Adventures in Paradise
Adventures in Paradise is the third studio album by Minnie Riperton, produced by Stewart Levine with music by The Crusaders. Joe Sample co-wrote the title song "Adventures in Paradise". The album was a modest success, but didn't match the success of Perfect Angel. After Lovin’ You and Perfect Angel finished their chart run, Epic wanted a follow-up disc, and fast. With previous co-producer Stevie Wonder busy recording his Songs in the Key of Life (which Minnie would also turn up on singing backup on "Ordinary Pain"), Minnie and husband Richard Rudolph hired Stewart Levine to co-produce her next album. More songs came from the Riperton/Rudolph camp as well as collaborations with Jazz Crusader Joe Sample and songwriter Leon Ware(who was enjoying a hot streak thanks to his work on Marvin Gaye’s album I Want You). Guitarist Larry Carlton was brought in as an arranger. The result, Adventures In Paradise, took on a mellow soul-jazz tone.
Tha album was a standard recording but available in two formats: quadraphonic and stereo. Epic Records anticipated a soul funky sequel, using Family Stone and Tower of Power horn section, which would have been released in November 1975. However, the sessions were never released due to legal issues.
The album's best known song is the sensual "Inside My Love". Riperton made it quite clear during the track's initial release that the song wasn't about a woman asking a man to have sex with her. It's about going deeper than that, attaining true intimacy. Despite the singer's groans, a closer listen to the lyrics will prove that in this case love dealt with something way below skin-deep. "Inside My Love" went to number 26 R&B during the summer of 1975, but stalled at #76 on the pop listings. Much of pop radio balked at playing the single due to the lyrical content (“Do you wanna ride, inside my love[...]”) even though Leon Ware claimed that the words were inspired by a church preacher he heard speak when he was a child (the minister said, “let us come into the house of the Lord”).
"Inside My Love" became somewhat of a standard, enjoying numerous covers. Chanté Moore covered it in 1995 for the “New York Undercover” soundtrack and Trina Broussard did the same for the soundtrack to “Love Jones” in 1997. Jean Jacques Smoothie sampled "Inside My Love" for his 2001 hit 2 People. In 2008, it was featured on Grand Theft Auto IV's fictional Soul/R&B radio station The Vibe 98.8. The song was also sampled by Timbaland for singer Aaliyah's song “Heartbroken” from her 1996 album, One in a Million with Timbaland deepening Riperton'swhistle register vocal note that came during an instrumental break of the song.
"Love and its Glory" was never a hit, but it is an epic love song of two teens struggling to be together, despite parental objections. The girl in the song is named Maya, which is the name of Riperton's daughter.
The album cover has its own story: Minnie is seen sitting serenely next to a lion. Though the actual album photo session was calm, during a subsequent promotional photo shoot with a different lion, the animal lunged at Minnie without any provocation. Fortunately, the animal’s tamer was on the set and the lion was quickly subdued. A film clip of the incident was aired on Sammy Davis Jr’s talk show Sammy & Company where Minnie was a guest.
It was apparently around this time that Riperton discovered she had cancer. In 1976, she told Flip Wilson on The Tonight Show that she was suffering from breast cancer and had undergone a mastectomy.
- "Baby, This Love I Have" (Minnie Riperton, Leon Ware, Richard Rudolph) – 4:02
- "Feelin' That Your Feelin's Right" (Riperton, Ware, Rudolph) – 4:22
- "When It Comes Down to It" (Riperton, Rudolph) – 3:24
- "Minnie's Lament" (Riperton, Rudolph) – 4:10
- "Love and Its Glory" (Riperton, Ed Brown, Rudolph) – 5:10
- "Adventures in Paradise" (Riperton, Joe Sample, Rudolph) – 3:15
- "Inside My Love" (Riperton, Ware, Rudolph) – 4:45
- "Alone in Brewster Bay" (Riperton, Rudolph) – 4:25
- "Simple Things" (Riperton, Rudolph) – 3:44
- "Don't Let Anyone Bring You Down" (Riperton, Rudolph) – 2:55
- Minnie Riperton - vocals
- Tom Scott – saxophone
- Jim Horn – horn, saxophone
- Joe Sample – keyboards
- Dorothy Ashby – harp
- Larry Carlton, Dean Parks, Richard Rudolph – guitar
- Eddie Brown – bass
- Jim Gordon – percussion, drums
- Sid Sharp – strings
- Masaharu Yoshioka – liner notes
- Rik Pekkonen – engineer