Search - Cameo :: Word Up

Word Up
Word Up
Genres: Pop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Cameo
Title: Word Up
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mca Special Products
Original Release Date: 1/1/1988
Re-Release Date: 7/22/2002
Genres: Pop, R&B
Styles: Funk, Soul, Quiet Storm
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 042283026520, 0042283026520, 042283026513

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CD Reviews

The album that defined "cool" in the 1980s
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 06/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"1986 was quite a year. I was busy perfecting an advanced level of high school nerdiness that future generations would never be able to equal, and Cameo was releasing what was, to me, the coolest song I had ever heard in my life. Word Up was huge; not since the heyday of Fonzie had I encountered such a concentration of coolness in anything. Everybody loved this song, everybody played this song, and everybody inevitably introduced the word Owwwww into his/her vocabulary. Then the song Candy was released, another great song that increased the shelf life of Larry Blackmon's trademark Owwwww for several more months. The way I saw it, you couldn't even pretend to be cool without owning this album. At first glance, you look and see only seven songs and wonder what the deal is here, but let me rationalize this seeming weakness of the CD by explaining that the album is 35 minutes long, with two songs over five minutes long and one spanning an excess of six minutes; thus, while it's still a relatively short album, it is not "too short" by any means (especially for its time). While none of the other tracks comes close to equaling the power of Word Up, this is still a great album all the way around. The only thing I knew about funk at this time was that Rick James' Superfreak was the funkiest funk around. I knew nothing about Cameo's emergence in the late 70s and their successful adaptation to the musical changes of the 80s, not only surviving where other funk bands fell by the wayside but prospering like nobody's business. I guess this can be called hip-hop music; all I know is that this was bold, cutting edge stuff to my young little mind. Now, I can appreciate this album in altogether new ways, and I must say it's still all kinds of cool. She's Mine is a great song, with Blackmon telling some unwelcome stranger that he doesn't appreciate him making moves on his special lady. Featuring a rap-like section and hard-driving beat, it's vintage Cameo. Back and Forth is another beat-rich track with an infectious groove sound. Don't Be Lonely is something of a slower yet still quite funky little track. Fast, Fierce, and Funny has a cool bass bridge voiceover and a steady beat that you may struggle to get out of your head as it explains to you that money isn't everything in this world. Somewhat ironically, the final track You Can Have the World is an empowering song communicating the fact that you can have whatever you want in life, including wealth, if you just get up off your back side and work for it. For me, Cameo's Word Up! is an indelible part of the 1980s and my coming of age, but this music is by no means old and out-of-date in the twenty-first century. Something this cool never really goes out of style."
Andre' S Grindle | Bangor,ME. | 09/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a chant!The title track aside the first three songs

on this album-the title song,"Candy" and "Back And Forth" all

blend into a sublimely funky frenzy."Fast,Fierce And Funny" and

"You Can Have The World" all charge ahead in the same maddening

way-all hyperspace synths and vocal wailing!'Word Up!' is one of

the few albums hanging by the old clishe of 'classic' that,in it's own genre,really deserves it!Not even the ballads will

dissappoint you!

Third And Best Of Mid '80s Trilogy
Scot Merideth Peirson | 08/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Cameo--as a group and in terms of ideas--really hit it's best period in terms of popularity and creativity from late 1983 to early 1987 with it's three albums in that period. "She's Strange", "Single Life" and "Word Up" had the group pared down from it's Earth, Wind, and Fire-sized band of the late 1970s to the Larry Blackmon/Tomi Jenkins/Nathan Leftenant core that carried these albums. "Word Up" is, in many ways, Blackmon's Magnum Opus--"Strange" was very good, "Single Life" was brilliant (Besides, can we ever forget the video for the title track--with Blackmon in the wedding dress?), but "Word Up"--the catchprase in the New York clubs in the mid-80s-- had those quirky lyrics that Blackmon created mixed with those stone dead funky beats and the hard-rock guitar...and, of course, the Morricone whistle in the title track and "Back And Forth". Plus the video for "Word Up"--remember LeVar Burton as the cop trying to catch Blackmon? Plus, I think this was the first video in which Larry wore the infamous fire-red codpiece...

Which leads me to saying something that many will consider sacrilege. The best track on this album ISN'T the title track (Allow me a second to duck), it's "Back And Forth". Why? First of all, it's just a great beat--many Old Schoolers think this was easier to do the Electric Slide to than "Word Up" (Cabbage Patch, y'all!!!). The vocal arrangement, especially in the chorus with Leftenant echoing Blackmon ("Back {back} and forth (and forth)..."). Plus, that absolutely stunning guitar bridge (Boy, if ANY song on the album should have been done full-length in video...).

Nothing Cameo and Larry Blackmon did after this album could top this performance--this was the one album that great artists have where everything in terms of artistry, popularity, pure talent and unbridled full-bore funk comes together, and nothing done after that can capture that whole package again.

"Word Up" is Cameo's best, and most perfect performance."