Monday, March 20, 2017

Brothers Johnson - Right On Time (1977)

“Right On Time" by Brothers Johnson (1977)

Only two years earlier (1975) the Brothers Johnson, a funk duo comprised of brothers George and Louis Johnson, were discovered by the master Quincy Jones. On his 1975 album “Mellow Madness,” Jones included “Is It Love That We’re Missing?” a ballad co-written by George Johnson and performed by the Brothers Johnson. The song garnered enough radio play to catapult the Brothers Johnson into a recording contract with A&M Records. The brothers were a smash right from the start with their 1976 single “I’ll Be Good To You.” Their first album “Looking Out For #1” and reached #9 on the US album chart including #1 on the US R&B chart. 1977 brought more success with the release of their second album, produced by Quincy Jones, “Right On Time.” The album zoomed to US #13 (#2 US R&B), Canada #36 and Australia #43. The album was certified Platinum for sales of more than one million copies. The track “Q” won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance.

The album features the smash hit “Strawberry Letter 23,” a song written and composed by Shuggie Otis (son of Johnny Otis), Otis recorded it for his 1971 album Freedom Flight.

George Johnson, of the Brothers Johnson, was dating one of Otis's cousins when he came across the album Freedom Flight. Brothers Johnson recorded the song in a funkier, more dance-oriented vein than the original Otis version. Their rendition hit the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at US #5 (and reached #1 on the US R&B/Soul Singles chart in 1977) Canada #8, Australia #25 and UK #35. Studio guitar player Lee Ritenour recreated Otis's original guitar solo for the Brothers Johnson version. The 12" single was pressed on red strawberry-scented vinyl.

"Strawberry Letter 23"

Brothers Johnson 1977


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