Sacred Emotion

Album: Donny Osmond (1988)
Charted: 13

Songfacts®:

  • You may have found this song via the Beastie Boys Book, where Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) mentions it, writing, "for a good time, look up 'Donny Osmond Sacred Emotion' on YouTube." Here's the backstory.

    Donny Osmond staged a comeback in 1988, releasing a self-titled album in the UK on the Virgin label. It floundered, and Virgin dropped him, but the lead single, "Soldier Of Love," became a big hit in America in 1989 when a fan sent the song to the New York City radio station WPLJ, which played it as a "mystery artist," asking listeners to call in and guess the singer. Capitol Records courted Osmond, signed him, and put their promotional powers behind "Soldier Of Love" and his follow-up single, "Sacred Emotion."

    The Beastie Boys had recently signed to Capitol and released their first album on the label, Paul's Boutique. They were vexed when the label did little to promote it; when they complained, they were told Capitol had other priorities: Donny Osmond.

    Paul's Boutique ended up being a hip-hop landmark, selling over two million copies in America. Osmond's album didn't sell nearly as well, but it renewed his celebrity, clearing a path for his appearances on Dancing With The Stars and The Masked Singer.
  • Like "Soldier Of Love," this was written and produced by the team of Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, who years later discovered Rihanna and delivered her first single, "Pon De Replay." At the time, they were known as R&B writers and were trying to break into pop. They answered the call to work with Osmond because they knew if they could land a hit with him they would no longer be boxed into R&B, a label nobody has ever applied to Osmond.
  • The video was directed by Michael Bay, later known for his work on the Transformers movies. According to Osmond, it was Bay's first music video - he also did Richard Marx' "Angelia" and Styx' "Show Me The Way" around this time.

    The sepia-toned video is set in a parched landscape where shirtless guys and pretty girls build a house. At the end, the rain falls, it turns to full color, and Osmond sings. There are no explosions, but but we do get a sense for Bay's dramatic flair.
  • This is a love song, with Osmond singing:

    Our love is like a sacred emotion
    And it's burning bright for the whole world to see


    Released as the follow-up to "Soldier Of Love," it was a solid hit, climbing to #13 in America.

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