The Blessing was a British musical group led by William Topley, whose music featured elements of blues, gospel, soul, and rock. The group released two albums and had one UK Top 40 hit before disbanding.
The Blessing was founded in London in 1987, initially acting mostly as a blues and reggae cover band. The group eventually began writing its own material and recorded in keyboardist Mike Westergaard’s studio, eventually landing a recording contract in 1989 with MCA Records. Their debut, Prince of the Deep Water, followed in 1991, with the lead single “Highway 5” reaching #42 on the UK Singles Chart. The single was remixed and re-released at the end of the year, and early in 1992 re-charted, this time peaking at #30 Prince of the Deep Water featured guest musicians Nicky Hopkins, Richard Tee, Jeff Porcaro, Rickie Lee Jones, and Bruce Hornsby, and went on to sell 125,000 copies.
Prince of the Deep Water is a captivating album from the opening moments of the lead track, “Highway 5.” The shuffling dance-pop beat is soon forgotten as lead singer William Topley begins to sing. Topley possesses a deep, blues-tinged voice, capable of great warmth. While “Flames” is cut of the same cloth as “Highway 5,” much of the album is more organic and blues-tinged. The Blessing really play to their strengths on songs like the wonderfully moody epic “Hurricane-Room” (with some gorgeous gospel choir vocals by the backup singers) and the yearning “I Want You.” The lyrics possess some sophistication, which probably didn’t help the band to find a market. There’s a bit too much sheen at moments, but this only marginally detracts from the overall strong material and good performances. After one more record, the Blessing split. Lead singer Topley would go on to have a bit more success as a solo artist.
01. Highway 5 – 5:05
02. Flames – 4:22
03. Hurricane-Room – 7:10
04. Baby – 4:07
05. Let’s Make Love – 4:11
06. Back From Managua – 5:12
07. I Want You – 7:06
08. Delta Rain – 6:05
09. Birdhouse – 4:59
10. Denial – 4:00
11. Prince Of The Deep Water – 5:16
- William Topley – vocals
- Luke Brighty – guitars
- Mike Westergaard – keyboards
- Kevin Hime-Knowles – bass guitars
- Simon Hanson – drums
- Perri, Rebecca Price, Reginald Brisbon – additional vocals
- A&R [A&R Wiz Kids, U.S.] – Paul Kremen
- A&R [A&R Wiz Kids, U.K.] – Paul Doggett
- A&R [A&R Wiz Kids] – Tim Bulleyment
- Art Direction – Jonas C. Livingston
- Co-producer – Mike Westergaard
- Coordinator [Production] – Rhoda Quan
- Cover [Cover Installation] – Kim Yasuda
- Design – Lanning Stern
- Engineer [Assistant] – Andy Strange, Katherine Miller, Matthew LaMonica*, Peter Doell, U.E. Nastasi
- Management – Robert Tauro
- Management [Co-Manager] – Carolyn Trainor
- Management [UK Rep] – Marcus Viner
- Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
- Other [Stylist] – Charmian Espinoza
- Photography By – Peter Darley Miller
- Recorded By, Mixed By – Neil Dorfsman
- Technician [Assistant] – Artie Smith, Francis Manzella, Gary O’Toole
- Producer – Neil Dorfsman
- Published By – BMG Music Publishing Ltd.
- Phonographic Copyright (p) – MCA Records, Inc.
- Phonographic Copyright (p) – MCA Records Ltd.
- Copyright (c) – MCA Records, Inc.
- Recorded At – Air Studios
- Mixed At – Skyline Studios
- Mixed At – Mayfair Studios
- Mixed At – Skip Saylor Recording
- Mastered At – Masterdisk
- Distributed By – BMG Ariola
- Pressed By – Sonopress
Recorded at Air Studios, London, England
Mixed at Skyline Studios, New York, NY, Mayfair Studios, London, England and Skip Saylor Recording, Hollywood, CA
Style: Blues Rock
Label – MCA Records