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  1. #1
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    Sister sledge's "all american girls" album turns 40

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    One of my favorite's by these fine fillies from Philly. Released February 2, 1981 this project turned up the energy from their previous work with The Chic Organization. This writer gives a great retrospective on a great recording. https://www.albumism.com/features/si...-retrospective

  2. #2
    The first three tracks of side one used to get the most play in my younger days. In my opinion, this was the last of their hot streak beginning with the We are family album. Never quite the same afterwards but I'm still spinning them forty years on. These ladies had quite an impact on my musical life.

  3. #3
    I'll admit I don't know the lp well, but have a definite memory of seeing SS perform 'Runaway' on American Bandstand and thinking 'Now THAT'S a hit'. I will give the lp a listen; I was not aware of the Albumism site and found the piece on this lp to be excellent.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by glencro View Post
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    One of my favorite's by these fine fillies from Philly. Released February 2, 1981 this project turned up the energy from their previous work with The Chic Organization. This writer gives a great retrospective on a great recording. https://www.albumism.com/features/si...-retrospective
    Seems like only yesterday that i bought this album. One of their finest in my humble opinion. Strong songs, great production and some lovely vocals by the ladies.
    This album was every bit as good as We are Family.
    Thanks for posting.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Seems like only yesterday that i bought this album. One of their finest in my humble opinion. Strong songs, great production and some lovely vocals by the ladies.
    This album was every bit as good as We are Family.
    Thanks for posting.
    "Next Time You'll Know" is a beautiful song with a fantastic vocal from Kathy. It is the kind of pop/soul ballad that Whitney would make her hallmark. In those days, it was so hard for black artists to "cross over" to pop radio formats.

    We had the "Love Somebody Today" album in our household and loved it. But it fell to me to buy the 45s of the singles from "All American Girls", including the 'reggae' version of "He's Just A Runaway." I didn't hear the whole album until years later.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    The first three tracks of side one used to get the most play in my younger days. In my opinion, this was the last of their hot streak beginning with the We are family album. Never quite the same afterwards but I'm still spinning them forty years on. These ladies had quite an impact on my musical life.
    I have to agree with you, though "The Sisters" and "Betcha Say That To All The Girls" had some moments they never captured the magic of the two Chic produced albums and this one. Their reunion with Nile Rodgers producing didn't do much either. By that time he was so in demand producing the likes of David Bowie, Madonna and other A listers that I believe he gave them the bottom of the barrel. It's interesting, he often boasts of We Are Family putting them on the top and making them a household name but ironically, he also produced the album that pretty much halted their career.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    The first three tracks of side one used to get the most play in my younger days. In my opinion, this was the last of their hot streak beginning with the We are family album. Never quite the same afterwards but I'm still spinning them forty years on. These ladies had quite an impact on my musical life.
    I have to agree with you, though "The Sisters" and "Betcha Say That To All The Girls" had some moments they never captured the magic of the two Chic produced albums and this one. Their reunion with Nile Rodgers producing didn't do much either. By that time he was so in demand producing the likes of David Bowie, Madonna and other A listers that I believe he gave them the bottom of the barrel. It's interesting, he often boasts of We Are Family putting them on the top and making them a household name but ironically, he also produced the album that pretty much halted their career.
    Theit music has also been a great part of my life for 40 plus years.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by glencro View Post
    I have to agree with you, though "The Sisters" and "Betcha Say That To All The Girls" had some moments they never captured the magic of the two Chic produced albums and this one. Their reunion with Nile Rodgers producing didn't do much either. By that time he was so in demand producing the likes of David Bowie, Madonna and other A listers that I believe he gave them the bottom of the barrel. It's interesting, he often boasts of We Are Family putting them on the top and making them a household name but ironically, he also produced the album that pretty much halted their career.
    Theit music has also been a great part of my life for 40 plus years.
    I was lucky enough to see them in my home town in 85. I never thought I'd catch them live and it was a brilliant evening. Part way through, they introduced their new single "Frankie". Inoffensive enough but not going to get them back into the charts. A few weeks later, what I still consider their worst ever single was number 1 in the UK and remained there 4 weeks later. When the album came out, it didn't really get much better. Played it a few times, but the vinyl pretty much remained on the shelf.
    When the box set came out last year, I still shelled out despite having most of the material. I'd totally forgotten that Nile had worked on the final Atlantic release. Time has moved on and I was a bit more forgiving on listening for the first time in some 35 years. I have to agree with you though, it didn't cut it back then and still feels like collection of b sides. Still my favourite girl group though.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I was lucky enough to see them in my home town in 85. I never thought I'd catch them live and it was a brilliant evening. Part way through, they introduced their new single "Frankie". Inoffensive enough but not going to get them back into the charts. A few weeks later, what I still consider their worst ever single was number 1 in the UK and remained there 4 weeks later. When the album came out, it didn't really get much better. Played it a few times, but the vinyl pretty much remained on the shelf.
    When the box set came out last year, I still shelled out despite having most of the material. I'd totally forgotten that Nile had worked on the final Atlantic release. Time has moved on and I was a bit more forgiving on listening for the first time in some 35 years. I have to agree with you though, it didn't cut it back then and still feels like collection of b sides. Still my favourite girl group though.


    Wow a four week #1 ...peaked at #75 stateside.



    never heard it before , thanks!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post


    Wow a four week #1 ...peaked at #75 stateside.



    never heard it before , thanks!

    To be honest, 75 was about where I expected to get to over here. Far from their finest but I'm happy if this thread has introduced you to a new track. And how good does Joni look in that video??? Sadly missed.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    To be honest, 75 was about where I expected to get to over here. Far from their finest but I'm happy if this thread has introduced you to a new track. And how good does Joni look in that video??? Sadly missed.
    I fell hopelessly in love with Joni in the early 80's. She was a gorgeous and sexy lady. May she r.i.p.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post


    Wow a four week #1 ...peaked at #75 stateside.



    never heard it before , thanks!
    Interesting thing was that song and album were a huge success in several different countries and completely bombed here in the states. They said that they were busy promoting overseas and when they returned to the states people were asking when were they going to release new music. They had to tell the people that we actually have a new album out. It tanked here in the US. Nile Rodgers never talks about this album but I would love to get his take on it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I was lucky enough to see them in my home town in 85. I never thought I'd catch them live and it was a brilliant evening. Part way through, they introduced their new single "Frankie". Inoffensive enough but not going to get them back into the charts. A few weeks later, what I still consider their worst ever single was number 1 in the UK and remained there 4 weeks later. When the album came out, it didn't really get much better. Played it a few times, but the vinyl pretty much remained on the shelf.
    When the box set came out last year, I still shelled out despite having most of the material. I'd totally forgotten that Nile had worked on the final Atlantic release. Time has moved on and I was a bit more forgiving on listening for the first time in some 35 years. I have to agree with you though, it didn't cut it back then and still feels like collection of b sides. Still my favourite girl group though.
    Back in 2014 I had the opportunity to have lunch with Joni & Debbie Sledge [[still one of the greatest moments of my life). WE talked about everything from cooking, growing up, traveling and of course music. Joni talked about Frankie and how the writer of the song was married to a billionaire who promised to help promote the album if they recorded one of the songs. They were through a bag of cassettes and that was the one song that Nile thought that he could do something with. She said they were shocked when it went to #1 in the UK and a few other countries and that they hated the video. Regarding "All American Girls", she didn't specify but it sounds as if they weren't exactly crazy about working with Narada. It seems as if he didn't respect them as co-producers.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I was lucky enough to see them in my home town in 85. I never thought I'd catch them live and it was a brilliant evening. Part way through, they introduced their new single "Frankie". Inoffensive enough but not going to get them back into the charts. A few weeks later, what I still consider their worst ever single was number 1 in the UK and remained there 4 weeks later. When the album came out, it didn't really get much better. Played it a few times, but the vinyl pretty much remained on the shelf.
    When the box set came out last year, I still shelled out despite having most of the material. I'd totally forgotten that Nile had worked on the final Atlantic release. Time has moved on and I was a bit more forgiving on listening for the first time in some 35 years. I have to agree with you though, it didn't cut it back then and still feels like collection of b sides. Still my favourite girl group though.
    Back in 2014 I had the opportunity to have lunch with Joni & Debbie Sledge [[still one of the greatest moments of my life). WE talked about everything from cooking, growing up, traveling and of course music. Joni talked about Frankie and how the writer of the song was married to a billionaire who promised to help promote the album if they recorded one of the songs. They were through a bag of cassettes and that was the one song that Nile thought that he could do something with. She said they were shocked when it went to #1 in the UK and a few other countries and that they hated the video. Regarding "All American Girls", she didn't specify but it sounds as if they weren't exactly crazy about working with Narada. It seems as if he didn't respect them as co-producers.

  15. #15
    "Back in 2014 I had the opportunity to have lunch with Joni & Debbie Sledge [[still one of the greatest moments of my life)."

    I'll bet it is? I'd have been star struck and probably not made the most of such an opportunity.

    From the previous reply about Nile's take? That's interesting as I didn't realise he does not talk about it. I'm not sure how I'd phrase the question though. Talking to God would be a bit unnerving?

  16. #16
    This was a popular early morning sleaze record:



    I'm sure that it not being on the LP caused purchase return issues .

    [[Is tribute the right term here , being reggae in style equals "tribute" ? )

    added: I see Bob Marley passed away that year , so he was very much the force behind re-approaching this song with a such a sound .
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 02-27-2021 at 12:08 PM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    This was a popular early morning sleaze record:



    I'm sure that it not being on the LP caused purchase return issues .

    [[Is tribute the right term here , being reggae in style equals "tribute" ? )
    Annoyingly, it didn't get included on last year's box set either. Unforgivable really when you see some of the remixes they included on the final disc.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Annoyingly, it didn't get included on last year's box set either. Unforgivable really when you see some of the remixes they included on the final disc.
    David Nathan told me he was unable to include it on the box set due to some legal loophole.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    This was a popular early morning sleaze record:



    I'm sure that it not being on the LP caused purchase return issues .

    [[Is tribute the right term here , being reggae in style equals "tribute" ? )

    added: I see Bob Marley passed away that year , so he was very much the force behind re-approaching this song with a such a sound .
    I loved that remix. The sisters produced it themselves before producing their "The Sisters" album. They said that when they performed the original rock version, the audiences would just look at them because they weren't used to that sound. By the way, I can't think of any other girl groups who produced themselves, possibly A Taste of Honey but I need to check that.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    "Back in 2014 I had the opportunity to have lunch with Joni & Debbie Sledge [[still one of the greatest moments of my life)."

    I'll bet it is? I'd have been star struck and probably not made the most of such an opportunity.

    From the previous reply about Nile's take? That's interesting as I didn't realise he does not talk about it. I'm not sure how I'd phrase the question though. Talking to God would be a bit unnerving?
    I was star struck but did my best not to show it. They were so nice and made us so comfortable. There were lots of laughs and we were in that restaurant for hours. Joni felt bad holding up the waiters table so she tipped the waiter very well. It was great to see that they were good people and lived up to my expectation of them.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    I was lucky enough to see them in my home town in 85. I never thought I'd catch them live and it was a brilliant evening. Part way through, they introduced their new single "Frankie". Inoffensive enough but not going to get them back into the charts. A few weeks later, what I still consider their worst ever single was number 1 in the UK and remained there 4 weeks later. When the album came out, it didn't really get much better. Played it a few times, but the vinyl pretty much remained on the shelf.
    When the box set came out last year, I still shelled out despite having most of the material. I'd totally forgotten that Nile had worked on the final Atlantic release. Time has moved on and I was a bit more forgiving on listening for the first time in some 35 years. I have to agree with you though, it didn't cut it back then and still feels like collection of b sides. Still my favourite girl group though.
    Danno, you should check out this facebook group Sister Sledge; Legacy of Love. There's some really great music and video content on there and Kim and Debbie are on there from time to time.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by glencro View Post
    Danno, you should check out this facebook group Sister Sledge; Legacy of Love. There's some really great music and video content on there and Kim and Debbie are on there from time to time.
    Thanks for that, I've added to my favourites. Some very nice photos on first look. I'm going to check the videos/music at my leisure.

  23. #23
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  24. #24
    AAG is, quite simply, a perfect album. Just gave it a listen and for me every track is perfect and perfectly placed and at least 3 songs were top-5 worthy.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    AAG is, quite simply, a perfect album. Just gave it a listen and for me every track is perfect and perfectly placed and at least 3 songs were top-5 worthy.
    Glad you like. I felt like their label dropped the ball on that album.

  26. #26
    Aside from "We Are Family", "All American Girls" is my favorite Sister Sledge album. It never lets up from start to finish. Producer Narada Michael Walden did a fantastic job, and even pinned the needles to the red, making sure it had maximum sonic impact.

    Unfortunately, the album was a relative flop. I'm not sure why. Perhaps the album title put off a lot of people back in 1981, considering that it was the start of the harsh Reagan era.

  27. #27
    Aside from "We Are Family", "All American Girls" is my favorite Sister Sledge album. It never lets up from start to finish. Producer Narada Michael Walden did a fantastic job, and even pinned the needles to the red, making sure it had maximum sonic impact.

    Unfortunately, the album was a relative flop. I'm not sure why. Perhaps the album title put off a lot of people back in 1981, considering that it was the start of the harsh Reagan era.

  28. #28
    The confusion over whether "He's Just A Runaway" should be presented to audiences in its original new wave/rock form or as a dub tribute to Bob Marley highlights the lack of assurance behind AAG. Not at all like its predecessor, the Chic-produced "Love Somebody Today" -- start-to-finish perfection -- where the sonic profile of the whole project was carefully crafted. LST was not a commercial success either but it still holds up marvelously as the best of the Sister Sledge catalog and one of the finest Chic albums. AAG had moments and some filler and unfortunately that would be true of the rest of Sister Sledge's recorded output.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    The confusion over whether "He's Just A Runaway" should be presented to audiences in its original new wave/rock form or as a dub tribute to Bob Marley highlights the lack of assurance behind AAG. Not at all like its predecessor, the Chic-produced "Love Somebody Today" -- start-to-finish perfection -- where the sonic profile of the whole project was carefully crafted. LST was not a commercial success either but it still holds up marvelously as the best of the Sister Sledge catalog and one of the finest Chic albums. AAG had moments and some filler and unfortunately that would be true of the rest of Sister Sledge's recorded output.
    I loved the All American Girls album but I have to agree "Love Somebody Today" was a masterpiece and my favorite album from them.

  30. #30
    ALL AMERICAN GIRLS , the single, peaked at #3 on the soul chart and the ALL AMERICAN GIRLS LP peaked on the [[heavily gay influenced) disco chart at #6 during the start of the Reagan era, these are indisputable facts, make of them what one will, never mind how latter day revisionists [[by those who weren't there) may hope to warp them ....

  31. #31
    I worked in a record store with Morey Goldstein who was achieving success at the time dinkering with a "group" he'd created called Modern Rocketry. He was working at the Automat on his stuff when Narada Michael Walden was recording the Sisters there at the same time. Guess what he told me he saw that Narada had tucked under his arm when he was heading into the studio ?

    ......a bunch of Chic records....

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    ALL AMERICAN GIRLS , the single, peaked at #3 on the soul chart and the ALL AMERICAN GIRLS LP peaked on the [[heavily gay influenced) disco chart at #6 during the start of the Reagan era, these are indisputable facts, make of them what one will, never mind how latter day revisionists [[by those who weren't there) may hope to warp them ....
    Yo Boogie! I was there! I was in college.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I worked in a record store with Morey Goldstein who was achieving success at the time dinkering with a "group" he'd created called Modern Rocketry. He was working at the Automat on his stuff when Narada Michael Walden was recording the Sisters there at the same time. Guess what he told me he saw that Narada had tucked under his arm when he was heading into the studio ?

    ......a bunch of Chic records....
    No surprise. The guitar, rhythm section and "strings" on the track "All American Girls" is a clear imitation of the Chic sound.

    I also recall reading in 'Right On' magazine, or like publucation, that the Sisters faced some criticism from Black audiences because the theme of the song was considered too assimilationist. Apparently, announcing that they were "All American", with all the lily-white connotations of that term, stirred some controversy

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    Yo Boogie! I was there! I was in college.
    that's cool!

    Thousand bucks says the author of this article making those claims wasn't .

    soulster, from your use of the word "perhaps" in your post, I gather you are speculating?

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    No surprise. The guitar, rhythm section and "strings" on the track "All American Girls" is a clear imitation of the Chic sound.

    I also recall reading in 'Right On' magazine, or like publucation, that the Sisters faced some criticism from Black audiences because the theme of the song was considered too assimilationist. Apparently, announcing that they were "All American", with all the lily-white connotations of that term, stirred some controversy
    I'm sorry to hear that. I never read or heard anything like that , and no offense Guy , but I'd be more convinced by reading the actual articles that say that from those times. [[ who knew that ALL AMERICAN is by some thought to mean lily-white. Shame on whoever !)


    But ...... in thinking about it ....and witnessing what the press has become, it wouldn't surprise me if back then there would be such attitudes by some .
    What's gratifying to me is that the general consensus at the time didn't go along with it, and black radio stations and its listeners supported the song and the Sisters enough to garner them a #3 record .

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I'm sorry to hear that. I never read or heard anything like that , and no offense Guy , but I'd be more convinced by reading the actual articles that say that from those times. [[ who knew that ALL AMERICAN is by some thought to mean lily-white. Shame on whoever !)
    LOL! No offense taken but dont hold your breath. I wouldn't know where to find all my old "Right On!" and "Black Beat" magazines. But it was likely during promotion for "The Sisters" LP that they had to answer for "All American Girls." Tellingly, the opening track on that LP is "Super Bad Sisters."

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    No surprise. The guitar, rhythm section and "strings" on the track "All American Girls" is a clear imitation of the Chic sound.

    I also recall reading in 'Right On' magazine, or like publucation, that the Sisters faced some criticism from Black audiences because the theme of the song was considered too assimilationist. Apparently, announcing that they were "All American", with all the lily-white connotations of that term, stirred some controversy
    I've read about that too and I remember them wanting to make a statement about it but their label told them to let it go.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    LOL! No offense taken but dont hold your breath. I wouldn't know where to find all my old "Right On!" and "Black Beat" magazines. But it was likely during promotion for "The Sisters" LP that they had to answer for "All American Girls." Tellingly, the opening track on that LP is "Super Bad Sisters."
    Never thought about that but I guess you get no blacker than claiming to be Super Bad and rapping on your record.

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