Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Rufus, Chaka Khan|
Genres: Pop, R&B
Digitally remastered 2008 Japanese-only release, part of their excellent Soul Masterpiece series. Originally released in 1979, this release from this Soul band is appearing here for the first time on CD. Nine tracks. Uni... more »
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Digitally remastered 2008 Japanese-only release, part of their excellent Soul Masterpiece series. Originally released in 1979, this release from this Soul band is appearing here for the first time on CD. Nine tracks. Universal.
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 06/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was almost 30 years ago but I remember the day I picked this one up on vinyl like it was yesterday. I bought it at a record shop in Yaba, a popular shopping area in Lagos, Nigeria. I remember not being able to wait to get it home, peeling off the cellophane wrapping (it had a colourful promotional sticker on it but I can't remember what it said) and opening up the foldout double-page album like a book. There's a smell that only records have...
I remember really loving the iconic photo of the group running up that sunny California street. I remember checking out the picture of Quincy Jones on the inner left-hand page, looking young, energetic and devilishly handsome. Spread over the rest of the inside are the rest of the group; drummer and percussionist John Robinson, bassist Bobby Watson, guitarist and vocalist Tony Maiden, keyboardist David "Hawk" Wolinski, keyboardist Kevin Murphy and of course, the lovely Chaka, long dark tresses flowing all over the picture...
I remember taking out the protective inner-jacket and pulling out the shiny black disc, putting it on my dad's old stereogram, sitting back with my little brother and being awed by the production of the music that felt like it was almost reaching out and touching us. Happy Days.
It's not quite the same with a CD even if the CD is sealed (which mine was, thankfully) and the iconic inner-sleeve photography is in black and white and loses some of the vibrancy of the album original.
But oh, well. The music is definitely the same and maybe that's what really counts. The Hawk Wolinski track "Do You Love What You Feel" was the big radio and club hit (I was too young for the clubs at that time but I knew what was going on) and I remember seeing the happy folks dancing to it on "Soul Train", round about the time the record came out. It's a duet between Chaka and Tony Maiden, full of percussion and bursting with energy and, alongside "Ain't Nobody", is probably one of Rufus's best-known dance songs ever.
But my personal favourite tune was and still is, "I'm Dancing For Your Love", written by Wolinski, Robinson, Patti Austin and Q's wife (at the time), Peggy Jones. The intro gets me every time, the drums and bass are as funky as ever and I especially adore the string solo on the instrumental break. Chaka didn't even sing a note on lead on this one; Maiden flies solo, the one of two times he does so on this album. The self-penned "Walk The Rockway" is the other.
Other favourites include The Rod Temperton-penned "Live In Me", where Chaka does her multi-octave thing, going in low on the first verse and then tearing it up high on the second; "Any Love", (Wolinski again), also a stellar Chaka performance; "Heaven Bound", written by Bill Meyers, Billy Durham and Lorrin Bates; and "What Am I Missing?", penned by Chaka and her brother, Mark Stevens.
It's more or less all five star stuff; the only tune I've never really gotten into is the title track, the second Rod Temperton tune. Quincy, with engineer Bruce Swedien behind the boards, make the most of the Seawind Horns, led by Jerry Hey, who also arranged the strings. This is great sing-along fun and one of my favourite albums ever. This is Chaka Khan in her element and I'm pretty sure I don't need to tell anyone: it's a true classic.
Quincy Jones also produced Michael Jackson's "Off The Wall" the same year and legend has it he promised to produce at least one album for Chaka Khan and her group after she gave such a stunning performance on "Stuff Like That", the title track of Quincy Jones's own album the year before. Ah, the good old days.
PS. Even though I now have this on CD, I will not be parting with my vinyl copy. (Sorry, John!)"