|By Galactus (22.214.171.124) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 04:22 pm:|
Does anyone share my feeling that the year 1983 ....maybe '84....is the cut off date for TRUE soul/funk/r&b music?? For me, it is. I basically quit listening to new r&b after '83. And mind you, I was only 18 at the time......but even then, I could see the changes, and I didn't care for them.
I never took to "new jack swing" or rap particularly. Never took to the new "quiet storm" stuff. To me, every thing after 1984 all sounds alike.......and I often amaze my wife my correctly guessing whether or not a song was recorded after that date. The recent music has no guts.....no feeling.....no soul, I guess.
1) So many of my favorite artists or bands disbanded, passed away, changed their style, retired or just plain quit during the years 1981-1985.
2) MT V didn't start affecting soul music until the "Thriller" LP.....an album which was, I guess, both a blessing and a curse.
3) Instruments and true musicians began falling by the wasteside......replaced with awful sounding drum machinges, synths and other forms of technology.
There have been a few exceptions......Sade was cool........Maze's "Silky Soul" and "Back to Basics" CDs were outstanding......but since 1983, there have been very few if any "new" artists I've cared for. Maybe I'm just gettin' old.
What happened to the music???
|By firstname.lastname@example.org (126.96.36.199) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 04:28 pm:|
jill scott,jaheim,dangelo,kaci and usher
all great artists
|By STUBASS (188.8.131.52) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 04:30 pm:|
GALACTUS!!!...THE TIME FRAME YOU MENTION WAS A WATERSHED ERA FOR THE RECORDED MUSIC INDUSTRY!!!...ACTUALLY...THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY WAS IN THE "POST DISCO" DUMPS...AND MICHAEL JACKSON CAME ALONG WITH THE "THRILLER" PROJECT...AND PRETTY MUCH SAVED THE INDUSTRY...ALBEIT DOING MORE POP THAN SOUL ORIENTED MUSIC!!!...THIS WAS ALSO A PERIOD WHERE HORNS AND STRINGS STARTED TO GIVE WAY TO THE COMPUTERIZED AND SYNTHISIZED PRODUCTION METHODS...THROWING THE INDUSTRY INTO SORT OF A TAILSPIN!!!...THE "BACK TO BASICS" PROJECT YOU MENTION WAS A NICE PIECE OF WORK!!!...I KNOW...BECAUSE MY BROTHER WAS THE ARRANGER ON THAT PROJECT...AND DID SOME PRODUCING WITH NORMAN WHITFIELD ON THAT AND SOME OTHER STUFF!!!...STUBASS
|By R&B (184.108.40.206) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 04:31 pm:|
NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT,YOU GOT A GOOD POINT!
|By Galactus (220.127.116.11) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 04:49 pm:|
Yeah......I was stunned by that "Back to Basics" CD. I loved FB & Maze and their producers for sticking by their guns and staying with what got them there.
Those are pretty much the type of artists I mean. No disrespect to them.....but I just can't get into that stuff. To me, it just doesn't have the character of the older stuff.......just all sounds alike to me. As I say, maybe I just have old man ears!!
|By email@example.com (18.104.22.168) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 04:59 pm:|
i deejayed up to about 20 years ago then i quit , two years ago i restarted and all these artists grew on me , even though i still dig the old stuff
me i must be the oldest on this site 50 going on twenty
|By Galactus (22.214.171.124) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 05:23 pm:|
My wife listens to more current stuff......every now and then she tries to get me to listen to it. Occassionally I try, but.....nope......just doesn't do anything for me.
Fortunately for me and our relationship, she DOES like my music. So it's cool.
|By Wonder B (126.96.36.199) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 05:39 pm:|
Galactus I feel you... I was 27 in 83 and I was deep into music, djying and collecting etc...
I felt the same way as you did, but still tried to get into that new wave of music that was coming out... but as I kept on going to concerts I witnessed a curious trend... most musicians were disappearing from the stage being replaced by keyboards... the ultimate and point of no return for me was when my (then!) wife who liked new jack a lot dragged me to the Bobby Brown show... I think there must have been 5 guys playing keyboards plus a drummer and if there was anybody else on stage I just can't remember him...
Where were all the horns, the strings, the real bass players, percussionists etc...
The sound was too synthetic for me. Even though some of the new artists use more real musicians than during that dreadful era (85/95) I just can't feel the same 'soul' in most of today's music... Most of the stuff I like (today) is made by old school artists... That doesn't phase me though because I am still discovering the music of the 50's to the mid-80's... there was so much good music made in those years that I won't have enough of this lifetime to go through it all... and believe me I already have a 'few' records at home... LOL
In some places on the web or with some of my younger friends, when I start using the same arguments, I feel like an old fart, the kind of persons I use to hate when I was a teen! LOL
But hey you just can't force-feed yourself with stuff you don't like. I dig music from the heart and guts... if I feel the goosebumps coming then that's the ultimate test... today's music just doesn't have that effect on me...
|By Des (188.8.131.52) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 05:48 pm:|
It will surprise no-one who's unfortunately read some of my prior posts to read that I feel that there's some music out there (certainly since 84) that's worthy of your love and appreciation.
I know I'm up aginst it with you when you say that D'Angelo and Jill Scott are bunched together as "sounding alike".....and I'm not certain that Usher is a "great Artist",but the others have started well and could go on to a lengthy and laudable career in music - probably needs guys like you(and me) to appreciate them and buy them to ensure they get the chance to develop and not rely on their fickle and taste-free peer-group consumers to keep 'em under contract.
Post 84 albums/artists/productions that I can drag from my memory banks (that ,I would hope you'd enjoy) are :
Alex O'Neal / Shirley Murdock / Jam&Lewis(most productions-SoundsOfBlackness-Janet-etc) / Blackstreet 1st album + host of T.Riley prods / Brand New Heavies / Toni Braxton 1st album / Mica Paris / Omar / Soul 2 Soul / Freddie Jackson / Gerald Levert / Howard Hewett
If you say that some of these artists aren't around and have no longevity - yup,thassright.No argument(well there are reasons but they're business as well as artistic/talent) and that doesn't mean the music is less memorable or "loveworthy" as longer running "classic" artists.......it's also because there are a myriad other ways to spend your entertainment dollar and the market to create that feeling of collective enjoyment in something musically memorable has been fragmented.....phew,I'm going to get myself another drink...
|By Galactus (184.108.40.206) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 06:13 pm:|
You sum it up well. That's pretty much how I see it........I noticed the same thing......less instruments on stage.....man, I miss those horns. And yeah, it makes you feel old......but I can't help it.
I couldn't agree with you more about there being so much to discover from the 50s to the 80s. The way I look at it, guys like us should just be thankful that the music is available and preserved on CD......always something new to discover.
I'm with you on the early Jam&Lewis stuff. I do like their work with the SOS Band, Cherelle and Alexander O'Neil a lot. Nice plush sound......
Soul 2 Soul wasn't bad......kind of a throwback sound. Freddie Jackson was OK......Gerald Levert was decent, but a bit repetitive......I prefer his dad and the O'Jays. The rest.....ah, well....
But you're right. Those acts probably come the closest to anything I would like. But I just don't see me collecting that stuff, because there's so much more I want to get from prior eras.
|By Des (220.127.116.11) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 06:39 pm:|
G / I do,indeed,understand and agree to a point - otherwise I wouldn't be a regular on this Forum.It's just a thing I have that says today ain't necessarily as "bad" musically as occasional posts would have it.....
I really do think that natures' course is that we,generally,as human beings will look back on our salad days and resent them being over(however subconsciously).Allowing that resentfulness(for want of a less emotive word) to colour our opinions and attitudes to our youths' current salad days (and before anybody jumps in - it ain't all Rap and Thuggery out there - and we're all agreed Rap will reduce and reduce due to its' non-musicality).....equally,looking further back for musical fulfillment isn't a bad thing by definition --- it's just that a younger mind/person is going to rail against that,NORMALLY,and that's something I,personally,have avoided thanks to my Dad --- 77 and grooving to Gerald Leverts' "Funny" and trying to decode Steely Dans' latest lyrics on "Everything Must Go"....
I forgot to finalise my point -- namely,that finding "like minds" is fun,but not to the blanket rejection of everything since 1983/84 - some agreement??
|By douglasm (18.104.22.168) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 06:44 pm:|
....could the current "blues revival" be a response? We've got more blues "festivals" out here in Central Washington than you can shake a pick at, but the bands seem to be as much R&B show bands as true blues groups. There's the obligitory "Born In Chicago", but the rest of their sets seem to be made up of mostly Memphis style soul in the Otis Redding "Can't Turn You Loose" vein.
|By Tony B. (22.214.171.124) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 08:23 pm:|
I agree with Galactus, something definitely went wrong about 1983 and soul/funk music has never recovered since.
Let's go back a bit first, though, to the end of the 1970s when most soul artists were basically prostituting themselves for the disco dollar. 1979 was the worst year, IMO, but thankfully by the turn of the decade the Great Disco Disaster was over.
Then came a brief golden age of soul, funk and jazz-funk during the early 1980s when a lot of great music was made and productions reached new levels of perfection.
But then things started to go pear-shaped. (I love that expression! :-) First the horns disappeared - a real tragedy - followed by the drums and other real instruments as the synthesizers took over.
I don't think soul & funk music fell off a cliff on a certain date. It was more like a ship hitting the rocks in 1983 and then being broken up by the waves. The crew had time to escape and salvage part of the cargo. (There was some good music recorded afterwards, but less and less as time passed.) Now twenty years later all that is left of the good ship Soul is a rusting hull. (Although the music in the second half of the 1980s was nowhere near as good as in the first, it was a lot better than what came later.)
P.S. I never liked the Jam & Lewis over-productions from 1983 onwards!
|By Tony B. (126.96.36.199) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 08:30 pm:|
Correction - Sadly not all of the crew escaped when Soul hit the rocks.
|By Des (188.8.131.52) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 08:45 pm:|
OK,Tony....I don't feel there's much room to negotiate with you on this.
I'm not against what Spartacus or you are saying...I just do,indeed,dig quite a bit of new music year after year after year.....there's always something to find,discover and enjoy,IMO.
I've been educated by Kev in early July on some of the disappointing business decisions that prohibit some good musicians from succeeding/growing as used to happen in the 70's/80's but what goes around comes around.
There's maybe a point to make that we need a period of mediocrity/crap to allow for a new generation of musicians to push on through and be widely heralded.....whatever happens it will never be the same as any bygone "heyday" that any one of us claims is "the best".....it'll be different.....and 30 years on from then.....it'll be different again and a whole new raft of people will debate the same kind of issues about music you currently say is crap and they say was actually a misunderstood but musically innovative period etc etc
|By musicchef (184.108.40.206) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 09:08 pm:|
I would actually say for me, that soul hit the rocks in 1979. The reasons were many... Stripped down groups due to economics (Cameo, EWF etc), "crossover" to a "less black sound"(Kool and the Gang, Commodores) and the new "electro clap" craze with music (since Flashlight hit, almost every other group that came along grafted on the excessive "clap" on the beat).
The actual watershed event that made me turn in my "soul" badge towards new music was when "Love Come Down" by Evelyn "Don't call me Champagne anymore" King hit # 1 on the R & B charts in '82. It was then I knew that I would have to mark a line in the sand at that point and start going backwards in musical history for satisfaction.
Nelson George wrote a great book on the subject called "The Death of R & B".
As John 11:35 says, Jesus wept...
|By Des (220.127.116.11) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 09:28 pm:|
Chef/ I appreciate (but don't agree) with what you're saying.
I must fess up and admit I like "Love Come Down" (I think that was a Kashif production and one of a few around the same time,including George Benson,that he made).
What are the issues you have with that(and I'd subsequently guess a number of Kashif) tracks?
|By medusa9e2003 (18.104.22.168) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 10:24 pm:|
Well, sometimes I think the Music Business overdosed on (LNE) Loud Noise Experience, went on a bad trip and still N a Zone...could it B the 'No Talent Zone'?...Just Keepin' It "LIVE".
|By firstname.lastname@example.org (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 12:48 am:|
Personally, I like a little "grits" with my soul and that song was one of the first if not THE first song that hit # 1 on the R & B charts with a mostly "synth" backing. That's my particular issue with that track and I personally feel that it was the "writing on the wall" for the future of "Black" music... I've been searching for a U.S. Soul saviour ever since...
|By soulboy (126.96.36.199) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 05:13 am:|
For my own experience i thought the 80S Soul/funk was good back then, and yes most of the artists mentioned i admired,particularly the jam & lewis material. But if i play any of those records now at this moment in time, they all sound dated with the over use of synths and drum machines,maybe in a couple more years i'll have a different view on them.
Compare that with listening to Motown,Stax and Philly and stuff that never sounds dated. Why i ask myself?
The only reason i can come up with is that we associate the 60S decade as a particularly positive one with all the values that went with it,where as anthing associated with the 80s values we'd all much rather forget.
|By stillsoulin (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 07:29 am:|
i agree with des, there are some gems available from the eighties to today but the trouble is finding somewhere to hear the music as most of the music played on the radio, in the uk anyway, is pretty dire. from 83 to about 90 the soul output in the main was pants, synthesized drum and orchestrations which nowadays sound soo dated, but, and its a big but, there are musical delights to be found with bands like "solo" who had two lp,s with rca, vocally top dollar and worth searching out if you dont know them, i find most singers today sound the same along with the production values, i assume that this is because most of the computers used to generate the sound use the same electrical components, which means that whether it is recorded in detroit, los angeles, japan or london, they all sound about the same, whereas before the introduction of programmers you had the individual band members imputting their own sound, hence the difference between the philly sound and the memphis sound.
Does this make any sense, not being in the music buisiness i am assuming that this is how it works.
new cd,s i have bought recently that still does it for me are;
tower of power...oakland zone
lou pride........words of caution
shawn christopher...drink from the fountain
bettye lavette.....a woman like me
|By MC ROCKIT (184.108.40.206) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 07:51 am:|
GIVE ME SUM HARDCORE GANGSTA RAP ANYDAY...ENUFF OF DEM I LOVE U, U LOVE ME BABY SONGS--THEY ALL SUCK!
"Rollin' down the street smokin' endo sippin' on gin and juice...laid back, with my mind on my money and my money on my mind."
DAT'S WHUT I'M TALKIN' 'BOUT!
|By Wonder B (220.127.116.11) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 02:17 pm:|
Stillsoulin if your choice of music is about today's music then I have to conccur but the names you mention (tower of power...shawn christopher...bettye lavette....) are hardly music from today....
This is music of today doen by the old time greats...
So when Galactus (and I) was mentioning not much came out after 1983 (85 for me LOL) we were excluding (Galactus correct me if I am wrong) these artists... we were talking about the artists who emerged since...
I would never say anything against Bettye LaVette... she's one of the true real artists...
I have loved her music for many years...
|By RJ-PA-SC (18.104.22.168) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 02:24 pm:|
Is today's up and coming generation so angry that it can only relate to irritating manufactured beats with no real melody that usually carry a negative massage????
If Eminem is a sign of things to come, then we are all screwed.
To MC ROCKIT: What do you want to be when you grow up?
|By RJ-PA-SC (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 02:25 pm:|
Make that negative "message"............
|By rat-a-tat-tat!!! (126.96.36.199) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 02:30 pm:|
wants to join up with THE ANT HILL MOB!
betta' make wid da feet'
best an all that'
Bugsys mate Mugsy.
|By Des (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 03:24 pm:|
WonderB/ I'd assumed it was,indeed, meant that no "new" artists came to the party after 83/84/85 - take your pick.
Y'know it's nice to have exchanges on music you liked/loved......I just like/love the selected music I've bought each and every year since 1970.
I've dug into the past and caught up with many artists back catalogue - I've been excited by many debuts (and some have gone on to a decent career of 'good' quality).....I go through weekly/monthly/quarterly periods of enjoying musics of a certain similarity ie:most May's here in London,some decent weather will remind me of my BeachBoys albums and I'll revisit Pet Sounds through Holland and add Chicago7,then some CPR with Don Henley/Eagles/Poco and so goes May into June.
July might see me get busy with Stevie W and revisit his 70's heyday....then some Marvin and then I'll find an old Keith Sweat debut album(on tape) then that'll get me thinking S.O.S.Band and Alex O'neal,then Tony,Toni,Tone to Lucy Pearl and some ......HELL,what I'm saying should be common to music lovers everywhere.......it's not all bad today and it wasn't ALL "classic" in the 50's60's and 70's .......if you're serious about your music,you know that every release wasn't a classic.....you'll know that a little 'quality control' was exercised by even yourself( a fact often "lost in the mists of rose-coloured recollection")....c'mon everybody,I fully accept there was MORE great music of an excitingly 'new vintage' - which is traceable and logical and didn't just "happen" cos 'nearly everyone was a musical genius in any of those decades' - I just insist that there is/has been plenty to enjoy year after year and,for some,this music of the last 10-20 years will be their Motown/Philly/Muscle Shoals/Memphis 'sound' --- and if any come back and say "Isn't that sad for the youth of today" - Don't patronise me,younger people or contemporary mindsets. One has to see past the Rap 'crap' and accept that writers can't and shouldn't try and write like a Motown/Philly-vet, rather (like many of them do) they should absorb/use/make reference to styles that influence/excite and comfortably belong in their own music ......damn,I'm cranky this evening.
I'm going for dinner now......But "I'll be back"....to face the music,no doubt
|By Sue (184.108.40.206) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 05:47 pm:|
Keith Sweat?? Uh-uh. No way. Can't sing in the same universe with Marvin, Smokey or anyone from the pre'83 era.
|By Des (220.127.116.11) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 05:57 pm:|
|By Sue (18.104.22.168) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 06:07 pm:|
Sorry, Des. I couldn't let Keith Sweat slip by.
|By KevGo (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 09:20 pm:|
I was a radio DJ during the 1980s and saw for myself what happened to music, especially R&B.
For me, the last decent year was 1984 when Prince & the Revolution blew up with Purple Rain but I digress. "What happened" was two things - MTV and music technology. MTV affected in big way how music was marketed. No longer was it enough just to get on the radio and image DID matter all of a sudden. Everything looked so damned spikey and punky all of a sudden (even with all the Jheri curls money could buy!). There was barely any individuality or originality - everyone looked the same (except for Luther Vandross, but that's a different story).
Also the technology - drum machines, synthesizers, digital recording. Every record had to use a Kork M1 or a Yamaha DX-7 - Fender Rhodes electric pianos and the Hammond B-3 organs were dumped to the side (except for Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp) as were strings and horns. The records started sounding like they came out of Yamaha's keyboard shop and not from real instruments. As much as I like groups such as Midnight Star and the work of Jam & Lewis, it does sound dated and alike when you put all those songs together.
I'm not knocking the decade altogether because there were some artists who made music in the 1980s that sounds decent and timeless today (Teena Marie, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Hall & Oates, George Michael, Steve Winwood, Patti Labelle, Atlantic Starr, even Michael Jackson's duet with Siedah Garrett - "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" - was and still is my favorite MJ ballad). But there is a point to be made as to what happened, indeed.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By JoB (126.96.36.199) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 02:47 am:|
...I don't know WHAT happened (in '83, '84), but I sure wish it would STOP hapnin' :o)
And did someone mention Keith Sweat??? Oh God, if I have to sit and listen to him for more than one song (which is often the case because sadly, my boyfriend is a fan), my ears literally start to HURT...who the hell gave him a contract???
Ok but seriously, I agree with the point that Galactus is trying to make because, with the exception of a few that others have mentioned in this thread, I really can't think of too many great artists out after those years, or that at least may be considered great soul artists in the future. And I may be wrong (let me know if I am forgetting someone), but I think it's safe to say that in terms of good BANDS, the Gap Band was the last of their time, much like the Jackson 5 was the last of the great legends off of the Motown assembly line (CLASSIC Motown, not new Motown...or could it have been the Commodores...)????
|By medusa9e2003 (188.8.131.52) on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 09:12 am:|
FYI Mc Rockit*****U R On The "WRONG" Forum, Sorry, but we don't really embrace 'rap' here.
Incase U haven't noticed, this is ~~~ "SOULFUL"Detroit Forum. There's nothing wrong with you or anyone liking what you like, and you just happen to like 'rap'. I do believe it would be appropiate if you would find a rap forum.
This is a Forum about "SOUL" Music and it's Info.
|By IRVMILNE (184.108.40.206) on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 04:39 pm:|
WHAT I THINK GALACTUS WAS TRYING TO SAY (I HOPE)THAT 20 YRS AFTER IT HAPPENED NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THE ARTISTS IN THE WAY WE ALL TALK ABOUT OUR FAV 50/60/70s ARTISTS ON THIS SITE BECAUSE; A THE MUSIC AND ARTISTS WERE NOT FIT TO LACE THE SHOES OF THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE THEM ,MAYBE ONE OR TWO BUT THATS IT
|By Livonia Ken (220.127.116.11) on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 04:55 pm:|
A lot of established artists stumbled through the 80s be they rock r&b or whatever. Even artists with undeniably great voices like Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin sounded weak compared to their earlier efforts against the sledgehammer beats and synth-heavy production that were the rule of the day. I think Luther Vandross has a great voice, but I'm not a fan of the production style of a lot of the albums from his 80s breakout. It seems a bit too slick for its own good compared to, say, some of the lusher Philly stuff from the mid-late 70s.
The major exception to all of this in my mind was Anita Baker. She was the best thing going on at the time in mainstream R&B. I suppose Prince fits in the picture somewhere, too.
|By KevGo (18.104.22.168) on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 05:22 pm:|
When I first heard Anita Baker's "Sweet Love" while I was a radio DJ I almost wanted to yell "Hallelujah!" because her music was like a breath of fresh air in comparison to much of what I heard in the 1980s.
She was using real instruments to drive the rhythm and melody (no drum machines) and synths were relegated to chords and little embellishments. All of her albums are like stone gems regardless of what people have said about her voice being the way it is.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Des (22.214.171.124) on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 06:08 pm:|
Kev/ I fully agree with you on Anita and,IMO,no caveat is necessary on her voice which is akin to a musical instrument and she can thus communicate wordlessly - which may be where listeners demanding absolutely clear enunciation have a problem.I've been surprised by a couple of posters here who I would have expected to have identified this aspect of her singing and rejoiced accordingly.
However,your point on the use of real instruments - whose choice? IMO,Michael J.Powell is the vital ingredient to Anita's best recordings.
The inference that "she was using real instruments" I feel places disproportionate credit to her.I feel she's a very good/occasionally great singer and decent song-collaborator (her Music&lyrics credits are generally the tracks I'll skip on "Rhythm Of Love" - quality control in the form of Powell not there - is how I've read it.)
Hey,it's kinda churlish to nitpick,but I've always wanted more of "Rapture" and,although "Songstress" was a good build-up to "Rapture",I've felt that she's never recaptured the consistent quality shown on that second solo album.......I hope all the indicators I've picked up here are true and she's making a recording comeback.....t'would be good to hear the maturity in her voice from those absent years.
What does anyone think on Powells' input to Anita's work?
|By Galactus (126.96.36.199) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 02:53 pm:|
(Sorry I haven't posted in a few days.....been out of commission with a pinched nerve in my low back......not fun for those who've never had it......just awful.....doing better now with treatment).
I know what you're saying about looking back and the tendency to resent the recent years.....and perhaps over-stating the importance of your nostaligic period (Or "NO Stalgia" as Gil Scott Heron would say...lol). However, I really don't think that's the case. I genuinely believe r&b turn a turn for the worse around 1983 or '84, and it's never been the same since. After all, I wasn't even around for the 40s or 50s, but I recognize the greatness of that music.
I agree with the Anita Baker comments. I too, was encouraged by her first couple of hits. But I was disappointed when they all began to sound alike.
The problem seems to be (and this is just a layman's opinion here) in the production and the writing, rather than in the actual SINGING. For example, generally if I see a Babyface production on the label, I know I'm not interested. I feel no soul in those productions.....certainly not anything like I do with Thom Bell or Gamble/Huff.
Someone mentioned Evelyn King's "Love Come Down." I didn't completely dislike that one.....but I do remember a sameness to the sound about that time.....right before it (or right after it) Aretha Franklin's "Jump to it" was also a no. 1 r&b song......and I remember thinking how alike the two records sounded to me. Anyone else notice that?
|By Handsome (188.8.131.52) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 03:11 pm:|
What's Up Galactus! I was 18 at the time, (1983), and I do agree to a certain extent that it seemed soul music "disappeared". I, myself tried to enjoy the new music (with its newer technology as KevGo mentioned), and must admit I bought some of it. I have no regrets. For me, I not only listen to music for the music, but also for the memories, and the time marks in my life, i.e. What I was doing when this record came out? Hmmmm
I'm even trying to appreciate the "some" of the newer artists NOW, ha ha!
Des: Whatcha know about Mica Paris??? That's my girl..I have everything she made...I'm beginning to think we're music soulmates :o)
|By KevGo (184.108.40.206) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 04:48 pm:|
I enjoyed Mica Paris' music. I played "My One Temptation" when I was a radio DJ in 1988-89.
Another British R&B act I liked at that time was the Pasedenas. Their hit was "Tribute (Right On)".
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Handsome (220.127.116.11) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 04:51 pm:|
Where is Mica Paris?
Is she still recording?
|By Handsome (18.104.22.168) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 05:22 pm:|
I must say when I heard Mica Paris, her voice inflects Natalie Cole to me. I believe she was the first one to record Rod Temperton's, "You Put A Move on My Heart" before Tamia.
KevGo-Besides My One Temptation, I also liked, Don't Give Me up & Where is The Love (w/Will Downing on lead/ad libs & backing vocals) So Good, and I wanna Hold On To You.
|By Des (22.214.171.124) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 05:29 pm:|
Last I heard she's tragically not got a record contract - I could be a bit behind the times with that news.I'm sure I saw her on a UK talent show called Fame Acadamy in the audience or being consulted or something (another UK poster may set us straight on that).
Handsome - there was one cut she made of another underrated UK soulster named Omar (famous cut "there's nothing like this") called "I Should Have Known Better" -- bass-heavy and genuinely soulful.If u haven't heard it,seek it out.Let me know sometime that u caught it(if u haven't already).
On Omar's criminally underrated 1997 cd "This is not a love song" - the marvellous Syreeta sings on a couple of tracks - back-up and duet....having just picked up her first eponymous album from '72 on Japanese cd,I'm on a Syreeta kick at the moment....oh and that Omar album was produced by David Frank (Ex of The System - I just noticed that on the cd)
Phew - lotsa info tonight
|By RD (126.96.36.199) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 05:33 pm:|
Mica Paris sounded even better live. I caught her at the old Front Row Theater opening for a act I can't remember. She was no more than 19 at the time. I was so enthralled I went backstage after the show to talk to her and she gave me an autograph picture. I had never done that before and haven't done it since. "My Last Temptation" was a bouncy, catchy tune but she was best on ballads. Her original rendition of "You Put A Move On My Heart" is so much better than Tamia's it isn't funny. I went to see her again the next time she came to town. It's a shame a talent like hers never hit big. I hear she's back in England just surviving.
|By Des (188.8.131.52) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 05:36 pm:|
You're right Handsome about her first with "You Put A Move On My Heart" -- 93 versus 95....her version produced by the writer Rod Temperton...and one Paul Jackson,Jr. on guitar on her version.
|By Handsome (184.108.40.206) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 05:39 pm:|
Thanks RD & Des.
|By john c (220.127.116.11) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 03:36 pm:|
One of my guilty pleasures is British pop bands of the '80's, who tried their darndest to be funky. So maybe they killed soul off! But Duran Duran, Culture Club, ABC, Haircut One Hundred, Level 42 ... all seemed Motown influenced to me. To some, Brit-Funk may be an oxymoron but I like it. At least they were trying.
|By einnod23 aka DF (18.104.22.168) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 04:10 pm:|
Two simple reasons for the change as we saw it after 1982:
1) Disco Sucks. That racist movement put a whole lot of black/soul acts out of business. And many of them had nothing to do with disco. Sad.
2) Thriller. I remember the Thriller parties in every household in Tompkins projects in Brooklyn, New York. In fact, my mother threw one. Play that whole album, and nothing else for the whole night. Remember, Thriller was initially NOT well recieved by much of radio/media.
Remember, white radio/media (MTV, and what would be classified as white radio) wouldn't play black music. And Black radio dj's (except Frankie Crocker) listened to "Beat It" and thought Mike lost his mind! Media grossly underestimated the public liking (more like public loving!). Thriller, released in late 1982, sold basically by word of mouth, up until Motown 25.
For example, someone would buy Thriller in late 1982 (pre-Motown 25), and would throw a party, and play the whole album. Partygoers would rant and rave, buy it later, and throw their own Thriller party. This cancer-style phenomena (for lack of a better word) would continue, and when Mo-25 came on (Spring 83), an alltime blowup was in order (radio/media had no choice to boost the LP after Mike's performance on Mo-25).
And in the midst of the Thriller phenomena, Kashif's first album (1983), agruably one of the most well made synth-LP's ever made, would virtually go unnoticed in the mainstream market. Many of us had Thriller fever and forgot about the rest of soul music. That's my take. This may ruffle some feathers, but I gotta call it as I see it. Peace.
|By KevGo (22.214.171.124) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 04:24 pm:|
I work for a label that was distributed by CBS Records at the time Thriller was released. The label president didn't renew his agreement with CBS because the execs' priority was to promote Thriller and not the newer acts & labels they were originally responsible for. So, Kashif wasn't the only one who may have suffered.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Galactus (126.96.36.199) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 05:51 pm:|
You hit the nail on the head regarding "Thriller."
That album did more harm than good in many, many ways. I was listening to r&b stations almost exclusively when it came out and I was one of the first guys in school to hear "Billie Jean." I told everyone it was going to be big......but I was also very concerned about the effects it would have......thanks to those blasted videos and the rock influences.
You're right; white stations had no part of "Thriller" when it first came out. MJ was still considered to be very much a soul star back then......he was not regarded as a pop star at all. "Off The Wall" was still on everyone's mind. But once he broke through on MTV that was all she wrote for true soul music......combine that with the new instrumentation.....and the rise of rap/new jack.....and it was all the ingredients for disaster.
BTW.....I remember Kashif. His early stuff was good.......I also remember D-Train from that same period. Some of those artists from that time.....like Richard "Dimples" Fields, The Gap Band and Junior.....were about to revitilize soul music, IMO.....before their lifeline was cut short by those awful new trends. Too bad.
|By KevGo (188.8.131.52) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 08:38 pm:|
I remember going into a record store in November 1982 to buy "The Girl Is Mine" - the first single from Thriller. That's what the pop stations were playing at the time but to me they seemed to be airing the record because Paul McCartney was on the record & 1982 was a hot year for him thanks to the Tug Of War album and his duet with Stevie Wonder "Ebony & Ivory". The R&B station aired "The Girl Is Mine" but only in sporadic rotation. As you said, "Billie Jean" wasn't even a consideration on pop radio until CBS Records chief Walter Yentikoff threatened to pull all CBS-related videos from MTV if they didn't air the Billie Jean video.
This brings up another issue if it hadn't been mentioned before - did it seem that Top 40 radio would wait for MTV to air a video of a new release before the radio stations would even play the record?
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By einnod23 aka DF (184.108.40.206) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 08:54 pm:|
I believe you have the retail experience, so I'm asking you this question:
Is Thriller responsible for integrating the retail racks (R&B and pop categories merged) in record stores? Before Thriller, you would have a R&B/soul section, and a pop/rock section. I personally liked them separate because records, for me, were easier to find when the categories were separated (or segragated in some peoples' opinions). Peace.
|By KevGo (220.127.116.11) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 10:18 pm:|
I don't believe Thriller was responsible for the integrating of the record racks. Some stores have done that in recent years for various reasons (small space, smaller selections).
The stores I've worked at (Cavages in Rochester, HMV in Manhattan) kept Rock & R&B separate for the reason you mentioned - it's easier to find music that way.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Galactus (18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 09:06 am:|
Yeah Kev......November of '82 was about when I first heard some of Thriller too. And you're right about MTV influencing what was played and when.......just another example of the negative effect music videos have had.
Thriller wasn't even at the top of my must-buy list then. Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" was still wowing me.......I was so happy to see his comeback. His death a couple of years later was another blow to the music of that period.
|By einnod23 aka DF (22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 10:30 am:|
Some of the Top Soul Music Albums of 1982-83
Luther Vandross: Forever, For Always, For Love
Stevie Wonder: Musiquarium I (Do I Do)
Patrice Rushen: Straight From The Heart
Aretha Frankin: Jump To It
Lionel Ritchie (First Album)
Marvin Gaye: Midnight Love
I'm sure there are some more, but those are albums where the mainstream exposure eluded them--Don't get the first Lionel Ritchie album confused with the blockbuster Can't slow Down (1984). Thrillermania had a LOT to with those albums being on the pop level backburner. Peace.
|By einnod23 aka DF (126.96.36.199) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 10:32 am:|
Correction to the last sentence:
Thrillermania had a lot to do with these albums being on the pop level backburner.
|By KevGo (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 11:37 am:|
And to think...People Magazine pointed out in 1983 that Luther Vandross had three platinum albums starting with 1981's "Never Too Much" yet pop radio wasn't playing his records nor did any of his albums hit the Top 10 of Billboard's Pop Album chart.
Mtume's "Juicy Fruit" was a #1 platinum single in the summer of 1982 yet pop radio barely touched this record, too. The only time this song got exposure outside of the R&B stations was when Casey Kasem featured the video on his America's Top Ten TV show.
The point I'm making is that pop radio froze out much of R&B before MTV became an issue. The "disco sucks" protest (which I agree was rooted in bigotry)left such a bad taste in the mainstream's mouth and R&B music got tossed out with disco's bathwater.
I agree with your list of albums - these were the records I listened to prior to Thriller and I still enjoy (especially since many of them are now on CD).
Now, here's some food for thought - compare the albums Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross & Aretha Franklin released prior to Thriller and the albums they did after Thriller blew up ("Can't Slow Down", "The Night I Fell In Love" and "Who's Zoomin' Who", respectively). Do you think the latter albums were somewhat influenced by Thriller's success?
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By KevGo (184.108.40.206) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 11:52 am:|
Like you, I was jazzed by Marvin's comeback. "Sexual Healing" was like no other record before and no one (outside of Barry White) has made such a sexy and tasteful record like it since. To see him on the Grammys was like watching Michael Jordan kicking a-- with the Bulls. Watching him thanking his kids was a great sight.
My favorite Marvin moment though would have to be his appearance on Motown 25 a couple of months later. He walked out on stage - unannounced! Sat at the piano, told America the history of Black folks and slides right into "What's Going On". Outstanding!
His death shocked an entire community of music lovers around the world. I was working at my hometown radio station that weekend when the news came over the Associated Press & UPI news wire services. The DJ on air had to cut off her microphone a couple of times when she read the news because she was in tears.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Galactus (220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 12:00 pm:|
Good points Kev.
"Forever, For Always, For Love" is a great album by Vandross. I bought that one when it came out and I just about wore it out. "She Loves Me Back" got a ton of airplay on r&b radio down here......and the whole album is outstanding (by far and away Luther's best album, IMO)......but pop stations, as you point out, had nothing to do with it. Too bad, because they missed Luther's best period.....starting with "The Night I Fell In Love" I quit buying his stuff, because the production styles changed to suit the times and he was never the same again. His first two LPs were outstanding, however. (If I'm not mistaken, I believe Larkin Arnold was involved in those first two albums.....and Arnold's old soul approach made those records great.....his absence was felt beginning with "Busy Body").
Ditto Lionel Ritchie.....whose first album is light years better than anything else he ever did as a solo artist. Funny how all of the music I tend to dislike begins with the MTV era.
All of those ablums are pretty darn good ones that you list. That period really represents soul music's last gasp I think. The Gap Band, Cameo, Lakeside, Zapp and others were still making quality funk at that time as well.
|By Galactus (18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 12:09 pm:|
Marvin has always been one of my three favorite solo artists (along with Curtis Mayfield and Bob Marley).
His death hurt me badly....I was graduating from high school at the time........ David Ritz' bio on him is great, I've reread it several times....and yes, I remember the Motown 25 appearance. That was my favorite moment......(everyone else was focused on Micheal of course).
Would have been very interesting to see what musical path he would've taken had he lived. Heck, maybe he could've stemmed the tide of the terrible trends that swamped soul music soon after his death.