Peak UK Chart Position: #14 in May 1994.

Real name Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel, but perhaps better – and more easily known – as Seal, born in Paddington, London, turns 54 today. A triple BRIT Award and quadruple Grammy Award winner, he first hit the charts as the (then uncredited) vocalist on Adamski’s “Killer”, a track that he co-wrote, which was a four-week number one in 1990 (and the fifth best-seller of the year). The Trevor Horn-produced “Crazy” was Seal’s first solo effort, climbing the chart through December 1990 and January 1991,¬†and eventually peaking at number two.

Quick facts:

  • “Prayer For The Dying” was his seventh top forty hit, and the first single released from his second eponymous album (better known as “Seal II”)
  • This single preceded the first release of “Kiss From A Rose”, which initially peaked at number 20, before appearing on the movie “Batman Forever” and getting to number four on a reissue.
  • “Killer” was a hit twice as well – in late 1991, Seal released a solo version, produced by Trevor Horn and remixed by William Orbit. It peaked at number eight.
  • As a songwriter, he received the British Academy’s Ivor Novello Award, for Best Song Musically and Lyrically, in consecutive years for “Killer” (1990) and “Crazy” (1991).

Very tough to pick from Seal’s excellent back catalogue, but “Prayer For The Dying” is the one chosen, here performed on Top of the Pops on May 19th 1994. Alice Cooper introduces the clip; he was performing exclusively on the show that week, although the show was actually hosted by Bruno Brookes. That episode also saw the first appearance of Wet Wet Wet’s “Love Is All Around”. First, of course, of many…

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