Monday, July 31, 2017

Parliament - Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome (1977)

“Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome” by Parliament (1977)

Release Date: November 28, 1977
Produced by George Clinton
Genre: Funk, funk-rock, psychedelic soul
Label: Casablanca

Chart Positions: #13 (US), #36 (New Zealand)
Certifications: Platinum (US)

Singles: “Bop Gun” #102 (US), #14 (US R&B), “Flashlight” #16 (US), #3 (New Zealand), #1 (US R&B), “Funkentelechy” #27 (US R&B)
Singles Certifications: Gold: “Flashlight” (US)

Other Charting Tracks: N/A
Best Tracks: “Flashlight,” “Bop Gun”

“Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome” is the sixth studio album by Parliament, released in 1977. The album is considered to be one of the best in Parliament's catalog. It is a loose concept album warning the listener of falling into the 'Placebo Syndrome', which according to George Clinton is consumerism, and listening to disco music, which he saw as a simplification of funk music in attempt to gain commercial success. “Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome” is the third installment in the album trilogy which began with 1976's "Mothership Connection" and continued with "The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein." "Mothership Connection" was the beginning of their science fiction era in which Parliament restructured their sound, style and look to fit their electric attitude of the future.

The album spawned the R&B number #1 single in "Flash Light", which features a funky synthesizer bass line played in a Minimoog by keyboardist Bernie Worrell. The legendary Bootsy Collins provided some no frills simply energetic drumming while Catfish Collins (Bootsy's younger brother Phelps) gave the song it's electrifyingly amazing guitar performance. The line; "Everybody's got a little light under the sun," neatly describes the song's meaning of freedom and victory against the oppressors. "Flash Light" encapsulates the overall theme of the album of the ideal "us" struggling for freedom in a world run by an oppressive "them."

"Flashlight" (1977)

"Flash Light" was originally written for Bootsy Collins' first album, "Stretchin' Out In Bootsy's Rubber Band." But he didn't like the song so he passed on it. This was a huge missed opportunity for Bootsy as he never scored a hit as big as "Flash Light." George Clinton, with Parliament, turned this song into a funk anthem that still lives on to this day.

“Bop Gun,” the album's first single, starts with a brisk guitar figure and beat then turns into an instant party on all fronts, with great lead vocals and an addictive chorus, the Horny Horns and company hit the grooves and blast them hard with their earthy horns while Bernie Worrel's synthesizer fills electrify the song. Though "Flashlight" was the bigger hit, it seems critics favor "Bop Gun" as being the more innovative of the two.

Singer and guitarist Glen Goins provided the funkalicious lead vocal for "Bop Gun." Goins was prominently featured on three Parliament albums before his untimely passing at the young age of 24 in 1978 due to Hodgkins Lymphoma. Goins also played on Funkadelic albums from the same time period.

The third single "Funkentelechy" was not such the success as "Bop Gun" or "Flash Light" but still is a masterpiece of music that received a fair amount of airplay.

“Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome” became Parliament's fourth consecutive gold album and second platinum album. It tied as being their highest charting album with 1975's "Mothership Connection," both albums made it to #13 in the US.

Parliament (1977)


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Anne Murray - Love Song (1974)

“Love Song” by Anne Murray (1974)

Release Date: February 1974
Produced by Brian Ahern
Genre: Country, Pop
Label: Capitol

Chart Positions: #5 (Canada), #24 (US)
Certifications: N/A

Singles: “Send A Little Love My Way” #25 (Canada), #72 (US), #10 (Canada Country), #6 (Canada Adult Contemporary), #79 (US Country), #10 (US Adult Contemporary), “A Love Song” #1 (Canada), #12 (US), #88 (Australia), #1 (Canada Country), #1 (Canada Adult Contemporary), #5 (US Country), #1 (US Adult Contemporary), “You Won’t See Me” #5 (Canada), #8 (US), #49 (Australia), #4 (Canada Adult Contemporary), #1 (US Adult Contemporary), “Just One Look” #11 (Canada), #86 (US), #50 (US Adult Contemporary)
Singles Certifications: N/A
Other Charting Tracks: “Son Of A Rotten Gambler” #1 (Canada Adult
Contemporary), #3 (Canada Country), #5 (US Country)

Best Tracks: “A Love Song,” “Just One Look,” “Real Emotion,” “You Won’t See Me,” “Son of a Rotten Gambler”

"Love Song" is the ninth studio album by Anne Murray issued in 1974 on Capitol Records. It peaked at #24 on the US Billboard Pop Albums chart and won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and was nominated in the "Best Selling Album" category in the 1975 Juno Awards. Anne Murray’s rendition of the song "Send a Little Love My Way" was featured in the Stanley Cramer film, “Oklahoma Crude,” and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in 1973.

A highlight from the album is the Lennon-McCartney Beatles tune “You Won’t See Me,” which went on to be a big hit for Murray reching #8 in the US and #5 in Canada. Lennon is said to have told Murray that her version of "You Won't See Me" was his favorite Beatles cover ever. Murray herself is a confessed Beatles fanatic and has covered several other Beatles songs, including "Day Tripper" and "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You".

“A Love Song” was written specifically by Kenny Loggins (and Donna Lyn George) for Anne Murray. The song was a major crossover hit for Murray. In her native Canada, it topped all three singles charts: the overall Top Singles chart, the Country Tracks chart and the Adult Contemporary chart. In the United States, the song peaked at No. 5 on Billboard magazine's Hot Country Singles chart and just missed the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 12. The song fared even better there in the adult contemporary market — it became Murray's third chart-topper on Billboard's American Hot Adult Contemporary Singles chart. This was the second time Anne charted with a Loggins & Messina song, having reached the Top 10 with her version of "Danny's Song" in 1973.

"A Love Song" (1974)

Anne was obviously a Kenny Loggins fan as she included a cover of the Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina penned "Watching The River Run" on this album. Murray's rendition is very similar to Loggins and Messina's with a homegrown feel to it.

Both "A Love Song" and "Watching The River Run" appeared on the Loggins and Messina album "Full Sail" which was released in October 1973.

The album's fourth single "Just One Look," a cover of Doris Troy's 1963 Top Ten was fairly popular in Canada but barely made a mark in the US. Though it's b-side "Son of a Rotten Gambler" gained quite a bit of traction on the country music charts in both the US and Canada. "Son of a Rotten Gambler" was written by Chip Taylor who is known for having written the mega-hit "Angel In The Morning" and the Troggs' 1966 classic "Wild Thing."

Murray gives us a great bluesy cover of Alan O’Day’s “Real Emotion.” We know Alan O’Day from his 1977 million selling chart topping hit “Undercover Angel” and Helen Reddy’s #1 hit in 1974 “Angie Baby,” which O’Day wrote. Anne Murray covered Alan O’Day’s “Caress Me Pretty Music” for her 1976 album “Keeping In Touch.”

In their review of this album Rolling Stone magazine commented, "if 1974 is to be the year for female pop, Anne Murray may prove to be it's most talented proponent.

Anne Murray (1974)


Monday, July 24, 2017

Alice Coltrane - World Galaxy (1972)

“World Galaxy” by Alice Coltrane (1972)

Release Date: February 1972
Produced by Alice Coltrane and Ed Michel
Genre: Jazz, Free Jazz
Label: Impulse Records

Chart Positions: N/A
Certifications: N/A
Singles: N/A
Singles Certifications: N/A
Other Charting Tracks: N/A
Best Tracks: All five tracks are outstanding!

Alice Coltrane was the second wife of jazz legend John Coltrane. “World Galaxy” is her sixth studio album and is considered by those that have experienced the album to be a spiritual journey of enlightenment. The album was recorded in a span of two days in November 1971.

In this album Alice plays the harp and piano (as she did on her previous albums) but also extended her list of instruments to percussion, organ and tamboura becoming a multi-instrumentalist with “World Galaxy.” The harp, Alice's prime instrument, has been considered by many to be a cosmic symbol, symbolizing angels, peace and heavenly bodies. “World Galaxy” is an acquired taste and takes a few listens to understand Coltrane’s intention of where she’s taking the music.

Several critics consider “World Galaxy” to be one of the early 70s' finest moments in jazz music.

Alice wrote three of the five tracks from the album which  construct the Galaxy suite. Also included is an inspirational avant-garde jazz rendition of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things,” Alice completely reworked the song to the point that you almost don't recognize parts of it until you sit still and listen. It's a colossal of visions and atmospheric texturing of cosmic strings that propel this piece into a world of its own. John Coltrane did a more accessible standard rendition of the song in 1961 that has been considered one of his signature pieces.

"My Favorite Things" (1972)

The final track is a cover of John Coltrane’s classic “A Love Supreme,” Alice adds an ethereal sense to the music while progressing into a somewhat jive-bop style (yes I am creating my own new genre to describe the song) that gives the song a bit more lift than John Coltrane’s original. Alice was known for taking a song and completely turning it into a obscure avant-garde work of art, in this manner she was wholly successful with the creation of "World Galaxy."

Alice Coltrane (1972)


Friday, July 21, 2017

Be-Bop Deluxe - Sunburst Finish (1976)

“Sunburst Finish” by Be-Bop Deluxe (1976)

Release Date: February 1976
Produced by John Leckie, Bill Nelson
Genre: Art-Rock, Proto Punk, New Wave
Label: Harvest

Chart Positions: #17 (UK), #96 (US)
Certifications: N/A

Singles: “Ships In The Night” #23 (UK)
Singles Certifications: N/A
Other Charting Tracks: N/A
Best Tracks: “Ships In The Night,” “Sleep That Burns,” “Crystal Gazing,” “Speed Of The Wind”

Trivia: “Sunburst Finish” is the third studio album by art rock band Be-Bop Deluxe, released in February 1976. It was recorded in Abbey Road Studios, London. The album contains what would become one of their few forays into charts; the February 1976 single "Ships in the Night" reached #23 on the UK Singles Charts. The album was their first album to enjoy chart success in the US and UK subsequently brining a renewed interest in their first two albums.

“Sunburst Finish” is one of the great rock albums of the 1970s, the band is absolutely dialed in throughout, Bill Nelson’s songwriting has never been more accessible and sharp. “Fair Exchange,” with typically blistering lead work from Nelson, kicks the proceedings off in style.  From there the album showcases prime examples of hard rock, progressive rock, and power pop. With never a dead spot to be found, “Sunburst Finish” is simply packed with killer riffs, top-notch performances, and great melodies.

The multi-talented Bill Nelson wrote all ten songs on the album (including the three bonus tracks on the 1990 reissue, he played all the guitars, sang lead vocals and co-produced the album. The was very much a Bill Nelson album as it was a Be-Bop Deluxe album. As a sidenote... did I mention Bill's guitar work on this album is HOT! HOT! HOT!

The album is filled with varying rhythms and musical surprises from beginning to end. The pounding rhythm on "Sleep That Burns" alternates with slower sections building a spacey dream sequence in what has to be one of Be-Bop Deluxe's superior progressive arrangements.

"Sleep That Burns" (1976)

"Ships In The Night" is the song that propelled Be-Bop Deluxe to their next level of success. The song was their first of two singles to reach the UK charts (the other was a four-track single release called "Hot Valves," which includes one track from each of their first four albums with "Blazing Apostles" from "Sunburst Finish"). Bill Nelson's younger brother Ian Nelson played alto saxophone on "Ships In The Night."

Be-Bop Deluxe (1976)


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

T. Rex - Electric Warrior (1971)

“Electric Warrior” by T. Rex (1971)

Release Date: September 24, 1971
Produced by Tony Visconti
Genre: Glam Rock, Rock and Roll
Label: Reprise (US), Fly (UK)

Chart Positions: #1 (UK), #12 (Norway), #14 (Germany), #32 (US), #46 (Japan), #166 (France)
Certifications: Silver (UK)

Singles: “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” #1 (UK, Ireland, France), #3 (Switzerland, Germany), #6 (Belgium, Norway), #8 (Canada), #10 (US), #11 (Australia), #13 (Netherlands), #16 (Japan), #32 (Poland), #2 (UK, Ireland), #3 (Germany), #4 (France), #9 (Belgium), #27 (Netherlands), #29 (Australia), #73 (Canada), #79 (Japan)
Singles Certifications: N/A
Other Charting Tracks: N/A
Best Tracks: “Jeepster,” “Bang A Gong (Get It On),” “Life’s A Gas”

Electric Warrior is the sixth studio album by English glam rock act T. Rex. It is the group's second album released under the name "T. Rex", with the first four billed as "Tyrannosaurus Rex". It was released on 24 September 1971 by record label Fly in the UK and Reprise in the US. The album marks a turning point in the band's sound, dispensing with the folk-oriented music of the group's previous albums and pioneering a new, "glammier" style of rock known as glam rock. The album also drew attention to the band in the United States with the top 10 hit "Bang A Gong (Get It On)". This would prove to be the band's only successful single in America, deeming the band a "one-hit wonder" there. Two singles were released from the album: "Get It On" and "Jeepster". "Get It On" was T. Rex's biggest selling single, and became the band's only top-ten US hit. In the United States, "Get It On”'s title was originally changed to "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" to distinguish it from Chase's song "Get It On", which was also released in late 1971. The printing of the song title "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" on the back cover of original Reprise Records North American pressings of Electric Warrior is in a different typeface from the surrounding text, with the song's original title retained on the lyric sheet.

Bolan claimed to have written “Get It On” out of his desire to record Chuck Berry's "Little Queenie", and said that the riff is taken from the Berry song. In fact, a line (And meanwhile, I'm still thinking) of "Little Queenie" is said at the fade of "Get It On".

Progressive Rock musician, Rick Wakeman performed keyboards on "Bang A Gong (Get it On)." Wakeman is best known for his work with the Prog band Yes. He has been a member with the band since 1971. Wakeman also performed the mellotron on David Bowie's "Space Oddity."

“Jeepster” was controversial in that Fly Records released the song without singer Marc Bolan's prior permission, Bolan having just left Fly for EMI, which had given him control of his own label T. Rex Wax Co. Records. The music and rhythm for “Jeepster” are similar to that of the Howlin' Wolf song "You'll Be Mine", written by Willie Dixon. In interviews, Marc Bolan has acknowledged that he "lifted it from a Howlin' Wolf song".

Jeepster (1971)

The album's sense of campy playfulness and non-sensical wordplay combined with Bolan's warm and fuzzy guitar work and irresistible hooks have given the album a unique fusion of style and roots that have held the test of time. "Electric Warrior" is considered a classic with several publications and critics listing it as one of the great albums of all-time.

The following review was featured in the October 23, 1971 issue of Billboard Magazine:
"T. Rex is now the hottest group in England (consistent number one singles). With the group and the company taking great promotional interest in this album, it won't be long before America also starts bopping to Marc Bolan's uniquely entertaining cosmic visions. Freakiest Cut: "Jeepster," Prettiest: "Life's A Gas, Funniest: "Rip-Off."

T. Rex (1971)

T. Rex

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Diana Ross by Diana Ross (1976)

“Diana Ross” by Diana Ross (1976)

Release Date: February 10, 1976
Produced by Michael Masser, Hal Davis, Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson, Berry Gordy, Don Costa, Lawrecne Brown, Gil Askey
Genre: Soul, Disco, Pop
Label: Motown

Chart Positions: #2 (Netherlands, Canada), #4 (UK), #5 (US), #8 (France), #26 (Sweden), #27 (Japan), #39 (Australia)
Certifications: Gold (US, UK)

Singles: “I Thought It Took A Little Time (But I Fell In Love Today)” #32 (UK), #47 (US), #53 (Canada), #4 (US Adult Contemporary), #6 (US R&B), “Love Hangover” #1 (US, Ireland), #3 (Canada, France), #10 (UK), #16 (Italy), #18 (Netherlands), #23 (Holland), #28 New Zealand), #69 (Australia), #1 (USR&B, US Dance), #19 (US Adult Contemporary), “One Love In My Lifetime” #24 (Canada), #25 (US), #10 (US R&B), #31 (US Adult Contemporary)
Singles Certifications: “Love Hangover” Gold (US)
Other Charting Tracks: N/A
Best Tracks: “Love Hangover,” “One Love In My Lifetime,” “Smile,” “Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)”

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Trivia: “Diana Ross” the album was Ross' biggest-selling album since 1973's "Touch Me in the Morning", and the first of Ross' albums since her debut to yield more than four hit singles. It reached #5 on the US Billboard 200 album chart, #4 on the US Billboard R&B Album Chart and the Top 5 in the UK, where it was awarded a Gold disc for sales in excess of 100,000 copies. It was her second eponymously named album. The first was released in 1970 and was later renamed “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” The 1976 album includes the track, “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)” which was released, four months before the release of “Diana Ross,” as a single from the soundtrack “Mahogany.”

The #1 hit single “Love Hangover” is one of Diana Ross’ biggest selling singles of her entire career. Ross received a Grammy Award nomination for "Love Hangover" (Best R&B Performance, Female Artist), and an Oscar nomination for Best Song for "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)". With "Love Hangover" Diana Ross was again stepping out of her comfort zone and leading the pack. Yes, there had been disco hits over the previous year but none as dark and deep as "Love Hangover," maybe with the exception of Donna summer's "Love To Love You Baby," which was released three months later. "Love Hangover" hit the charts and sizzled all the way to the top. Diana commented, "I remember Suzanne de Passe bringing me 'Love Hangover," she had to make me believe in the song because it wasn't exactly a song, it was all feeling." Despite Diana's reservations she took it to the studio and recorded it in one take. She ad-libbed most of it. She had recently finished filming the role of Billie Holiday for the film "Lady Sings The Blues" so she put a little Billie into the song in the part where she sings, "If there's a cure for this."

"Love Hangover" (1976)

The album's third single "One Love In My Lifetime" was a sizable hit reaching #25 on the US chart, as well as #24 in Canada and received a fair amount of airplay.

Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson (Ashford & Simpson) wrote and produced the anthemic Gospel tinged "Ain't Nothing But A Maybe."

Diana closes the album with the Charlie Chaplin tune "Smile," which, as an instrumental, first appeared on the soundtrack for Chaplin's 1936 film "Modern Times." In 1954 John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and gave it the title "Smile." Nat King Cole took the song into the Top Ten in 1954. Diana Ross's schmaltzy jazz and blues tinged rendition echoes her work portraying Billie Holiday. 

Back Cover of "Diana Ross"

Diana Ross (1976)


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Earth, Wind & Fire - All 'n All (1977)

“All ‘n All" by Earth, Wind and Fire (1977)

Release Date: November 21, 1977
Produced by Maurice White
Genre: R&B, Soul, Jazz, Funk, Pop
Label: Columbia

Chart Positions: #3 (US), #4 (Netherlands), #11 (France, Sweden), #12 (New Zealand), #13 (UK), #14 (Japan), #1 (US Black Albums Chart)
Certifications: 3xPlatinum (US), Gold (Canada), Silver (UK)

Singles: “Serpentine Fire” #13 (US), #36 (New Zealand), #1 (US R&B), “Fantasy” #2 (France), #6 (Holland), #7 (Netherlands, South Africa), #8 (Belgium, Sweden), #14 (UK, New Zealand), #22 (Japan), #32 (US), #12 (US R&B), “Jupiter” #41 (UK), #82 (Japan), “Magic Mind” #54 (UK)
Singles Certifications: “Fantasy” Gold (US)
Best Tracks: “Fantasy,” “Serpentine Fire,” “I’ll Write A Song For You,” “Runnin’”

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All 'n All is the eighth studio album by the American band Earth, Wind & Fire, released in 1977 on Columbia Records. It is one of the group's best known albums and has been certified triple platinum in the United States for sales of three million copies by the RIAA, gold in Canada by Music Canada and silver in the UK by the British Phonographic Industry. All 'n All reached #3 on the Pop Album chart and stayed at #1 on the Black Album chart for nine weeks. All 'n All was also the bestselling R&B album of 1978.

The album won  two Grammy Awards one for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus and the song "Runnin'" won for Best R&B Instrumental. All 'N All also garnered an American Music Award nomination for Favorite Album- Soul/Rhythm & Blues.

The funk-filled R&B track "Serpentine Fire" was the first single from the album and was the album's biggest hit in the US reaching #13 on the Billboard singles  chart and seven weeks at #1 on the US R&B chart. Philip Bailey's congas drums and the full horn section give the song a slight Latin R&B jazz style. Written by EWF members Maurice White and Verdine White with Reginald Sonny Burke, the lead vocal was taken by Philip Bailey as at the time Bailey was gaining more prominence with the band in performing more lead vocals.  The Serpentine Fire is a yoga concept, Maurice White explained, "The Kundalini principle has to do with the fluid in your spine. After 29 days, if used properly it can be converted into a higher consciousness of energy, which means you can step up or step down, it's your choice. It's called a serpent, because if you tipped the spine out of the body and looked at it, it would look like a serpent - and the fluid is the fire in the spine." "Serpentine Fire" was born out of Maurice and Verdine's spiritual and positive energy.

The second single from the album, "Fantasy," was a much bigger hit throughout the world than "Serpentine Fire," except in the US where it charted considerably lower at #32 on the Billboard singles chart and #12 on the R&B chart. Despite the lower chart position the song was certified Gold by the RIAA. "Fantasy" was written by Maurice and Verdine White this time with the assistance of Eddie Del Barrio. Del Barrio, a jazz and funk musician, songwriter, arranger and producer,  also co-wrote the Earth Wind & Fire songs "Runnin'," and "Star." "fantasy" was described by many as Earth, Wind and Fire's transition into disco with a smooth groove to it.

"Fantasy" (1977)

The next two singles "Jupiter" and "Magic Mind," were both semi-hits in the UK charting at #41 and #54 respectively.

"Love's Holiday" and the beautiful "I'll Write A Song For You" both received radio airplay, despite not being released as a-side singles. "Love's Holiday" was used as the b-side to the single "Magic Mind."

Earth, Wind & Fire (1977)


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Bonnie Tyler - It's A Heartache (aka Natural Force)(1978)

“It’s A Heartache” (“Natural Force”) by The Bonnie Tyler (1978)

Release Date: May 1978
Produced by Ronnie Scott, Steve Wolfe
Genre: Rock, Pop, Country
Label: RCA

Chart Positions: #2 (Sweden), #3 (Norway), #16 (US), #23 (France), #60 (Australia), #2 (US Country)
Certifications: Platinum (Canada), Gold (US, Finland)

Singles: “Heaven” #24 (Germany), “It’s A Heartache” #1 (Sweden, Norway, Canada, Australia, France, Brazil), #2 (Germany, Belgium, South Africa), #3 (US, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland), #4 (New Zealand, UK), #5 (Netherlands), #10 (US Adult Contemporary Chart, US Country), “Here Am I” #4 (Norway), #18 (Germany), #99 (Australia), “Hey Love (It’s A Feelin’”) N/A, “If I Sing You A Love Song” #8 (France,) #24 (Canada), #103 (US)
Singles Certifications: “It’s A Heartache” Platinum (France), Gold (US, UK, Canada)
Other Charting Tracks: N/A
Best Tracks: “It’s A Heartache,” “If I Sing You A Love Song,” “Living for The City”

Trivia: “Natural Force” is the second studio album by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler, released in May 1978 by RCA Records. In the United States, the album was titled “It's a Heartache.” As with her debut her producers, Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe wrote most of the tracks on the album. Other songs include covers of American artists Stevie Wonder (Living For The City) and Carole King (You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman). Five singles were released from Natural Force. The second single, "It's a Heartache", is among the best-selling singles of all time, with sales of over 6 million copies worldwide. It became Tyler's first charting single in the United States, where it was certified gold by the RIAA. The album was a huge commercial success for Tyler. In the United States, it reached #2 on the Top Country Albums chart, and #16 on the Billboard 200. The album includes a sizzling hot recording of Stevie Wonder’s “Living For The City” which was strong enough to have been released as the album's fifth single.

"It's A Heartache" (1978)

Bonnie Tyler (1978)


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lou Rawls - All Things In Time (1976)

“All Things In Time” by Lou Rawls (1976)

Release Date: June 7, 1976
Produced by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, Bunny Sigler, Dexter Wansel, Jack Faith, Bobby Martin
Genre: Philadelphia Soul, Jazz, Adult Contemporary, R&B
Label: Philadelphia International Records
Chart Positions: #7 (US)
Certifications: Platinum (US), Gold (Canada)

Singles: “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” #1 (South Africa), #2 (US, Canada), #8 (Netherlands), #10 (UK, Belgium), #16 (New Zealand), #22 (Australia), #1 (US R&B, US Dance, US Adult Contemporary), “Groovy People” #64 (US), #19 (US R&B), #19 (US Adult Contemporary), "From Now On" #53 (UK)
Other Charting Songs: "this Song Will Last Forever" #74 (US R&B)
Singles Certifications: You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" (US Gold, Canada)

All Things in Time is an album by American R&B singer Lou Rawls, released in June 1976 on the Philadelphia International Records (PIR) label. It was his 27th studio album. Coming after a career lull in the years immediately preceding, All Things in Time was Rawls' first album for PIR; at the time he was the first artist to sign with PIR after having already enjoyed a substantial recording career and chart success with other record labels.

“All Things in Time” became an immediate success on the back of its celebrated lead single "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine", which gave Rawls the biggest hit of his career. The album was Rawls' third R&B chart topper (the first since 1966), and reached #7 on the pop chart. It was certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA for sales in excess of 1 million.

“All Things in Time” was highly rated by critics on its original release for the quality and variety of its material, faultless production standards and Rawls' vocal performances.

Rawls was one of the few acts on the label that could do great work with a variety of producers and arrangers. The biggest track was the bravado-filled "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine." With its subtle Latin rhythms and Rawls' tongue-in-cheek intonations.

"Time" written by Jack Faith and Allan Felder has Rawls doing a pitch-perfect vocal that makes the song sound like a standard. Despite not being released as a single “Time” with Rawls’ rich crooning vocal, reached #8 on the US Dance chart.

On this album, Rawls also got a chance to do work with the quixotic Bunny Sigler. Both "Need You Forever" and "From Now On" have Sigler accentuating Rawls' rougher edges. Unfortunately, all of the tracks aren't great here. All Things in Time ends on a great note, on "Let's Fall in Love All Over Again," a song previously done by Billy Paul and Nancy Wilson, Rawls' take is arguably the best version.

The lead single “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” ensured the success of this album. The legendary songwriting team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff wrote the song. They were the powerhouse producers behind most of the Philadelphia Sound, and they wrote this song specifically for Rawls. The track helped lure Rawls to Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International label, as he was impressed that they took the time to understand his voice and write something to suit it. The song was not only a huge pop hit but was an even bigger crossover hit reaching #1 on the US R&B chart, US Dance chart and the US Adult Contemporary chart. The song was a popular favorite in roller skate rinks across the US during 1976 and 1977. “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” was a chart topper in South Africa and reached #2 in both the US and Canada. In the UK it charted a tad bit lower reaching #10. “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” was certified Gold in the US for sales of more than 500,000. The song was also nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance category but lost out to Stevie Wonder's "Songs In The Key Of Life."

"You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" (1976)

“Groovy People, with its electric guitar chord opening, was the second single from the album. Though it did receive airplay it charted low at US #64 and made it into the Top 20 on both the US R&B and Adult Contemporary charts. Fans were thrilled by the songs optimistic nature and Rawls’ carefree vocal performance.  The song received a Grammy Nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance but lost out to Stevie Wonder's "I Wish." The song’s b-side “This Song Will Last Forever” made it to #74 on the US R&B charts.

Lou Rawls (1976)