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Sex Cymbal

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Subject: Sheila E., Matthew Rolston, Sex Cymbal (song)
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Sex Cymbal

This article is about the album. For the song, see Sex Cymbal (song).
Sex Cymbal
Sheila E.
Released 1991
Recorded 1990
Genre House, dance, pop, R&B
Length 59:49
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Sheila E., Peter Michael and David Gamson
Sheila E. chronology

Sheila E.
Sex Cymbal
Writes of Passage
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau (dud)[1]
Ebony Favorable link
Entertainment Weekly B+ link

Sex Cymbal is the fourth solo album from Sheila E, released on Warner Bros. Records in 1991, four years after Sheila E.'s previous album. It is her first album that does not feature any input from her mentor Prince.


In 1990 Sheila went into the studio to record the album with her brother Peter Michael. She and Michael produced the whole album together and a few songs feature co-production from David Gusman and J.P. Charles.

Sex Cymbal produced three singles, "Sex Cymbal", "Droppin' Like Flies", and "Cry Baby". The title track was released as the lead single, and it reached the top 40 of the R&B and Dance charts. The second single, "Droppin' Like Flies", was a top 40 Dance hit but stalled at #77 on the R&B charts. The third and final single from the album, "Cry Baby", failed to chart.

The album is a departure from her previous album Sheila E., which was notable for its Latin influence and mixing many styles of music such as jazz, rock, funk, R&B, and salsa. It has a very prominent house- and dance-focused sound that was popular in the late 1980s and the early 1990s.

Track listing

Produced and arranged by Sheila E. and Peter Michael except where noted

  1. "Sex Cymbal" – 4:26
  2. "Funky Attitude" – 5:11
  3. "Cry Baby" – 5:44 (Sheila E. & J.P. Charles)
  4. "Lady Marmalade" – 5:04 (Bob Crewe, Kenny Nolan)
  5. "808 Kate (Drum Solo)" – 1:00
  6. "Loverboy" – 4:03
  7. "Mother Mary" – 5:23
  8. "Droppin' Like Flies" – 5:26 (Peter Michael & David Gamson)
  9. "What'cha Gonna Do" – 4:40
  10. "Private Party (Tu Para Mi)" – 4:39
  11. "Family Affair (Percussion Jam)" – 1:00
  12. "Promise Me Love" – 5:37
  13. "Heaven" – 4:36

Chart positions

Chart (1991) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 146
U.S. Billboard R&B Albums 56


  • Sheila E. – lead vocals, production
  • Michael Peter – production
  • J.P. Charles – co-production on "Cry Baby"
  • David Gamson – co-production on "Droppin' Like Flies"


Sheila was unable to promote the album due to a severe health scare, described in the article on her.


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