|Closer Than Close is the second studio album by Rosie Gaines (after Caring released in 1985); her first since leaving the New Power Generation.
It features two songs with writing and musical input by Prince, I Want U, and My Tender Heart. And a cover of Turn Your Lights Down Low with Prince input. The US version contained a different tracklist than the rest of the world, and contained two versions of I Want U: I Want U (Purple Version) (included internationally) and I Want U (Inner City Blues) (Earth Mama Version) (otherwise included only in Japan).
Work on a solo Rosie Gaines album began while she was still a member of the New Power Generation band, in 1990 (I Want U was first recorded in late 1989, before work on the album commenced). Work continued until September 1991, when she and Prince fell out regarding her solo career. She was contracted to Paisley Park Records, however, and continued to work on the album without Prince following her departure from the band (after the Diamonds And Pearls Tour).
The album became known as Concrete Jungle. After Paisley Park Records closed, she worked on the album further, renamed it Closer Than Close and took it to Motown Records. One version of Concrete Jungle was released as a digital download in 2010; see that album's listing for details.
Other tracks containing input by Prince which were recorded for potential inclusion on the album included Streetwalker, In The Name Of Love (both of which remain unreleased), Hold Me (later released by Jevetta Steele, Pain (later released by Chaka Khan) and Hit U In The Socket (later released by the NPG Music Club). Additionally, Turn Your Lights Down Low (a cover version of the Bob Marley track from Exodus, 1977) was originally recorded with musical contributions by Prince, before being re-recorded without Prince input and released on the album albeit some of his background vocals were kept.
It is worth noting also that the versions of I Want U (Inner City Blue) and My Tender Heart released in 2010 on Concrete Jungle are earlier versions of the recordings of the tracks than those included on Closer Than Close.
The album did not enter the US Billboard Pop Chart, and reached only number 99 on the Billboard R&B Chart. The album produced two singles : I Want U and Are Your Ready. I Want U reached number 90 on the US Billboard R&B Chart and number 28 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music - Club Play Chart. Are You Ready did not chart. The song Closer Than Close was remixed and released in 1997 by Bigbang Records and became a club hit.