Another solid 80s classic
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 03/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's not much that I can add to all the glowing reviews below but I have to say that back in the day, these were the dudes, for real. Alongside other real bands like Cameo, Kool & The Gang, The Brothers Johnson, Brass Construction & Skyy (just to name a couple), the Gap Band made sure we kept dancing back in the late 70s and early 80s. Lead singer Charlie Wilson, himself clearly influenced by soul legends that had preceded him, was a huge influence on many great singers that were yet to come; people like Keith Sweat, R. Kelly, Joe and all those who have followed on from them. All these guys have had huge success with Charlie's style though not one of them was as good as the original, in my opinion. That was clear to anyone who had ears when Charlie appeared alongside Justin Timberlake on the recent Snoop Dogg single "Signs", even though his performance is often not even credited.
This 1982 monster was full of the good stuff. "Early In The Morning" (with that iconic crowing cockerel intro and its wild guitar solo) was one of my favourite tunes ever and still is. "Outstanding" is a classic that surely needs no introduction and as for "You Dropped A Bomb On Me", boy... I wonder if anyone would find it possible to resist this kind of music even now?
But their mid-tempo ballads were equally magnificent. "Seasons No Reason To Change", with its brilliant piano-led intrumental outro & "Stay With Me", are both heartfelt and incredibly soulful. I also really love the flugelhorn-driven "I Can't Get Over You".
The album was produced by Lonnie Simmonds and I feel a need to reiterate the fact that this trio of brothers were a proper band, playing live instruments - something that hardly exists anymore. They had a group of other musicians behind them, playing keyboards, synthesizers, bass, drums, percussion, horns and guitar but Charlie didn't just sing; he also played keyboards, synthesizer, mini-moog and percussion. Robert played the bass, lead guitar and percussion and Ronnie played keyboards, flugelhorn, synthesizer and percussion.
I'm glad to finally get this on CD. My sad vinyl version is scratched beyond redemption and I've been looking for this for years. Oh, how I miss the good old days!"