Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
Real Music for Real People!
M. | The Lou, Missouri United States | 01/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the Real People/Tongue In Chic double CD, but being a hardcore Chic fan, I had to have the stand-alone product. The double CD sounded horrible - tinnish with no bass.
The music on this CD literally bounces with more of Bernard's bass, has more pop with Nile's guitar, sparkles with playful keyboard work, glides with swoopy string arrangements, percolates with percussion, and stabs at you with the sharp vocals from the lead and backup vocalists. Real People sounds as fresh as when it was first released!
While Chic's previous albums were more commercially disco (or whatever you choose to call them), RP - at least for me, marks the beginning of a change for the group. This album was not a commercial success in the way that Risque gave us "Good Times" and "A Warm Summer Night", or in the way that C'est Chic gave us "Le Freak" and "I want Your Love", or in the way that Chic gave us "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Everybody Dance". Times and tastes were changing, and disco was officially DEAD.
RP was significant for the group as the music moved somewhat away from disco. At the time, I didn't know how to identify it; this wasn't disco and it definitely wasn't new wave. Still, I couldn't call it R&B, but it wasn't pop either. FUSION(?) Still, the music was (and is) excellent.
Back in the day, I didn't like "Open Up" - it took some time for me to appreciate Chic's more instrumental numbers. This song showcases The Chic Strings: Karen Milne, Cheryl Hong, Valerie Heywood. Bernard's bass and Nile's guitar provide the funky underpinning for a dramatic opening number.
"Real People" gave the spotlight to Nile and his guitar with a rock edge over a soulful groove.
"I Loved You More" is total melacholy with a soulfully sad lead vocal and another guitar solo.
I had heard somewhere that "I Got Protection" was originally intended for Diana Ross' Chic-produced LP, but it wound up on RP instead. It's a nice song, but RP needed a commercially viable hit and this apparently wasn't IT. They should've given this to Miss Ross and taken "Have Fun (Again)" for themselves - especially since Russ Terrana butchered it by stripping away most of the Chicness to make it nothing more than pseudo-new wave filler for that LP. The song would've fallen in line with some of their other major hits while "...Protection" would've fit Ross' image as "The Boss" and THE Diva. But that's another story altogether!
"Rebels Are We" is the reason I bought RP; I believe I heard it on the radio ONCE. It was stark, spare, and dark compared to their earlier music. The strings stab in and out of the song like knives in your back. The instrumental break is fast-paced with Tony Thompson's rough-and-tumble drumming. It certainly wasn't dance music in the traditional Chic sense, but it made for great listening!
"Chip Off The Old Block" is the song I fell in love with. It's mid-tempo with a bit of lovelorn dialed in. While Chic fans always look to Nile and 'Nard - along with drummer Tony Thompson for musical genius, it's the keyboards that grabbed hold of me on this song as the one element that makes the music work here. The melodramatic ending of the chorus with Nile, the strings, and the keys teasing us all the way through the coda always (and still do) keep me coming back for more. Their song "Believer" used a similar formula a few years later.
Unfortunately, I can't say the same for "26". I just didn't get it. Nice instrumentation, though.
The last song also took a while to appreciate. I originally thought it was Nile who tackled the lead vocal on "You Can't Do It Alone", but-in fact, it was back up singer Fonzi Thornton. This song is one of Chic's finest moments. The sound is dated, like something out of the 1960s - retro-soul before it became...well...chic, so to speak. This is something Sam Cooke would've been comfortable singing. And that's what made it cool to me. The guitar solo at the end is haunting. Later, this song found placement on a Chic compilation CD ahead of the instrumental "Tavern on the Green" from the Soup For One soundtrack. The two make a great pair since "...Alone" ends with a guitar solo and "Tavern..." seemingly picks up where it leaves off.
This set marks a transition in Chic's work from disco/dance music to their days as makers of great fusion. RP was followed by "Take It Off", which went deeper into the jazz/fusion realm. Just as the group said in one of its later songs, this is "Sweet, not sugar-coated 'cause the music is Chic." "Real People" is "Something You Can Feel"!"
Man, was Chic something special!!!
Reginald D. Garrard | Camilla, GA USA | 05/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Chic is remembered as a "disco band" from the late seventies/early eighties that unleashed onto the world such hits as "Le Freak," "I Want Your Love," and the often-sampled "Good Times." What is forgotten is the truly outstanding musicianship of creaters Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, as well as the combined talent of The Chic Strings: Karen Milne, Cheryl Hong, and Valerie Heywood.
No better example of their artistic abilities is shown than in the first track, "Open Up," a scorching instrumental that allows each to shine. "I Got Protection" is another composition with catchy vocals from Luci Martin, Alfa Anderson, Michelle Cobbs, and Fonzi Thornton, and has some really strong Rodgers' guitar rifts. Light on "profound" lyrics but still possessing the group's patented danceable funk are "Rebel Are We" (musically similar to "We Are Family," the Sister Sledge hit written by Rodgers and Edwards) and "Chip Off the Old Block." These songs, as well as three others, still kick it after twenty-five years.
Only does "You Can't Do It Alone" sound a little dated with its lyrics crossing between "female empowerment" and "masculine domination. Its guitar outro adds to its truly schizophrenic text.
Track listings and times:
1. Open Up - 3:52
2. Real People - 5:20
3. I Loved You More - 3:06
4. I Got Protection - 6:22
5. Rebels Are We - 4:53
6. Chip Off the Old Block - 4:56
7. 26 - 3:57
8. You Can't Do It Alone - 4:39"
Rebels They Were!
Andre' S Grindle | Bangor,ME. | 09/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just listen to the tital cut,'Open Up","Chip Off the Old
Block","Rebels Are We" and the tight groove of "26" and there's
NO QUESTION as to what musical genre Chic speak to.They make
dancable funk records that masquerade as disco gold and henceforth are given commercial attention.But is dance-funk is
your thing stop reading and order a copy NOW!"