Over the Rainbow is Connie Talbot's debut studio album that was released on November 26, 2007 by Rainbow Recording Company.
Talbot achieved fame after appearing on the first series of the talent competition series, "Britain's Got Talent" when she was 6 years old.
- Over The Rainbow
- I Believe
- Three Little Birds
- Favourite Things
- Any Dream Will Do
- What A Wonderful World
- I Will Always Love You
- I Have A Dream
- You Raise Me Up
- Walking In The Air
After briefly recording with Sony BMG, Talbot was signed to Rainbow Recording Company, an offshoot of the label Rhythm Riders made specifically for her.
To produce the album, Talbot worked with John Arnison, then-manager to Gabrielle and Billy Ocean, and Marc Marot, a former managing director of Island Records. It was produced and mixed by Simon Hill and Rob May.
A recording schedule was worked out so that Talbot could continue with her normal school activities while recording the album in her aunt Vicky's spare bedroom, which her mother described as "a better solution" than the one offered by Sony BMG, "which has not robbed her of her childhood." Talbot said that "it was just amazing that we could do it in my auntie's house".
Arnison and Marot asked the Talbot family to "write down a list of the songs that Connie would sing at her birthday party" to help choose the track listing, and then "thought long and hard" about including more adult songs on the album. Talbot herself insisted that they should.
The final version of "Over the Rainbow" was recorded at Olympic Studios on October 12, 2007.
Arnison described the recording process by saying that Talbot "hadn't sung nursery rhymes; she'd always sung classic tracks. So it was actually quite an easy task to make the record."
"Over the Rainbow" entered in the British album charts at #35 on December 8, 2007, but was at the bottom of the charts by Christmas despite having been tipped as a potential Christmas number one.
The album remained in the charts for five weeks, peaking at #35.
However, the album was certified gold in Britain in early December with Talbot being presented a gold disc by Phillip Schofield on daytime television programme, "This Morning."
Following Talbot's tour of Asia, it was reported that the album had reached #1 on the charts in Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong, as well as reaching #3 in Singapore.
The album has received platinum certification in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and double platinum in Korea, selling 30,000 copies.
In the US, "Over the Rainbow" appeared on three charts. It featured on the Top Heatseekers chart for nine weeks, peaking at #7, on the Kid Albums chart for four weeks, peaking at #8, and on Top Independent Albums chart for one week, at #43.
"Over the Rainbow" received negative reviews from music critics.
Sharon Mawer, of AllMusic, praised Talbot, saying that she "can sing, for a seven-year-old, and most of the notes (if not all of them) are in the right order and sung to the right pitch; the timing is fine too". However, she argued that the album had "no feeling, no emotion, no realization of what each song is about." Mawer ultimately gave the album a rating of two out of five stars.
Nick Levine, writing for Digital Spy, said in a review of the album that Talbot had a "sweet, pure voice", but that there is "no nuance or depth to her performance".
Though awarding the album two out of five, he said that "there's something inherently wrong about awarding a star rating to a seven-year-old", and that "the decidedly adult concept of musical merit should have nothing to do with [her music]".
Reviewers writing in the British newspaper the Harlow Star also commented on Talbot's age, saying that "there's no doubt she's a sweet little girl with a nice voice", but asking whether there is "something inherently wrong with thrusting a child into the limelight at such a young age".
Rashvin Bedi, writing for Malaysian newspaper The Star, praised the album, saying that "Connie sings with ease and manages the high notes admirably", but asked whether "people would buy an album of the same songs sung by a 20-year-old."
Although Arnison claimed he did not "want to put [Talbot] through the promotional grind which most artists go through because she is too young," Talbot made several public appearances after the release of "Over the Rainbow."
These included headlining the Great Bridge Christmas and Winter Festival, which local police threatened to cancel unless crowds clamouring to reach the tent in which Talbot was performing could be brought under control.
At the event, on December 7, 2007, Talbot was quoted as saying, "I love it here, it's brilliant, really fun", but she had to be ushered off-stage by the police. She performed publicly in Walsall's HMV store, and in Birmingham's Centenary Square.
TV appearances included slots on GMTV and 5 News, both on the day of the album's release.
In April and May 2008, Talbot toured Asia to promote the album. Asian journalists attributed her success in the region to her videos on YouTube, with writers for the Sun.Star noting that her most-viewed video had been watched over 14 million times and Bernard Koh, of The Straits Times, saying that videos of Talbot's performances had been watched over 30 million times.
The tour made stops in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, and Talbot and her family returned to England in late May.
News that Over the Rainbow was to be released in the US resulted in Talbot receiving attention from American press sources including Fox Business Network and MarketWatch.
Kerri Mason, writing for Reuters, described Talbot's videos as "viral", and added that she had been watched on YouTube over 46 million times.
Talbot travelled to the US for a promotional tour to coincide with the release, where she performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She made appearances in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington D.C.
Following the television appearances, the sales of the album were boosted in the US. Talbot again travelled to the US to promote her single "I Will Always Love You" in April 2009, returning again in May.
Appearances included a performance on Good Day New York on Fox Broadcasting Company's WNYW.