City Life ... LP Fantasy, 1975. Very Good- Gatefold ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
A fantastic album from this legendary jazz funk combo – a bit smoother than their first, but that's the great thing about it! The record has the band getting even tighter than before – coming up with an amazing jazz-inflected funk groove that still leaves us breathless after all these years – and which is the perfect fusion of jazz and soul that was going down with the best groups in the mid 70s. The best example of this sound can be heard on the massive cut "Rock Creek Park" – which begins with a wonderful bass on the intro, a killer moogy keyboard bit, and a super-catchy chorus that goes "doin' it in the park," which you should recognize in about 30 seconds! The rest of the album is great too – and titles include the classic sample track "Love So Fine" – plus "Happy Music", "Hash and Eggs", "Thankful Bout Yourself", and "All I Ask". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a tiny bit of stuck-on paper near the spine and a center split in the top seam.)
Randy Crawford, Flora Purim, Eddie Harris, et al —
Sharky's Machine ... LP Warner, 1981. Very Good+ Gatefold ...
Out Of Stock
One of the coolest soundtracks ever for a Burt Reynolds film – an a hip mix of soul and jazz tracks that's gone onto become a classic over the years! The album's a compilation of sorts, but most of the material was recorded fresh for the film – and the different artists really work together here to forge some great backdrops for the action on the screen! Al Capps handled the larger charts, but most numbers really spotlight an individual artist – and highlights include Randy Crawford singing a new version of "Street Life" – different than the one with The Crusaders – Sarah Vaughan singing "Love Theme From Sharky's Machine", Peggy Lee vocals on "Let's Keep Dancing", and Julie London singing "My Funny Valentine" – as one of the first recordings after many years of retirement. Other great numbers include "Dope Bust" by Flora Purim & Buddy DeFranco, "Sharky's Theme" by Eddie Harris, "Before You" by Sarah Vaughan & Joe Williams, "8 To 5 I Lose" by Joe Williams, and the instrumental cuts "Sexercise" and "High Energy" by Doc Severinsen. (Soundtracks, Soul)LP, Vinyl record album
Thomas Dolby —
Flat Earth ... LP Capitol, 1984. Very Good+ ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
An overlooked early 80s gem from Thomas Dolby – a beautifully mellow album that comes across with less of the quirky pop touches of his earlier work! The Dolby heard here is almost in an Eno/Green World mode – mixing electronics with evocative lyrics – at a level that's a few notches up from soundscape mode, but which is also as concerned with the overall colors and shapes of the music as it is with the lyrics. But the lyrics themselves are the biggest surprise – often quite personal and intimate, with a Prefab Sprout-esque pop quality from time to time, but stronger soul qualities overall. And to our groove-tuned ears, Dolby's electronics here are really a cut above – echoing with some electro styles, but also in a more sophisticated mode that transforms Kraftwerk into more effective pop. Titles include "Dissidents", "The Flat Earth", "Screen Kiss", "White City", "Mulu The Rain Forest", "I Scare Myself", and "Hyperactive". (Rock, Soul)LP, Vinyl record album
Smooth and soulful guitar work from Cornell Dupree – a player who recorded on countless sessions as a studio sideman, but hardly ever got to work as a leader on his own! The album's got a full sound that's kind of a step beyond the Kudu/CTI sound of the time – an approach that takes larger orchestrations and uses them as the backdrop for Dupree's work on guitar, often with a fair bit of keyboard support from Mario Sprouse who arranged both albums on the set. The fullness resonates with the funky dancefloor style of David Matthews during the same stretch – a bit commercial at times, but still with plenty of nice instrumental touches. Includes "The Creeper", "Two Doors Down", "Peg", "On & On", "The Closer I Get To You" and "Hey Girl". (Jazz, Soul)LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a few specks of residue and a name in pen.)
Less of a jazz album than some of Eddie's other records – but that's ok with us! As a soul album, the record's actually pretty darn great – arranged and produced by Richard Evans with a late Chicago soul approach that has Eddie's funky sax stepping amidst some larger orchestrations and some occasional female vocal choruses. There's still plenty of cool Harris touches on the material – like odd instrumentation that creeps in from time to time, making for an exotic feel – and titles include "The Loneliest Monk", "Theme For The Foxy Ladies", "You Stole My Heart", "I'm Tired Of Driving", "You Are The One", "Two Times Two Equals Love", and "What's Wrong With The World Today". (Jazz, Soul)LP, Vinyl record album
(UK pressing. Cover has a promo stamp.)
Debbie Harry —
Kookoo ... LP Chrysalis, 1981. Near Mint- ...
A nice change in sound for Debbie Harry – thanks to Chic production from Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards – who really help the solo singer find a groove that's quite different than her work in Blondie! The style's a mixture of the funky club that Chic did so well, with elements that lean a bit more towards an early 80s rockish dancefloor – almost with a vibe that echoes some of the UK imports trickling over to these shores at the time, but with a definite New York vibe underneath! The setting gives Harry's vocals a great way to hit a more playful nature – that sound that was creeping in a bit in Blondie, but which some folks thought was wrong for the group – and Chris Stein is still on hand to bring in some street-sensitive riffing guitar. Titles include "Backfired", "Military Rap", "Oasis", "Surrender", "Chrome", "Jump Jump", and "The Jam Was Moving". (Rock, Soul)LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes the printed inner sleeve. Cover has a cut corner.)
Another soulful member of the great Laws family – sweet modern soul from the great Eloise! The album's a bit in the mode of the Debra Laws album from the same period – warmly done, with rich production touches, but also a bit of a crackling undercurrent. Eloise isn't as modern stepping as Debra – but still great nonetheless – and handled well here by Thom Bell, who does the arrangements, and Linda Creed, who produced most of the set. Ronnie Laws also handled one track, the nice jazzy "Almost All the Way to Love" – and other cuts include "Let's Find Those Two People Again", "Moment to Moment", "If I Don't Watch Out", and "Search, Find". LP, Vinyl record album
An 80s pop soul classic from Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam With Full Force – insistent and irresistible to this day – and a solid album full of tunes that stand up strongly with their unstoppable hit singles of the period! Yes, the sound would get a bit too cutesy and played out by the end of the 80s, if you lived through those years, but it's amazing how nice it sounds all these years later! There's nice dose of electro and early hip hop creeping in, it's the breakout "I Wonder If I Take You Home" is, straight-up, one of our favorite mid 80s mainstream R&B jams. Also includes "Can You Feel The Beat", "You'll Never Change", "All Cried Out", "This Is Cult Jam", "Behind My Eyes", "Private Property" and "Take Me Home (Rap)". LP, Vinyl record album
One of LTD's biggest from the 70s – a sweet mix of mellow soul and boogie, handled to perfection by the talents of Bobby Martin! Jeffrey Osborne's vocals are really running strong at this point – well-suited to both funk and ballads, with none of the cliches that started creeping into his solo work in later years. Titles include "Stranger", "Share My Love", "Say That You'll Be Mine", "One On One", and "Dance N Sing N". LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes the printed inner sleeve. Cover has lightly bent corners.)
Johnny Mathis gets a great new sound here – thanks to Philly production and arrangements from the great Thom Bell! Thom had quite a hand in the songs, too – as almost all numbers were written by the team of Bell and Linda Creed – really sensitive songwriters who've got an adult, mature approach to the music – one that still respects Mathis' roots in other vocal territory, but which also gives him a bit more soulful depth, too. The setting is wonderful, and the record's a real standout in Johnny's 70s career – one that helped reignite interest in the singer at a time when so many folks had left him behind. Titles include "I'm Coming Home", "Foolish", "I'm Stone In Love With You", "A Baby's Born", "Life Is A Song Worth Singing", "I Just Wanted To Be Me", and a classic version of "Stop Look & Listen To Your Heart". (Vocalists, Soul)LP, Vinyl record album
A fantastic 70s classic from Stevie Wonder – part of a great run of records in which he broke completely from his earlier Motown sound – and showed the world that he was one of the true musical visionaries of the decade! The righteous currents of his previous few albums are fully in place here, taken with a bit more focus that helped the record gain Stevie a few new followers in the crossover market, while still offering up plenty to please all the minds that had already been blown by is initial work of the 70s! There's some fantastic themes here, and so many new ideas too – and titles include the slow-funk moog classic "Creepin", which has these wonderful washes of sound throughout, weird vocals by Stevie, and some drums that bump around in off-kilter little patterns just at the right moments. The album also includes the hit "Boogie On Reggae Woman", plus "Too Shy To Say", "You Haven't Done Nothin", "It Ain't No Use", "Bird Of Beauty", and "Please Don't Go". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has half split top and bottom seams, edge wear and a bit of peeling at the corners.)