Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sister Sledge on the outside, Chic on the inside.
Funky D | Bayou Country | 02/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sister Sledge had already been turning out records, albeit unsuccessfully, for 6 years before teaming up with the Chic Organization on this classic. However, "teaming" up is not exactly the correct term. In reality, this is a Chic record as Bernard and Nile wrote, arranged and produced all the tracks. The Sledges (Kathy in particular), were only vocalists on this album. However, they proved to be more adventurous than Chic's own vocal tandem of Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin were allowed to be.Fortunately, the Sledges found Bernard and Nile at the peak of their "Chic sound" creativeness, and provided them with a fairly solid collection of tracks which were more stylistically varied than those found on Chic's "Risqué" album, which was also released in 1979.Aside from the acclaim given to the title track anthem, notice in particular......the opening 17 seconds of "He's the Greatest Dancer" which are probably Chic's greatest clip of music. The groove is simply Bernard's bass, Nile's layered guitar, and Tony (Thompson)'s 4-on-the-floor drumbeat. This is one of only a few spots in the entire Chic catalog where the rhythmic foundation is laid completely bare....Nile's rare guitar solo on "One More Time"...Nile's syncopated opening riff on "Thinking of You"...Kathy's incredible vocal on the extended break in "We are Family" that was done in 1 take!Keep in mind that although this is Sister Sledge's most well-known album, it is not really representative of the Sisters' sound. That would have to wait for later releases like "All American Girls" and "The Sisters"."
The CHIC Sound Reaches Its Peak
David Wayne | Santee, CA United States | 11/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is interesting that ALL of the big hits cranked out by Nile Rodgers' and Bernard Edwards' Chic Organisation have one trait in common. Think of "Dance, Dance, Dance" "Le Freak" "I Want Your Love" "Good Times" "Upside Down" "I'm Coming Out" "Spacer" "Backfired" "Saturday" "He's The Greatest Dancer" and "We Are Family." The common thread is that all of these songs were sung by women. Something about this music (the thick bottom end, Tony Thompson's precise rhythm pushed forward, Nile being a one-man band on guitar, Bernard making swirling and intricate excursions through Funkland) makes it need a womanly sound to balance it out. The (relatively) few takes done by a male (mostly by Bernard) never did get over, although one duet, "Take It Off," got heavy dance floor play. Although Chic's work with Diana Ross was still two years away, THIS album was the one on which all of the elements came together for the organization's founding pair. That it represented their peak is definitively underscored by the fact that this album's follow-up, "Love Somebody Today," was such a disappointment. But then again, "We Are Family" (the album and the single) was a tough act to follow. In 1978, discotheques were a place for escape; a fantasyland for adults young and older. The album's lead single, "He's The Greatest Dancer," captured the romance of dancing like no other pop song has. The protagonist doesn't know much about the dancer, or how he'd treat a woman. And she doesn't much care! He looks beautiful, he moves beautiful, and she wants him to take her home. Sister Sledge had been a teen novelty act before this song, but Kathy Sledge showed that she had truly grown up! "He's The Greatest Dancer" was an overnight sensation that topped the dance and soul charts. This album would have sold well based just on its inclusion, but there was so much more. Like "Lost In Music," another hot dance floor item that is represented here in three different mixes. "Thinking Of You," with its much-sampled opening guitar riff, and Kathy going to the top of her ad-libbing skills while saving the knockout punch for the next song. "Thinking Of You" proved to be so strong a groove that it went top 10 in Britain upon its release there 2 years later. That next song, "We Are Family," pushed the album up to platinum status and became the group's signature song. Kathy's breathtaking lead vocal (one take, but with part of the lengthy vamp spliced over itself) may have the greatest ad-lib to ever grace the charts. Even ballads like "You're A Friend To Me" "Somebody Loves Me" and "Easier To Love" are lovely to listen to, and stand with any other slow songs Bernard and Nile produced. The duo recorded this album with their own singers from Chic on the demos, but they DID write "We Are Family" just for Sister Sledge. "I Want Your Love" was supposed to be on this album, and "He's The Greatest Dancer" was intended for Chic's "C'est Chic" set, but the decision to switch the two was Kismet, putting two mega-hits on both those albums. Sister Sledge had some other good albums produced by Narada Michael Walden after "Love Somebody Today" flopped. But they never came close to this height again. Kathy left her sisters in the early 90's for a solo career, that produced a nice album ("Heart") that failed to find an audience. Debbie, Joanie, and Kim couldn't get their other sister (Carol) to take Kathy's place, so they now tour with a lead singer from outside the family."
The Peak of Disco
A. Griffiths | London | 04/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the album where the talents of Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards met the vocal prowess of Sister Sledge, and it is a legendary success, in fact it is almost a greatest hits CD by itself, what with the anthemic title track, along with "He's The Greatest Dancer", "Lost In Music", and more, it represents the pinnacle of dance music during the late 70's, as the production of every track is superior to most disco output from the same era, not to mention much of todays. With very informative liner notes, including biographies and track by track analysis, this edition is definitely worth owning, in fact, this is a disco masterwork!"