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Classic 1980s Soul, R&B, and Funk, Vol. 1

 

1.
Roberta Flack Donny Hathaway Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Vol. 1 Volt and VolumeBack Together Again and You Are My Heaven by Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway: In 1980, in an attempt to repeat the success of 1972’s Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, the two Soul singers decided to record another duets album together. Tragically, it wasn’t meant to be, as Donny Hathaway committed suicide after having recorded only two songs (both were released as singles), leaving it to Roberta Flack to record the remaining five songs on her own. Back Together Again reached No. 8 on the Soul/R&B Chart and peaked at Pop No. 56, while You Are My Heaven also reached Soul/R&B No. 8 and hit No. 47 on the Pop Chart. These singles are featured on 1980’s Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway and A Donny Hathaway Collection or The Very Best Of Roberta Flack.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

2.
Earth Wind and Fire Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Vol.1 Volt and VolumeLet’s Groove and Wanna Be With You by Earth, Wind & Fire: In 1981, Soul, R&B, and Funk group Earth Wind & Fire released their eleventh studio album, Raise!, produced by bandleader and mastermind Maurice White. The best-selling album of late 1981/’82, Raise! made it all the way to No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and reached No. 5 on the Pop Chart and was certified Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA for sales of more than one million copies. The classic hit single Let’s Groove reached Pop No. 3 and No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart for eight weeks. Wanna Be With You (Soul/R&B No. 15, Pop No. 51) won a Grammy Award for "Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group". 

[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

3.
Billy Ocean Nights Feel Like Getting Down Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Volt and VolumeNights (Feel Like Getting Down) by Billy Ocean: While Nights (Feel Like Getting Down) wasn’t a hit on the Pop Chart (it only reached No. 103), this bouncy, dance-friendly single did enter the Top 10 on the Soul/R&B Chart in 1981, the British R&B/Pop singer Billy Ocean’s first single to do so (the previous singles were all Pop hits). The single was taken from the album Nights (Feel Like Getting Down), which charted at No. 152 on the Pop Album Chart. Also available on a compilation collecting the ‘70s and early ‘80s singles titled The Billy Ocean Collection.

[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

4.
Lionel Richie All Night Long Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Volt and VolumeAll Night Long (All Night) and Penny Lover by Lionel Richie: The ex-Commodores bandleader Lionel Richie released his Multi-Platinum selling second solo album Can’t Slow Down in 1983, which reached No. 1 on the Pop Album Chart. Can’t Slow Down spent 59 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 and eventually sold more than 20 million copies. The album also won a Grammy Award for “Album of the Year” and produced all of four Top 10 singles, two of which were All Night Long (All Night) (Soul/R&B No. 1, Pop No. 1) and Penny Lover (Soul/R&B No. 8, Pop No. 8). Also available on Lionel Richie’s The Definitive Collection.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

5.
DeBarge All This Love Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Volt and VolumeAll This Love and I Like It by DeBarge: All This Love was originally written by El DeBarge in the hope that his label mate and longtime idol Marvin Gaye would record the song, but he and his sibling group ended up recording it themselves, when Gaye left the record label. Released as a single in early 1983, it reached No. 17 on the Pop Chart, No. 5 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. Another single, I Like It, charted at No. 2 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 31 on the Pop Chart, respectively. As a result of these hit singles, the album All This Love was certified Gold by the RIAA. Also available on the DeBarge compilation The Definitive Collection.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

6.
The Whsipers And The Beat Goes On Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Vol. 3And The Beat Goes On by The Whispers: In 1979, Soul/R&B/Funk group The Whispers released their ninth studio album The Whispers (Pop No. 6, Soul/R&B No. 1), which was certified Platinum by the RIAA. The album’s success owed a lot to And The Beat Goes On (released in 1980), a huge hit single that hit No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and peaked at No. 19 on the Pop Chart (their first Top 20 Pop hit in the U.S.). The single also reached No. 1 on the Dance Chart and No. 2 on the U.K. Singles Chart. 



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

7.
Shalamar A Night To Remember Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Vol.1A Night To Remember and There It Is by Shalamar: In 1982, the original line-up of R&B/Funk/Disco trio Shalamar (Jeffrey Daniel, Howard Hewett and Jody Watley) released their sixth studio album, Friends, which reached No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Album Chart and No. 35 on the Pop Album Chart in the U.S. (In the U.K. Friends reached No. 6 on the Album Chart). Issued as a single, A Night To Remember charted at No. 8 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 44 on the Pop Chart. A Night To Remember also reached No. 5 on the U.K. Singles Chart, as did There It Is, another memorable single that didn’t chart in the U.S. Also available on the hits collection I Can Make You Feel Good: The Best Of Shalamar.





[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

8.
Luther Vandross Never Too Much Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Vol.1Never Too Much by Luther Vandross: After having been a session singer for a number of years, Soul/R&B singer Luther Vandross released his debut solo album Never Too Much in 1981. The album peaked at No. 19 on the Pop Album Chart and reached No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Album Chart and was certified Double Platinum by the RIAA. Never Too Much also earned Luther Vandross two Grammy Award nominations for “Best New Artist” and “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male”. The single Never Too Much hit No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and peaked at No. 33 on the Pop Chart.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

9.
The Pointer Sisters Im So Excited Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Vol. 1I’m So Exited by The Pointer Sisters: This energetic Funk/Disco classic was actually released twice as a single and included on two different official Pointer Sisters studio albums. Originally featured on 1982’s So Excited! Album (Soul/R&B No. 24, Pop No. 59) and released as a modestly successful single (Pop No. 30, Soul/R&B No. 46), it was later re-released in 1984 as a slightly edited version, reaching No. 9 on the Pop Chart and No. 11 on the U.K. Singles Chart. The album it was taken from was 1983’s Break Out, which reached Pop No. 8 and Soul/R&B No. 6 and was certified Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. Break Out also reached No. 9 on the U.K. Album Chart. Also available on Jump: The Best Of The Pointer Sisters.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

10.
Chaka Khan I Feel for You Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Vol. 2I Feel For You by Chaka Khan: Written by Prince (for 1979’s Prince), who won a Grammy Award for “Best R&B Song” (in 1985), I Feel For You was recorded by Funk/R&B singer Chaka Khan for her fifth solo album, 1984’s I Feel For You (Soul/R&B No. 4, Pop No. 16), which was certified Platinum by the RIAA. In late 1984, the single I Feel For You charted at No. 3 on the Pop Chart and No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart. I Feel For You also reached No. 1 on the Dance Chart and remained on Billboard’s “Hot 100” for 26 weeks. Also available on The Best Of Chaka Khan.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

11.
Cherrelle I Didnt Mean To Turn You On Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Vol. 1I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On by Cherrelle: Written by iconic songwriting/production team Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis (S.O.S. Band, Janet Jackson, etc.) and heavily inspired by Prince, Cherrelle’s original version of I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On charted at Soul/R&B No. 8 and peaked at Pop No. 79. Issued as a single in 1984, I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On was taken from the album Fragile (also released in 1984), which reached No. 27 on the Soul/R&B Album Chart and No. 144 on the Pop Album Chart. Two years later Blue-Eyed Soul singer Robert Palmer released the most commercially successful version of this song (U.S. Pop Chart No. 2, U.K. Singles Chart No. 9). Also available on Best Of Cherrelle.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

12.
Smokey Robinson Being With You Classic 80s Soul R and B and Funk Vol.1 Volt and VolumeBeing With You by Smokey Robinson: Having left his old Motown group Smokey Robinson & The Miracles in 1972 (after which they called themselves The Miracles), Soul singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson embarked on a successful solo career (especially on the Soul/R&B Chart). His best-selling solo single, Being With You, reached No. 2 on the Pop Chart and spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart. The album, also titled Being With You, charted at No. 10 on the Pop Album Chart and hit No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart. Being With You was certified Gold by the RIAA. The single Being With You is also available on the 2-CD compilation The Solo Anthology.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

 

For more classic 1980s Soul, R&B, and Funk, also read:

Classic 1980s Soul, R&B, and Funk, Vol. 2

Classic 1980s Soul, R&B, and Funk, Vol. 3

Posted by Thomas Thomsen on Wednesday, July 10, 2013
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