waffletaco (waffletaco) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

ONTD Original: The Amerification of Craig David’s “Born To Do It”

While most artists who make it big in one part of the world may break big in another, it’s more often done roughly at the same time, with little changes done to the rollout.
Tonight we’re focusing on the debut album of English R&B crooner Craig David, and the U.S. release a year later.
The album would be a smash hit in Europe and spawn 4 hit singles. About a year later, Craig would start the promo trek all over again for North America. Changes were made.

After providing vocals for the 2-Step/Garage bop “Re-Rewind” for the production duo Artful Dodger, buzz was swirling for who was serving these sweet, buttery vocals (Craig was not in the music video).
Davids album would eventually be released in Europe in August 2000, and was entirely produced by Mark Hill (one half of the Artful Dodger). But instead of a 2-Step/electro album, the two churned out one of the finer R&B releases of that time.

The albums lead single “Fill Me In” (April 2000 for Europe, May 2001 in U.S.) had a very British video, in terms of aesthetics. Craig also didn’t have his trademark hairstyle he had for most of this era. So when it came time to debut in the states, his label got a completely new video done. Brighter. Warmer. New love interest. I personally prefer the U.S. version tbh.

The second single “Seven Days” would be a huge hit for him both in Europe and the states (July 2000 Europe, October 2001 U.S.). The video remained unchanged, EXCEPT they changed voice-overs of some of the newscasters/DJ’s to ones with American accents (lol why).
 I can only find the original video, but at least they didn’t redo the whole video.

In between the hype of all of this, the Artful Dodger had released their own album, “All About The Stragglers”. In addition to “Re-Rewind”, Craig David would also be featured on the track “Women Trouble” with vocalist Robbie Craig. Neither were in the video, but it was a bop too! (The Artful Dodger actually had several hit singles with various vocalists. Highly recommend!)
(Can’t find the music video on Youtube, so you gets audio!)

Back to “Born To Do It”.
The third single, “Walking Away” (December 2000 Europe, February 2002 U.S.) solidified David as being more than a one hit wonder. The track received more attention, crossing over to adult contemporary stations and pop stations alike. The video is PERFECT as is. Craig walking through various scenes, with the world changing around him. But I guess it was just TOO British for an American audience.
Sooo, when it was released in America, a completely new video was made. This one filmed in the states, serving early 2000’s R&B video lewks, and generally being a boring update. Should have left it alone.

The 4th and final single from the album, “Rendezvous”, was only released in Europe (March 2001). Which is unfortunate, because R&B stations would have ate this song up! Best slow jam on the album. I don’t know if his label was unimpressed with Walking Away not doing so well in America, or Craig was very eager to release new music (he had been pushing the same album for over 2 years at this point). This would remain a deep-cut, as far as the wide U.S. market was concerned.

Craigs second album “Slicker Than Your Average” was released both in Europe and the U.S. at the end of 2002, headlined by the first single “What’s Your Flava”. The track was a low-key bop, but people felt he had downgraded his style, trying to emulate the early 2000’s American pop sound.
Amerification: Complete.
My knowledge of Craigs discography sort of fizzles after the 2nd album, as I left Europe around this time for America, and I don’t think much of his music was pushed here since *shrugs*.

ONTD, what’s your fav track from BORN TO DO IT ?


Source: My memory, (wiki to verify release dates) & 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Tags: music / musician, music / musician (r&b and soul), music video, ontd original

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