why Don't You Love Me" written by Knowles, sister Solange Knowles, and The Bama Boyz. The deluxe edition on iTunes also contains the videos for "If I Were a Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Also on iTunes Spain, the album came with a bonus track, "Si Yo Fuera un Chico", the Spanish version of "If I Were a Boy". At Wal-Mart, both digital versions, and at least some copies of both physical versions, will include MP3 recordings of "Deja Vu", "Me, Myself and I", "Irreplaceable", and "At Last" made for the retailer's "Soundcheck" series.
I Am... (disc 1)
|1.||"If I Were a Boy"||4:10|
|7.||"Save the Hero" (iTunes Bonus Track)||4:33|
Sasha Fierce (disc 2)
|1.||"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"||3:130|
|6.||"Why Don't You Love Me" (iTunes Bonus Tracks)||3:28|
|1.||"If I Were a Boy"||4:10|
|6.||"Smash Into You"||4:31|
|8.||"That's Why You're Beautiful"||3:41|
|9.||"Save the Hero" [Bonus Tracks]||4:33|
|10.||"Si yo Fuera un Chico" (Spanish version of "If I Were a Boy") [Bonus Tracks]||4:10|
Sasha Fierce (disc 2)
|1.||"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"||3:130|
|8.||"Scared of Lonely"||3:42|
|9.||"Why Don't You Love Me" (iTunes UK Bonus Track)||3:23|
|10.||"Poison" (Bonus Track of Re-release)||4:03|
Disc 1 - I Amů Sasha Fierce
- "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" 3:13
- "Diva" 3:21
- "Ego" 3:56
- "Halo" 4:22
- "If I Were a Boy 4:09
- "Smash Into You" 4:31
- "Sweet Dreams" 3:28
- "Broken-Hearted Girl" 4:37
- "Scared of Lonely" 3:42
- "That's Why You're Beautiful" 3:41
- "Hello" 4:16
- "Radio" 3:38
- "Video Phone" 3:35
- "Ego" (Remix featuring Kanye West) - 4:44
- "Why Don't You Love Me" 3:23
- "Honesty" - 3:47
- "Save the Hero" 4:33
- "Satellites" 3:06
- "Disappear" 4:27
- "Ave Maria" 3:41
- "If I Were a Boy" (Video)
- "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (Video)
- "Diva" (Video)
- "Halo" (Video)
- "Broken-Hearted Girl" (Video)
- "Ego (Remix featuring Kanye West)" (Video)
- "Ego" (Fan Exclusive) (Video)
- "Sweet Dreams" (Video)
- "Behind the Scenes" - 20 min
- If I Were A Boy
- Broken-Hearted Girl
- Ave Maria
- Smash Into You
- That's Why You're Beautiful
- Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
- Sweet Dreams
- Video Phone
- Ego (Remix featuring Kanye West)
- Scared Of Lonely