The Belle of St. Mark Sheila E.
Song Title: The Belle of St. Mark
Artist: Sheila E.
Date of release: November 1984 US and Netherlands, February 1985 UK and other countries
Description: ” The Belle of St. Mark ” is by Sheila E. ( Sheila Escovedo ), the American singer, percussionist, author and actress. Sheila started her professional music career with Alphonso Johnson, the jazz bassist, on the 1976 song ” Yesterday’s Dream “.
By the time she was into her early 20s, Sheila had worked with artists including George Duke, Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock and Diana Ross.
The song was written and produced by Prince ( Prince Rogers Nelson ), the American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. Prince has sold in excess of 100 million records worldwide, putting Prince on the list of the best-selling artists of all time. He died on Thursday the 21st of April 2016.
” The Belle of St. Mark ” was released by record label Warner Bros in November 1984 in the United States and the Netherlands, February 1985 elsewhere. The song was taken as the third and last single from Sheila’s first solo Album The Glamorous Life ( also called Sheila E. in The Glamorous Life).
Sheila’s career took off when she met Prince in 1978 at an Al Jarreau concert, he revealed that he’d been following her career for a while. Prince and Sheila became friends and began working together during the Purple Rain recording sessions. Sheila recorded vocals for the B-side to Prince’s second Number One hit on the Billboard Hot 100, ” Let’s Go Crazy “.
” The Belle of St. Mark ” was originally intended for Apollonia 6, which was a girl trio created by Prince and consisted of Patricia Kotero, Brenda Bennett and Susan Moonsie.
Lyrically it’s a little confusing with the song taking on both male and female characteristics with references to ” him ” and ” Belle “, the french word for Beautiful, often used as a feminine reference. Sheila sings about his appearance and demeanour throughout the song and how she’s in love with him.
There is also some reference to Paris with the line ” His Paris hair, It blows in the warm Parisian air “. The song’s title could also be a play on words and refer to St Mark’s Square, or Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy.
” The Belle of St. Mark ” was a commercial success for Sheila. In the United States the song peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1984 and spent 15 weeks on the chart there.
In the United Kingdom the song entered the UK chart on the 9th of February 1985 and peaked at number 18. It spent 1 week in the top 20 and a total of 12 weeks on the UK chart.
BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: 34
UK Highest Chart Position: 18
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Ireland 18, Australia (Kent Music Report) 16, Netherlands 8, New Zealand 5
Official Website: Sheilae.com
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/SheilaEDrummer
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/SheilaE