Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bar-Kays - Flying High On Your Love (1977)

“Flying High On Your Love” by The Bar-Kays (1977)

Release Date: November 1977
Produced by Allen Jones
Genre: Soul/Funk
Label: Mercury Records
Chart Positions: #47 (US). #7 (US R&B)
Certifications: Gold (US)

Singles: “Let’s Have Some Fun” #102 (US), #11 (US R&B), “Attitudes” #22 (US R&B)

“Flying High On Your Love” is the seventh studio album released by The Bar-Kays in November 1977. It was the first album by the band to be certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of more than 500,000 copies in the United States. Song for song, it is considered by many fans to be the Bar-Kays' best album overall.

The Bar-Kays delivered a juicy set of funk movers accented by disco beats along with a splash of smooth groove quiet storm ballads. “Flying High On Your Love” offered a tremendous mix of R&B.

The Bar-Kays were fully committed to their funk forbears while never taking their eyes off the shifting musical climate. Thus, they were able to make the leap from funk to disco in a way that almost no other bands could match. The Bar-Kays' late-'70s sounds, then, were not one or the other, but a seamless blend of both. A fine mix and a glorious achievement.

The first single from the album, “Let’s Have Some Fun,” stomps the disco beat down with some pretty heavy funk riffing garnered the band a good amount of airplay on funk, soul and R&B radio stations around the US. The song reached #11 on the US R&B charts and bubbled under the Billboard Top 100 making it to #102. The song is still played on funk and disco station on a regular basis.

"Let's Have Some Fun" (1977)

“Attitudes,” the second single was less popular reaching #22 on the US R&B charts and missing the pop charts all together. “Attitudes” is one of those cozy warm funk-filled slow jam ballads that should have charted much higher and belongs alongside songs such as the Commodores’ “Just To Be Close To You.” The song grooves smoothly with a nice funk bass line and a touch of brass that makes the song the perfect blend to spend some time sipping wine in front of a warm fireplace with the one you love.

The opening track “Shut The Funk Up,” despite not being released as a single achieved a good amount of airplay in nightclubs as well as R&B radio stations. Many feel this should have been a single. The song grooves with a funk slide that moves with the disco sounds of the day. A near perfect disco song accented with the funk horn trio of Charles "Scoop" Allen, Harvey "Joe" Henderson, and Frank "Captain Disaster" Thompson and dominated by vocalist Larry "D" Dodson's call to "get on up or just shut the funk up," it's immediately apparent that disco never sounded so good -- or so funky.

The album closes with a compelling quiet storm of funk and horns wrapped with a slow dance disco rhythm. “”Flying High On Your Love” burned up the dance floor during the slow dance section of the night. A favorite not only in dance clubs but also R&B radio. This is another song many fans felt would have been a great single and definitely a strong way to close an album full of gems.

The following is a review from Billboard Magazine's November 19, 1977 issue. The album was one of Billboard's Recommended LPs of the week:
This group seems to have mellowed both vocally and instrumentally. At the same time it maintains it's strong energetic force with horns still the dominating instrument. Vocals and instruments are also clearer and more identifiable. Tunes range from ballads to uptempo numbers. Best Cuts: "Standing On The Outside," "Can't Keep My Hands Off Of You," "Let's Have Some Fun," "Flying High On Your Love" 

Bar-Kays (1977)


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