Thursday, November 17, 2016

Rufus - 1978 - Street Player

Street Player

01. Street Player 4:54
02. Stay 5:41
03. Turn 4:43
04. Best Of Your Heart 3:45
05. Finale 2:10
06. Blue Love 3:18
07. Stranger To Love 3:33
08. Take Time (Instrumental) 4:16
09. Destiny 4:25
10. Change Your Ways 3:27

Chaka Khan – lead vocals, background vocals
Tony Maiden – guitar, percussion, lead vocals, background vocals
Kevin Murphy – keyboards
Bobby Watson – bass, percussion
David "Hawk" Wolinski – keyboards, background vocals
Richard "Moon" Calhoun – drums, percussion, background vocals
Seawind – horns
Jerry Hey – trumpet, flugelhorn
Kim Hutchcroft – saxophone, flute
William Reichenbach – trombone
Larry Williams – saxophone, flute, piccolo
Helen Lowe – additional background vocals
Everett Bryson, Jr. – percussion

Rufus and Chaka Khan went through three name changes as a group: Rufus, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan and Rufus & Chaka Khan. It doesn't really matter what name is used because the result is the same: solid grooves, arresting melodies, and the overwhelming vocals of Chaka Khan. This album spawned a Top Five Billboard R&B hit with "Stay," a song with a moderate tempo and a very humble beginning that bows to an explosive plea from Khan. It reached number three on the charts after 18 weeks. "Blue Love" has that seesaw rhythm that swings from midtempo to uptempo but is controlled by Khan's delivery. It slipped into the Top 40 at number 34 in a short nine weeks. This project could have easily supported additional releases with songs like the engaging "Stranger to Love," the jazzy "Destiny," and "Best of Your Heart." That's just for starters. Tony Maiden steps in vocally on "Change Your Ways." Khan's vocals are so dynamic and have so much range that it's hard to find challenging material. This album comes close to that challenge.

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