Calvin Harris‘ new album, Motion is JAM-PACKED with high-profile collaborations from a bevy of contemporary hitmakers, including Ellie Goulding, Big Sean, Haim, Tinashe and Gwen Stefani. Motion also features collaborations with big name electronic producers/DJs like Alesso, Firebeatz, Ummet Ozcan, and R3hab. Harris also hooked up with one of my FAV British synthpop acts (one that has YET to break America, much to the dismay of anglophiles everywhere) Hurts (AKA Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson) not once, but TWICE—on “Under Control,” appearing alongside Alesso and on “Ecstasy” as the sole feature. The album’s lead single, “Blame” (#21 on the Billboard Hot 100) features one of my favorite British imports, John Newman, who had a Top 40 hit of his own last year with “Love Me Again.” That’s a lot of big names on one album. It’s crazy to me how far Scottish producers/DJ Calvin Harris has come since the release of his first album back in 2007! As we celebrate the release of Motion, Harris’ FOURTH studio release (out today on Columbia Records/Sony Music) I’d like to stop and BRIEFLY reflect on his last 3 records.
Calvin Harris‘ first record, 2007’s I Created Disco featured a nice little smattering of electronic music genres including house, nu-disco as well as a healthy dose of synthpop and absolutely ZERO COLLABORATIONS. The album was a Top Ten hit for Harris in the UK, spawning two Top Ten singles; “Acceptable In The 80s” and “The Girls,” which peaked at #3 on the Official UK Singles Chart. I think the reason I loved this album so much was Harris’ voice. While, by NO means a fantastic singer (something he will and HAS admitted) his voice fit perfectly with his brand of throwback electropop.
Harris released his followup sophomore album, Ready For The Weekend in 2009 (Fly Eye/Columbia (UK), Ultra Records (U.S.)) The album gave Harris a lot of FIRSTS, starting with his FIRST UK #1, as well as his FIRST No. 1 single (“I’m Not Alone“). It also has the distinction of being Harris’ FIRST record to include featured vocalists including Dizzee Rascal (“Dance wiv Me“), and uncredited vocals from Ayah Marar (“Flashback“), Mary Pearce on single #2, “Ready For The Weekend.” While not my favorite Calvin Harris album, it has it’s moments. That being said, the fact that Harris was singing on only a handful of songs this time around made me sad.
18 Months, Calvin Harris‘ third studio album is considered his breakthrough album—at least internationally. Major collaborations with MAJOR artists including Rihanna (“We Found Love“), Kelis (“Bounce“), Ellie Goulding (“I Need Your Love“), Florence Welch (“Sweet Nothing“) and Ne-Yo (“Let’s Go“) as well as collaborations Example, Tinie Tempah, Nicky Romero, Dillon Francis and old friends Ayah Marar (“Thinking About You“) and Dizzee Rascal (“Here 2 China“) certainly helped get him radio play both at home and abroad. Not only was 18 Months Harris’ most collab-heavy album released to date, it also marked the first time Harris had production help on an album (he entirely self-produced both I Created Disco and Ready For The Weekend). Sharing in the production duties this time around—Mark Knight, Dillon Francis, Nicky Romero and James F. Reynolds. 18 Months, released in October 2012, became Harris’ second No. 1 in the UK and his first Top 20 album in America. It spawned eight Top 10 UK singles, including the No. 1 “Sweet Nothing” featuring Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine. It also, for all intents and purposes, launched Harris’ career here in America, earning him four Top 20 hit singles on Billboard’s Hot 100, including Top 10 hit, “Sweet Nothing” and landing him the “House DJ” spot at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards (where he went on to win Best Electronic Video for “Feel So Close” AND Video of the Year with Rihanna for “We Found Love“). And here we are. A NEW CALVIN HARRIS album era.
Enter to win Motion from Calvin Harris!
To celebrate the release of Harris’ new album, MOTION, I’m giving away 2 copies. To enter, please fill out the form below, and since the album’s title is ‘MOTION‘, I’d like you to TELL ME WHICH CALVIN HARRIS SONG GETS YOU MOVING. It could be your go-to work out song, homework song, the song that puts a little extra PEP IN YOUR STEP on the way to work? Whatever.
MOTION is Calvin’s fourth album, so feel free to dip into his back catalog: I Created Disco, Ready For The Weekend, 18 Months OR one of the tracks from his new album, MOTION.
I will be choosing my winners ONE WEEK FROM TODAY on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 11th. You must live in the U.S. or Canada to be eligible. GOOD LUCK!