Deep Dive: Sheila E
Today we celebrate the birthday of a woman who’s commonly referred to as “The Queen of Percussion,” someone who – although she’s still remembered for her work with a man who’s been called His Royal Badness, The Purple One, and any number of other things (including a symbol) – should also be remembered for maintaining a career in her own right.
Admittedly, for the average listener, Sheila E’s solo career might as well only consist of her hit single “The Glamorous Life,” but there’s more to it than that, and we’ve put together a compilation of tracks from her four albums in the Rhino catalog that you should definitely check out.
What are those albums, you ask? Way to try and educate yourself. We respect that, and we’re here to teach you.
- THE GLAMOROUS LIFE (1984)
- ROMANCE 1600 (1985)
- SHEILA E. (1987)
- SEX CYMBAL (1991)
Given her proximity to Prince, it should come as no surprise that the three contributions from THE GLAMOROUS LIFE that we’ve included in our Sheila E playlist – “The Glamorous Life,” “Noon Rendezvous,” and “The Belle of St. Mark” – are, in fact, all songs either written or co-written by Prince. On ROMANCE 1600, however, there’s only one Prince-penned track – “A Love Bizarre” – and the other two (“Sister Fate” and “Bedtime Story”) are written by Sheila herself. For her self-titled album, it’s the other way around: Sheila co-wrote “Hold Me” with Constance Guzman and Eddie Mininfield, while Prince wrote “Koo Koo” and “Love on a Blue Train.” Lastly, we come to the delightfully titled SEX CYMBAL, and…what’s this? No Prince input at all?!
Yes, the birthday girl was on her own by the time she recorded her fourth and final album for Warner Brothers, but the overall musical story of her WB era is a good one. Plus, it makes for perfect listening on her birthday, so give it a spin!