|I Am is the second studio album by Elisa Fiorillo, and was the first and only to feature writing input by Prince. Five of the album’s ten tracks were written (or co-written) by Prince, although the album was mostly produced by David Z. Rivkin (Prince produced one track, Ooh This I Need).
Sessions and compiling
Prince’s involvement in the album came by chance, as he dropped by Paisley Park Studios while David Z. Rivkin and Levi Seacer, Jr. were recording with Elisa Fiorillo in September 1989, and he liked what he heard. He immediately helped write the track they were working on, I Am, before helping to write On The Way Up. He submitted Playgirl, Love’s No Fun and Ooh This I Need in late 1989 and early 1990.
Other songs recorded by Prince and Elisa Fiorillo between 1989 and 1990 include Oobey Doop and If You Wanna Dance, but it is not known if they were considered for the album. A third song called "Say No" (written by David Z., Levi Seacer, Jr., Frankie Blue, Les Pierce and Elisa Fiorillo) was included on a promotional cassette for the album but was removed from the final configuration.
The album produced three commercially-available singles, On The Way Up (released shortly before the album), Something So Strong (w/ Playgirl as its B-side) and Oooh This I Need (spelled differently than the album track). The album failed to chart, however.
- Elisa Fiorillo - lead vocals; background vocals on Ooh This I Need
- David Z. Rivkin - drums and percussion on I Am, percussion on On The Way Up and Love’s No Fun
- Levi Seacer, Jr. - all instruments, except where noted, on I Am, On The Way Up, bass guitar on Ooh This I Need
- Prince - all instruments, except where noted, on Playgirl and Love’s No Fun, all instruments, except where noted, on Ooh This I Need (uncredited)
- Cynthia Johnson - background vocals on Playgirl
- Ingrid Chavez - background vocals on Playgirl
- Jana Anderson - background vocals on Playgirl
- Rosie Gaines - background vocals on Playgirl and Ooh This I Need
- Michael B. - drums on Love’s No Fun, acoustic drums on Ooh This I Need
- Sonny T. - bass guitar on Love’s No Fun
- Jevetta Steele - background vocals on Love’s No Fun
- Jearlyn Steele - background vocals on Love’s No Fun
- J.D. Steele - background vocals on Love’s No Fun
- Fred Steele - background vocals on Love’s No Fun
- Kirk Johnson - electric drums on Ooh This I Need
- Michael Koppelman - harpsichord on Ooh This I Need
- I always thank God first for the gift of love, family and music. My mother and father for their unconditional love and support. My three brothers ... Billy, Bobby and Jimmy for being my best friends and critics. The rest of my huge family and the friends who have been there U know who U R.
- To all the people who worked on this record: David Z. - The man who put it all together. (The Fly!) Prince - Thank you for all your inspiration and help. Levi Seacer Jr. - U Da coolest boy-eee!!! Darryl Duncan - Don’t ever change. Ian Prince - Oh no!!! It’s a "Round about!" Oliver Leiber - Is that garlic I smell? Tom Flora, Michael Smotherman & Bill Kenner - Thanks!!
- Thanks to all the musicians, vocalists and engineers.
- And thanks to: Peter Benetta, Franky Blue, Nicky Brown, Rick Chudikoff, Phil Galdston, Paul Gordon, Michael Hammelstein, Randy Jackson, Tom Keane, Tim Kelly, Jon Lind, Lenny Macaluso, Les Pierce, Evan Rogers, Arnie Roman, Phil Roy, Gloria Sclarev, Jimmy Scott, Danny Sembello, Marti Sharron, Billy Steinberg, Carl Sturken & all the other writers who I had chance to work with.
- Extra special thanks to: Ina Meibach, Lippman Kahane Entertainment, A&R Coordination Kate Hyman, Chrysalis, Brian Loucks, my trainer Dorie Pride, and my personal assistant Lesley Duncan.
- Special thanks to: John Sykes, Joe Kiener, Tom Gorman, Fran Musso, Frances Pennington, Jeff Wagner, Greg Thompson, Van-O, Duff Marlowe, Tom Sturges, Elaine, Sherri, Lisa, KPM, Jeff Aldrich, Daniel Glass, Ken Lane, Ron Fair, Cema and the whole entire promo staff!!! Thanks to Therese Stoulil and everyone at Paisley Park. Thanks to: Vivian Turner, Ann Fulayter, Toni Basil, Hugo Huizar, and Jaime and Sheila Johnson. An extra special thanks to all the radio stations that kept my poster up on their walls!!!
- Brenda Mowdy - To a mom that everyone loved ...
- I want to dedicate this album to my grandfather Alexander Fiorillo Sr., who died this past year. He always told me that I deserved the best in life and that I should never settle for second best. I have received many letters from fans that have asked for advice about problems they might have had. I want them to read the advice my grandfather gave me. Teenage suicide is a very real and terrible problem in our society. Suicide is not an answer. It is what my grandfather meant by second best. Living is the answer. There is a purpose in your life ... Love, Elisa