Tag: Great Soul Performances

Saturday 12/25/21 10pm ET: Feature LP: Stevie Wonder – Hotter Than July (1980)

Hotter than July is the nineteenth studio album by American singer, songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder, originally released on Motown’s Tamla label on September 29, 1980. The recording sessions were primarily done at Wonderland Studios, which Wonder had recently acquired, in Los Angeles where he became responsible for writing, producing and arranging his own material for the new album.

Following the commercial and critical disappointment of Wonder’s Journey through the Secret Life of Plants, Wonder felt struggle at the turn of the new decade. He insisted to the media that Journey through the Secret Life of Plants was not as critically acclaimed as his albums during his “classic period” because of Motown’s weak promotion for the album.

Hotter than July peaked at number three on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 3, 1981. It was Wonder’s most successful album in the UK, peaking at number two on the UK Albums Chart and producing four top ten singles there. The first, third and fourth single were released with music videos.

Hotter than July was nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Album at the 1982 American Music Awards. Writing for The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), J. D. Considine found the album “buoyantly tuneful” and said fans viewed it as a return to form after the commercial disappointment of Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants.

“Did I Hear You Say You Love Me” – 4:07
“All I Do” – 5:06
“Rocket Love” – 4:39
“I Ain’t Gonna Stand for It” – 4:39
“As If You Read My Mind” – 3:37
“Master Blaster (Jammin’)” – 5:07
“Do Like You” – 4:25
“Cash in Your Face” – 3:59
“Lately” – 4:05
“Happy Birthday” – 5:57

Stevie Wonder – vocals, synthesizer, drums, Fender Rhodes, bass guitar, clavinet, background vocals, ARP, vocoder, piano, harpsichord, celeste, keyboards, harmonica, cabasa, percussion, bells, handclaps, flute
Nathan Watts – bass guitar, background vocals
Benjamin Bridges – guitar, background vocals
Dennis Davis – drums on “Did I Hear You Say You Love Me,” “As If You Read My Mind” and “Master Blaster (Jammin’)”
Earl DeRouen – percussion, background vocals
Isaiah Sanders – keyboards, piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, background vocals
Hank Redd – saxophone, handclaps
Robert Malach – saxophone
Larry Gittens, Nolan A. Smith Jr. – trumpet
Paul Riser – string arrangement
Hank DeVito – steel guitar
Rick Zunigar – guitar
Angela Winbush, Mary Lee Whitney Evans, Susaye Greene Brown, Alexandra Brown Evans, Shirley Brewer, Eddie “Bongo” Brown, Charlie Collins, Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, Michael Jackson, Jamil Raheem, Betty Wright, Ronnie J. Wilson, Charles K. Wilson, Syreeta Wright, Marva Holcolm, Melody McCulley, Delores Barnes – background vocals
Stephanie Andrews, Bill Wolfer, Trevor Lawrence, Dennis Morrison, Kimberly Jackson – handclaps

Thursday 12/17/2020 2am ET: Feature LP: Wilson Pickett – Don’t Knock My Love (1971)

Wilson Pickett / Don’t Knock My Love / December 1, 1971

1 Fire and Water 3:38
2 A Mighty Long Way 3:08
3 Covering the Same Old Ground 3:13
4 Don’t Knock My Love, Pt. 1 (2006 Remaster) [Single Version] 2:16
5 Don’t Knock My Love, Pt. 2 (2007 Remaster) [Single Version] 4:05
6 Call My Name, I’ll Be There 2:25
7 Hot Love 3:11
8 Not Enough Love to Satisfy 2:59
9 You Can’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover 2:51
10 Pledging My Love 3:20
11 Mama Told Me Not to Come 2:51
12 Woman Let Me Down Home 2:59

Tuesday 12/15/2020 4pm ET: Feature Artist: The Temptations


The Temptations are an American vocal group who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. The group’s work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single “Cloud Nine” in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music. The band members are known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and dress style. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are among the most successful groups in popular music.

Featuring five male vocalists and dancers (save for brief periods with fewer or more members), the group formed in 1960 in Detroit, Michigan, under the name The Elgins. The founding members came from two rival Detroit vocal groups: Otis Williams, Elbridge “Al” Bryant, and Melvin Franklin of Otis Williams & the Distants, and Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams of the Primes. In 1964, Bryant was replaced by David Ruffin, who was the lead vocalist on a number of the group’s biggest hits, including “My Girl” (1964), “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (1966), and “I Wish It Would Rain” (1967). Ruffin was replaced in 1968 by Dennis Edwards, with whom the group continued to record hit records such as “Cloud Nine” (1969) and “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)” (1970). The group’s lineup has changed frequently since the departures of Kendricks and Paul Williams from the act in 1971. Later members of the group have included singers such as Richard Street, Damon Harris, Ron Tyson, and Ali-Ollie Woodson, with whom the group scored a late-period hit in 1984 with “Treat Her Like a Lady”.

Over the course of their career, the Temptations released four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles and fourteen R&B number-one singles. Their music has earned three Grammy Awards. The Temptations were the first Motown recording act to win a Grammy Award – for “Cloud Nine” in 1969 – and in 2013 received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Six of the Temptations (Edwards, Franklin, Kendricks, Ruffin, Otis Williams and Paul Williams) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Three classic Temptations songs, “My Girl”, “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)”, and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The Temptations were ranked at number 68 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time.

As of 2020, the Temptations continue to perform with founder Otis Williams in the lineup (Williams owns the rights to the Temptations name).

Thursday 11/26/2020 10am ET: Feature LP: Beastie Boys – Beastie Boys Music (2020)

Beastie Boys Music is a compilation album from American hip hop/rap rock group Beastie Boys, released on October 23, 2020.

“So What’cha Want” – 3:36 (from Check Your Head, 1992)
“Paul Revere” – 3:41 (from Licensed to Ill, 1986)
“Shake Your Rump” – 3:19 (from Paul’s Boutique, 1989)
“Make Some Noise” – 3:40 (from Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, 2011)
“Sure Shot” – 3:20 (from Ill Communication, 1994)
“Intergalactic” – 3:51 (from Hello Nasty, 1998)
“Ch-Check It Out” – 3:12 (from To the 5 Boroughs, 2004)
“(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” – 3:29 (from Licensed to Ill, 1986)
“Pass the Mic” – 4:16 (from Check Your Head, 1992)
“Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” – 4:11 (from Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, 2011)
“Body Movin'” – 3:09 (from Hello Nasty, 1998)
“Sabotage” – 2:58 (from Ill Communication, 1994)
“Hold It Now, Hit It” – 3:27 (from Licensed to Ill, 1986)
“Shadrach” – 4:08 (from Paul’s Boutique, 1989)
“Root Down” – 3:32 (from Ill Communication, 1994)
“Brass Monkey” – 2:37 (from Licensed to Ill, 1986)
“Get It Together” – 4:05 (from Ill Communication, 1994)
“Jimmy James” (Single Version) – 3:04 (from Check Your Head, 1992)
“Hey Ladies” – 3:47 (from Paul’s Boutique, 1989)
“No Sleep till Brooklyn” – 4:09 (from Licensed to Ill, 1986)

Tuesday 11/24/2020 11:15pm ET: Feature LP: Santana – Supernatural Legacy Edition

Supernatural is the eighteenth studio album by Latin rock band Santana, released on June 15, 1999, on Arista Records. After the group found themselves without a label in the mid-1990s, founding member and guitarist Carlos Santana began talks with Arista president Clive Davis, which led to a new record deal. Davis had originally signed the group to Columbia Records in 1969 when he was president of that label. The pair collaborated with A&R man Pete Ganbarg on the production of Supernatural, as Santana wanted to focus his musical direction towards pop and radio friendly material and proceeded to do so by collaborating with various contemporary guest artists, including Eric Clapton, Rob Thomas, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews, Maná, KC Porter and Cee-Lo Green.

Supernatural became a significant commercial success worldwide, generating renewed interest on Santana’s music. It reached No. 1 in eleven countries, including the US for 12 non-consecutive weeks where it is certified 15× Platinum. The first of six singles from the album, “Smooth” featuring Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas, was a number one success worldwide and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 12 weeks. The next, “Maria Maria”, featuring the Product G&B, was number one in the US for 10 weeks. Supernatural has sold an estimated 30 million copies worldwide.

In 2000, the album was the subject of nine Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, making Santana the first Hispanic to do so, and Best Rock Album, tying the record held by Michael Jackson for the most number of awards in a single night. Davis won Album of the Year. Santana also won three Latin Grammy Awards including Record of the Year.

1. “(Da Le) Yaleo” 5:51
2. “Love of My Life” (featuring Dave Matthews and Carter Beauford) 5:48
3. “Put Your Lights On” (featuring Everlast) 4:47
4. “Africa Bamba” 4:40
5. “Smooth” (featuring Rob Thomas) 4:56
6. “Do You Like the Way” (featuring Lauryn Hill and CeeLo Green) 5:52
7. “Maria Maria” (featuring Sincere (David McRae) and Money Harm (Marvin Moore-Hough) as the Product G&B) 4:21
8. “Migra” 5:24
9. “Corazón Espinado” (featuring Maná) 4:32
10. “Wishing It Was” (featuring Eagle-Eye Cherry) 4:59
11. “El Farol” 4:49
12. “Primavera” 5:17
13. “The Calling” (featuring Eric Clapton) 12:27

“Bacalao con Pan” — 5:08
“Angel Love (Come for Me)” — 4:42
“Rain Down on Me” — 4:01
Featuring Dave Matthews and Carter Beauford
“Corazon Espinado (Spanish Dance Remix)” — 8:49
“One Fine Morning” (Lighthouse Cover) — 5:19
“Exodus/Get Up Stand Up (Bob Marley cover)” — 6:09
“Ya Yo Me Cure” — 4:17
“Maria Maria (Pumpin’ Dolls Club Mix)” — 8:39
“Smooth (Instrumental)” — 4:56
“The Calling Jam” — 4:30
“Olympic Festival” — 6:10

Thursday 11/19/2020 1pm ET: Feature Artist: Betty Everett

Betty Everett (November 23, 1939 – August 19, 2001) was an American soul singer and pianist, best known for her biggest hit single, the million-selling “Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)”, and her duet “Let It Be Me” with Jerry Butler.

Until her death, Everett resided with her sister in South Beloit, Illinois, where she was involved in the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and the churches of the Fountain of Life and New Covenant. In 1989, a handler of Everett brought her to the attention of Worldwide TMA, a management consulting firm in Chicago. Under the direction of Steve Arvey and Scott Pollack, former Chairman of The Chicago Songwriters Association, the firm started work on reviving Everett’s singing career. Within a year she contracted with Pollack taking on all management decisions and management financing.

In 1990, her signature hit, “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)”, had been used in the movie Mermaids for the end credits, and recorded by the star of the film, Cher. This reached #1 in the UK Singles Chart and charted well elsewhere in Europe.

Everett had secured an indie label deal in the US and a new single “Don’t Cry Now” had been recorded, penned by Larry Weiss (Trumpet Records, unreleased). In connection to the preceding events, Everett was booked and aired a 20-minute appearance on the hit TV show at the time, Current Affair. She was then booked to star at the 1991 Chicago Blues Festival which aired live worldwide on over 400 PBS radio channels, marking Everett’s last live appearance on radio. Later that year, two concerts were booked for consecutive weekends in late October 1991; one at Trump’s Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, the other at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. All had been arranged through management and Charles McMillan, Jerry Butler’s longtime friend and personal manager. However, Everett declined to show for the engagements. Despite exposure, she was unable to resurrect her career because of health problems.

She was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Hall Of Fame in 1996 and, about four years later, made her last public appearance on the PBS special Doo Wop 51, along with her former singing partner, Jerry Butler. This, according to The Independent (c. August 2001), was met with raves about the brief reunion where she “brought the house down”. Butler, in his autobiography, Only The Strong Survive, compared Betty with Gladys Knight as a singer in that she seemed to do everything so effortlessly.

Everett died at her home in Beloit, Wisconsin, on August 19, 2001; she was 61.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Betty Everett among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

 

Thursday 11/19/2020 12am ET: Feature LP: Sarah McLachlan -Remixed (2001)

Remixed is the first remix album by Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan, released in Canada on July 4, 2001 by Nettwerk and in the United States on December 16, 2003 by Arista Records. It includes various dance club versions of McLachlan’s songs, remixed by DJs such as William Orbit, Tiësto, BT, and Rabbit in the Moon.

Remixed features mostly new remixes of songs which originally appeared on McLachlan’s studio albums: Solace (1991), Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1993) and Surfacing (1997). Three tracks were previously released on club compilations or 12″ promotional singles: “Possession” (Rabbit in the Moon Mix) in 1995, “I Love You” (BT Mix) in 2000 and “Sweet Surrender” (DJ Tiësto Mix) in 2000. Remixed also features “Silence” by Delerium and McLachlan, which became one of the greatest trance songs of all time. Here, it was remixed by Tiësto.

In early 2002, the edit of “Angel” (Dusted Remix) was released on the “Angel” single in the United Kingdom. Later in 2002, the edit of “Fear” (Hybrid’s Super Collider Mix) was included on the Roswell soundtrack. Also in 2002, the edit of “Plenty” (Fade Mix) appeared on the second Queer as Folk soundtrack.

1. “Fear” (Hybrid’s Super Collider Mix) 9:00
2. “Sweet Surrender” (DJ Tiësto Mix) 7:02
3. “Angel” (Dusted Remix) 5:28
4. “I Love You” (BT Mix) 9:01
5. “Silence” (DJ Tiësto’s in Search of Sunrise Remix) 11:32
6. “Black” (William Orbit Mix) 7:01
7. “Possession” (Rabbit in the Moon Mix) 5:51
8. “Hold On” (BT Mix) McLachlan 7:44
9. “Plenty” (Fade Mix) McLachlan 10:19

 

Wednesday 11/18/2020 10pm ET: Feature Artist – Tina Turner (Part 1)


Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock; November 26, 1939) is an American-born singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress who later became a Swiss citizen. Known as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Turner rose to prominence as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue before launching a successful career as a solo performer. Turner is noted for her energetic stage presence, powerful vocals, trademark legs, and career longevity.

Turner began her recording career as a featured singer with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm under the name “Little Ann” on “Boxtop” in 1958. Her introduction to the public as Tina Turner began in 1960 with the hit single “A Fool in Love”. She married Ike Turner in 1962. The duo went on to become “one of the most formidable live acts in history” and released notable hits such as “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”, “River Deep – Mountain High”, the Grammy-winning “Proud Mary”, and “Nutbush City Limits”. Raised a Baptist, she became an adherent of Nichiren Buddhism in 1973, crediting the spiritual chant of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo with helping her to endure during difficult times. Ike & Tina Turner disbanded in 1976, ending both their personal and their musical partnership; they divorced in 1978. In her 1986 autobiography, I, Tina: My Life Story, Turner revealed that she had been subjected to domestic violence.

In the 1980s, Turner launched “one of the greatest comebacks in music history” as a solo artist. Her 1983 single “Let’s Stay Together” was followed by the release of her fifth solo album, Private Dancer (1984), which became a worldwide success. The album contained the hit song “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, and it became her first and only Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit. At the time, aged 44, she became the oldest female solo artist to top the Hot 100 chart. Turner’s chart success continued with “Better Be Good to Me”, “Private Dancer”, “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)”, “Typical Male”, “The Best”, “I Don’t Wanna Fight”, and “GoldenEye”. During her Break Every Rule World Tour, she set a then-Guinness World Record for the largest paying audience (180,000) for a solo performer. Her final Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour is one of the highest-grossing tours of all time. In 1993, What’s Love Got to Do with It, a biographical film adapted from Turner’s autobiography, was released with an accompanying soundtrack album. Turner also acted in the films Tommy (1975), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), and Last Action Hero (1993).

Having sold over 100 million records, Turner is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. She has won 12 Grammy Awards, which include eight competitive awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame awards, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Turner was the first black artist and first female to cover Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone ranked her among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Turner has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the St. Louis Walk of Fame. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Ike Turner in 1991, and is a 2005 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.

Tuesday 11/10/2020 5pm ET: Feature Artist – Hank Ballard & The Midnighters


Hank Ballard (born John Henry Kendricks; November 18, 1927 – March 2, 2003) was a rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, the lead vocalist of The Midnighters and one of the first rock and roll artists to emerge in the early 1950s. He played an integral part in the development of the genre, releasing the hit singles “Work With Me, Annie” and answer songs “Annie Had a Baby” and “Annie’s Aunt Fannie” with his Midnighters. He later wrote and originally recorded (in 1959) “The Twist” which was notably covered a year later by Chubby Checker, this second version spreading the popularity of the dance. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

In 1953, Ballard joined doo-wop group the Royals, which had previously been discovered by Johnny Otis and signed to Federal Records (a division of King Records), in Cincinnati. Ballard joined Henry Booth, Charles Sutton, Sonny Woods and Alonzo Tucker in the group, replacing previous singer Lawson Smith.

The Royals released “Get It” (1953), an R&B song with possibly sexually oriented lyrics, which some radio stations refused to play, although it still made it to number 6 on the Billboard R&B chart.

The group then changed its name to the Midnighters to avoid confusion with the “5” Royales. In 1954, Ballard wrote a song called “Work with Me, Annie” that was drawn from “Get It”. It became the Midnighters’ first major R&B hit, spending seven weeks at number 1 on the R&B charts and also selling well in mainstream markets, along with the answer songs “Annie Had a Baby” and “Annie’s Aunt Fannie”; all were banned by the FCC from radio air play. Their third major hit was “Sexy Ways”, a song that cemented the band’s reputation as one of the most risqué groups of the time.

They had four other R&B chart hits in 1954–55, but no others until 1959, by which time the group was billed as “Hank Ballard and The Midnighters” with their label changed from Federal to King, the parent label. Between 1959 and 1961 they had several more both on the R&B and Pop charts, starting with “Teardrops on Your Letter”, a number 4 R&B hit in 1959 that had as its B-side the Ballard-written song “The Twist”. A few months later, Chubby Checker’s cover version of the song went to number 1 on the pop charts. It would return to the top of the charts again in 1962 – the only song in the rock and roll era to reach number 1 in two different non-consecutive years.

Ballard and the Midnighters had several other hit singles in 1962, including the Grammy-nominated “Finger Poppin’ Time” (1960) and “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go” (1960) which hit number 7 and number 6, respectively, on the Billboard pop charts. They did not reach the charts again after 1962 and dissolved in 1965.

In Memoriam: Len Barry (1942 – 2020)


Len Barry (born Leonard Borisoff; June 12, 1942 – November 5, 2020) was an American vocalist, songwriter, and record producer.

Born on June 12, 1942 raised in Philadelphia, Barry had little thought of a show business career while still in school. Instead, he aspired to become a professional basketball player upon his graduation. It was not until he entered military service and had occasion to sing with the US Coast Guard band at Cape May, New Jersey, and was so encouraged by the response of his military audiences, that he decided to make music a career.

Upon his discharge from military service, Barry returned home to Philadelphia and formed the Dovells. Barry was the lead singer, appearing on all of the group’s best selling records, such as “Bristol Stomp”, “Hully Gully Baby”, and “You Can’t Sit Down”, among others. “Bristol Stomp” sold over one million copies and was awarded a RIAA gold disc. As a Dovell, he also toured with James Brown. Barry also made film appearances with the Dovells in films such as Don’t Knock the Twist, toured the UK with the Motown Revue. Barry also had guest appearances on US television on Bandstand and later American Bandstand, Shindig, and Hullabaloo. Soon after leaving the group, Barry recorded his first solo single “Lip Sync”.

As someone who sang rhythm and blues, he recorded hits in 1965 and 1966 for Decca Records in the US and released by Brunswick Records: “1-2-3”, “Like a Baby”, and “I Struck It Rich”, a song he wrote with Leon Huff of the Philadelphia International Records producers, Gamble and Huff.

His first two hits also made the Top Ten of the UK Singles Chart. “1-2-3” reached number three. Those songs also peaked at number 2 and 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart respectively. “1-2-3” sold over four million copies, and gave Barry his second RIAA gold disc and a Grammy Award nomination for Contemporary Rock & Roll Male Vocal Performance. Both “1-2-3” and “Like a Baby” were composed by Barry, John Madara, and David White (musician).

He has performed at the Apollo Theatre in New York; the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.; The Regal Chicago, Chicago; Illinois; The Fox Theatre (Detroit) in Detroit, Michigan; and The Uptown (Philadelphia), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also toured with Sam Cooke, The Motown Revue in the United Kingdom, and appeared on Top of the Pops.

He became a major singing star in The United Kingdom. Highlights of his European tour included featured performances at the London Palladium and Royal Albert Hall as well as numerous appearances throughout England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Barry’s respect of the Native American culture led him to write and produce the instrumental “Keem-O-Sabe”. The song went to number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969 for The Electric Indian.

He also did writing and production work with WMOT Productions. With Bobby Eli he helped write the hit singles “Zoom” for Fat Larry’s Band and “Love Town” for Booker Newberry III.

In May 2008, Barry reinvented himself as an author with the publication of novel, Black-Like-Me. The storyline involved a pair of Caucasian siblings growing up in a largely African-American neighborhood, accepted by some, rejected by others.

In 2011, Barry was featured in the PBS Series My Music: Rock, Pop & Doo Wop.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Len Barry among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

Len Barry died on November 5, 2020.

Thursday 10/29/2020 9pm ET: Feature LP: Diana Ross – Diana (1980)

Diana is the tenth studio album by American singer Diana Ross, released on May 22, 1980, by Motown. The album is the biggest-selling studio album of Ross’s career, worldwide and spawning three international hit singles, including the US and international number-one hit “Upside Down”.

Robert Christgau, writing for The Village Voice, gave the album an A- rating. He remarked that “not since Lady Sings the Blues has Ms. R. been forced into such a becoming straitjacket. Her perky angularity and fit-to-burst verve could have been designed for Rodgers & Edwards’s synergy – you’d swear she was as great a singer as Alfa Anderson herself. And Nile is showing off more axemanship than any rhythm guitarist in history.” In a retrospecive review, Charity Stafford from Allmusic called the album “Ross’ best solo record.” She found that “Ross sounds more forceful than she had in years. The helium-toned style of her early hits with the Supremes is worlds away from the assertive way she rips into the funky hit “Upside Down.” […] The glossy Chic production might sound a bit dated to some ears, but it’s matured much better than many similar albums of the era.” In her 2003 review of Diana’s deluxe edition, Daryl Easlea from BBC Music wrote: “Diana is an artistic portrayal of complete freedom; Rodgers and Edwards’ writing symbolises Ross’ breaking free of the shackles of Motown on one level, but moreover, the work has a universality; celebrating gayness, blackness, equality; an album of challenging ideas, friendship and freedom.”

1. “Upside Down” 4:05
2. “Tenderness” 3:52
3. “Friend to Friend” 3:19
4. “I’m Coming Out” 5:24
5. “Have Fun (Again)” 5:57
6. “My Old Piano” 3:55
7. “Now That You’re Gone” 3:59
8. “Give Up” 3:45
9. “Upside Down” (Original Chic Mix) 4:17
10. “Tenderness” (Original Chic Mix) 5:10
11. “Friend to Friend” (Original Chic Mix) 3:20
12. “I’m Coming Out” (Original Chic Mix) 6:01
13. “Have Fun (Again)” (Original Chic Mix) 7:09
14. “My Old Piano” (Original Chic Mix) 4:52
15. “Now That You’re Gone” (Original Chic Mix) 3:40
16. “Give Up” (Original Chic Mix) 3:59

1. “Love Hangover” (Extended Alternate Mix) 10:25
2. “Your Love Is So Good for Me” (12-Inch Version) 6:36
3. “Top of the World” 3:09
4. “Lovin’, Livin’ and Givin'” (Ross Album Remix) 5:12
5. “What You Gave Me” (12-Inch Version) 6:08
6. “You Were the One” 4:04
7. “The Diana Ross & the Supremes Medley of Hits” (12-inch Mix) 9:59
8. “No One Gets the Prize”/”The Boss” (12-Inch Re-Edit) 9:41
9. “I Ain’t Been Licked” (12-inch Mix) 5:18
10. “Fire Don’t Burn” 3:26
11. “We Can Never Light That Old Flame Again” (Alternate Mix) 4:38
12. “You Build Me Up to Tear Me Down” 5:42
13. “Sweet Summertime Livin'”

Diana Ross – lead vocals
Alfa Anderson – background vocals
Fonzi Thornton – background vocals
Luci Martin – background vocals
Michelle Cobbs – background vocals
Bernard Edwards – bass guitar
Nile Rodgers – guitar
Tony Thompson – drums
Andy Barrett (Schwartz) – piano[10]
Raymond Jones – keyboards
Eddie Daniels – saxophone
Meco Monardo – trombone
Bob Milliken – trumpet
Valerie Haywood (The Chic Strings) – strings
Cheryl Hong (The Chic Strings) – strings
Karen Milne (The Chic Strings) – strings
Gene Orloff – conductor

Tuesday 10/27/2020 11pm ET: Feature LP: Commodores – Very Best Of (1995)

The Very Best of The Commodores is the seventh compilation album by American funk/soul band Commodores, released in 1995 on Motown Records. The album charted at No. 26 on the UK Pop Albums chart and at No. 39 on the New Zealand Pop Albums chart. The album has been certified Silver in the UK by the BPI.

Easy – 4:22
Three Times A Lady – 3:38
Nightshift – 4:24
Brick House – 3:35
Machine Gun – 2:42
Zoom – 4:22
Old-Fashion Love – 3:25
Sail On – 3:58
Lady – 4:04
Oh No – 3:03
Too Hot Ta Trot – 3:33
The Zoo (The Human Zoo) – 3:08
Still – 3:46
Sweet Love – 3:29
Janet – 3:43
Flying High – 3:55
Only You – 4:29
Animal Instinct – 4:06
Just To Be Close To You – 3:23
Wonderland – 3:48

Tuesday 10/20/2020 11pm ET: Feature LP: Sade – Love Deluxe (1992)

Love Deluxe is the fourth studio album by English band Sade. It was released in the United States on October 26, 1992 and in the United Kingdom on November 1, 1992 by Epic Records.

Following the release of Love Deluxe, the band had a seven-year hiatus, during which Sade Adu came under media scrutiny with rumours of depression and addiction and later gave birth to her first child. During this time, the other members of the band, Matthewman, Denman, and Hale, went on to other projects, including Sweetback, which released a self-titled album in 1996. Matthewman also played a major role in the development of Maxwell’s career, providing instrumentation and production work for the R&B singer’s first two albums.

1. “No Ordinary Love” 7:20
2. “Feel No Pain” 5:08
3. “I Couldn’t Love You More” 3:49
4. “Like a Tattoo” 3:38
5. “Kiss of Life” 5:50
6. “Cherish the Day” 5:34
7. “Pearls” 4:34
8. “Bullet Proof Soul” 5:26
9. “Mermaid” 4:23

Paul S. Denman – bass
Sade Adu – vocals
Andrew Hale – keyboards
Stuart Matthewman – guitars, saxophone
Sade – arrangements

Saturday 10/17, 2020 12am ET: Feature LP: Jacksons – Victory (1984)

Victory is the fifteenth studio album by the Jacksons. It was released by Epic Records on July 2, 1984. The album was the only album to include all six Jackson brothers together as an official group; also, it was the band’s last album to be entirely recorded with lead singer Michael Jackson, as well as their first album to feature Jermaine Jackson since 1975’s Moving Violation.

Victory has sold over 7 million copies worldwide and was certified 2× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in October 1984. It peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 and its most successful single “State of Shock” peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. Victory was supported by the Victory Tour, with Michael, who had recently released the world’s all-time best-selling album, Thriller, prominently featured.

Shortly after the Victory Tour ended, Michael and Marlon Jackson quit the group. Jermaine, Tito, Randy and Jackie Jackson continued on as the Jacksons, and releasing one more album, 1989’s 2300 Jackson Street (whose title track did feature all six Jackson brothers, along with their sisters Janet and Rebbie) before splitting up.

1. “Torture” 4:53
2. “Wait” 5:25
3. “One More Chance” 5:06
4. “Be Not Always” 5:36
5. “State of Shock” (With Mick Jagger) 4:30
6. “We Can Change the World” 4:45
7. “The Hurt” 5:26
8. “Body” 5:06

Randy Jackson – vocals; keyboards & synthesizer
Jackie Jackson – vocals; horn arrangements
Michael Jackson – vocals
Marlon Jackson – vocals; keyboards, synthesizer,
Tito Jackson – vocals; guitars keyboards, synthesizer, drum programming
Jermaine Jackson – vocals