|Concrete Jungle is the eighth studio album by Rosie Gaines (after Caring released in 1985, Closer Than Close in 1995, Arrival in 1997, a 'lost album' from the eighties No Sweeter Love released in 2000, You Gave Me Freedom in 2004, Try Me and Welcome To My World in 2006). Concrete Jungle was originally planned for release in 1993. It was listed to purchase online on Rosie Gaines’ website in March 2009, but eventually released digitally on 19 December 2009. Many of the tracks had since been worked on further and released on Closer Than Close, released in 1995. Concrete Jungle features three songs with writing and musical input by Prince - I Want U (Inner City Blue), My Tender Heart and Hit U In The Socket.
Sessions and compiling
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, Rosie Gaines worked on the album further (see Try Me), renamed it Closer Than Close and took it to Motown Records (see that album’s entry for full details of its release).
Tracks containing input by Prince which were recorded for potential inclusion on Concrete Jungle included Streetwalker, In The Name Of Love (both of which remain unreleased), Hold Me (later released by Jevetta Steele and Pain (later released by Chaka Khan). 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 keeping Prince input limited to background vocals and released on Closer Than Close.
I Want U (Inner City Blue), My Tender Heart and Hit U In The Socket, as released on Concrete Jungle, are earlier versions of the recordings of the tracks than those included on Closer Than Close and through the NPG Music Club.
My Tender Heart was recorded in June 1990 (as My Tender Love). Hit U In The Socket is an alternate version of the original 1991 recording (the original was available on Rosie Gaines’ album Try Me as In The Socket). I Want U (Inner City Blue) is a remix of the 1992 re-recording of the track I Want U, including elements of Marvin Gaye’s tracks I Want You (from I Want You, 1976, also released as a single) and Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) (from What’s Going On, 1971, also released as a single).
When the album was planned for release in 1993, My Tender Heart was planned as the album’s first single. Despite the track’s inclusion on the album Closer Than Close, however, the single was left unreleased.
In 2009, RosieGaines.com advertized an option to pre-order CD copies of the album, but it appears that no orders were possible, and no CD copies of the album were produced, with a digital release pursued instead.
No singles were released to promote the album, and the album did not enter the iTunes charts.