B’Day is the second solo studio album from Beyonce. Aptly titled because it was released on her 25th birthday, the album is now celebrating it’s 15th anniversary. The album was originally supposed to be released in 2004 but was delayed due to Destiny’s Child getting back together for their final album Destiny Fulfilled.
Beyonce recorded the album in about a span of three weeks following her filming for the movie Dreamgirls. She used four recording studios simultaneously spending up to fourteens hours a day during the process. Beyonce arranged, co-wrote and co-produced all of the songs on the album. The hard work would pay off in the form of a #8 position for the album here in New Zealand with two #1 singles.
“Déjà vu” was released as the lead single from the project. It’s music video is not one of the artists favourites among fans. At the time there was a petition online from fans for a re-shoot of the video. There were complaints about the lack of a theme, her wardrobe and the interactions between her and Jay-Z. At the time they weren’t married, and a relationship was not confirmed. The song peaked at #15 here in New Zealand.
The second single was “Ring The Alarm.” Like many of the songs on the album it was motivated and inspired by Beyonce’s’ role in Dreamgirls. It’s also rumoured that the lyrics were about Rihanna’s relationship with Jay-Z. It was speculated that the three were part of a love triangle in 2006. The cover art also caused a bit of a stir when the organization PETA took issue declaring that Beyonce posing with baby alligators was arguably abusive to an animal.
“Irreplaceable, the third single, is probably one of Beyonce’s signature songs. A #1 record here in New Zealand, it was nominated for Record of the Year at the 50th Grammy Awards. Originally singer Ne-Yo had written the record as a country song thinking of singers like Shania Twain and Faith Hill. “Irreplaceable” is certainly one of the standouts on B’Day and in Beyonce’s’ catalogue in general.
Beyonce followed “Irreplaceable” with another New Zealand #1 in “Beautiful Liar” which also featured Shakira. The hectic schedules of the two stars made it difficult to record the song and music video. As such the dance sequences were choreographed spontaneously. Shakira was responsible for most of the moves and taught Beyonce how to belly dance.
The fifth single from B’Day was “Green Light.” It was her second video to feature her all-female tour band called the Suga Mama. Beyonce considers it the one of the toughest she’s ever shot. Dressed in latex clothing Beyonce and her back-up dancers wore ballet-pointe heels. They blistered her feet and gave her muscle spasms due to the 18-hour shooting session.
“Get Me Bodied”, the sixth and final single is a quintessential getting ready to go out and party jam. The music video is consistently found on lists of Beyonce’s best.
Happy 15th birthday/anniversary to B’Day! Press play and revisit the album below.