This was supposed to be the breakout single for Paula Abdul, who as a Laker Girl and a choreographer on videos by the likes of Janet Jackson and ZZ Top, made a lot of contacts and got the opportunity to record an album. She didn't have much vocal training, so her record company paired her with a top production team: Babyface and L.A. Reid. They supplied "Knocked Out," a song they wrote with their cohort Daryl Simmons. These guys were used to working with more refined singers, and the sessions did not go well. Abdul fared far better by choosing demos from two unheralded producers: Elliot Wolff and Oliver Leiber. Both were more laid-back and willing to compensate for Paula's vocal deficiencies, and their songs ended up being the big hits from the album.
"Knocked Out" was released first and reached #41 in the US - it also did very well in the dance clubs. The next single was one of Leiber's songs: "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me
," which reached #88. Next came Wolff's "Straight Up
," which went to #1. "Forever Your Girl
" (Leiber), "Cold Hearted
" (Wolff) and "Opposites Attract
" also reached the top spot.