Cher has graced us with numerous albums throughout her illustrious career (that’s 26 studio albums, 10 compilation albums, two soundtrack albums, and three live albums, to be exact). Among her vast discography, It’s A Man’s World holds a special place in the hearts of many devoted fans. As the icon prepares to release a special edition re-issue of this album this week, it’s the perfect time to revisit this hidden gem and celebrate its place in Cher’s legendary career.
First recorded in London and released in 1995, It’s A Man’s World boldly ventures into new territory for the singer. In this album, she embraces a soundscape that is more commonly associated with the Deep South rather than her familiar pop and rock roots. She also pushes her vocal boundaries, showcasing her versatility by delving into her head register on tracks like “One by One” and “The Gunman”, while still showcasing her trademark husky contralto throughout the album.
Most of the songs featured on the album are covers, specifically songs that have been recorded by male artists, making this album’s title even more powerful. It is often a man’s world… but why should they have all the fun?
Cher offered her own unique interpretation of beloved songs like “Walking In Memphis” by Marc Cohn and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown. By subverting expectations and fearlessly embracing more “traditional” musical compositions, Cher proved she could do what they do better. And when the lady talks, er, sings, the gays listen.
And listen we did, as this album hit the top 10 in the UK, reaching a peak position of #10 during its thirteenth week on the chart following the commercial success of “One by One”, garnering the album a Gold certification.
The album unfortunately failed to gain notable attention elsewhere, however, peaking at #64 on the US Billboard 200 with only 9,000 copies sold in its first week and #46 in Canada. This led it to become more of a hidden gem to fans in Cher’s vast discography, and one that fans across the world hold close to their hearts.
“Walking in Memphis” served as the lead single off the album in Europe, Australia, and Canada. In Europe, the single was a notable hit and charted higher than the original version. It peaked at #11 in the UK and reached the top 20 in several European countries; however, it failed to gain notable attention elsewhere.
Thankfully, Cher accompanied the single with a music video for the track, which portrayed her walking around Memphis dressed as Elvis Presley. Essentially in full drag, it’s the kind of high camp, on-the-nose glamor that only she can pull off. A previously unreleased and HD remastered director’s cut of the original “Walking In Memphis” music video has been recently released to coincide with the upcoming deluxe edition of the album.
It’s A Man’s World will be available on 4 LPs, 2 CDs, as well as digitally, on July 14. The special deluxe limited-edition vinyl box set features a remastered version of the original 14-track UK album on 2 LPs, as well as a newly compiled double LP containing 11 rare remixes.
The 4 LPs in the limited-edition box are each pressed on a different colored vinyl (red, blue, green, and yellow). And the box includes an exclusive, numbered lithograph of an iconic photograph of Cher. The majority of the remixes are available digitally and on vinyl for the first time.
Thanks to this exciting upcoming release, this timeless album can hopefully become more appreciated by the general public. It’s A Man’s World offers a fresh and daring look to Cher’s musical output, and with her powerful vocals and unique interpretations, she breathes new life into classic compositions and makes them her own, while also showcasing some very compelling original tracks on the album as well. The singer/ actress/icon’s unmistakable voice has always defined boundaries, and It’s A Man’s World is no exception.