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



1.

Thriller Album Cover Michael Jackson2Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ and Billie Jean by Michael Jackson: In 1982, Michael Jackson released his sixth full-length release, Thriller (the follow-up to 1979’s Off The Wall), which reached No. 1 on the Soul/R&B and Pop charts and picked up an impressive haul of eight Grammy Awards, including “Album Of The Year”. All of seven singles were released from Thriller (out of 9 album tracks), and they all reached the Top Ten. Thriller, which was co-produced by legendary record producer Quincy Jones, eventually became the best-selling album of all time and was ranked number 20 on Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ peaked at No. 5 on the Soul/R&B Chart and the Pop Chart, respectively, and Billie Jean reached No. 1 on both charts. Also available on History: Past, Present & Future.





[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

2.
Give Me The Night Album Cover George BensonGive Me The Night by George Benson: This classic George Benson single reached No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 4 on the Pop Chart. Written and composed by ex-Heatwave member/keyboard player Rod Temperton, who wrote Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Give Me The Night featured backing vocals by Soul/R&B singer Patti Austin. Released during the summer of 1980, the album Give Me The Night reached No. 1 on the Soul/R&B and Smooth Jazz charts and peaked at No. 3 on the Pop Chart. George Benson won three Grammy Awards for the LP Give Me The Night, including “Best Male R&B Vocal Performance”. Also available on The Essential George Benson.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

3.
Fantastic Voyage Album Cover LakesideFantastic Voyage by Lakeside: The classic Funk single Fantastic Voyage was released by the Ohio-based group Lakeside in 1980, reaching No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 55 on the Pop Chart (the band’s only entry on Billboard’s Hot 100). Lakeside’s fourth LP, also titled Fantastic Voyage, hit Soul/R&B No. 2 and made it all the way to No. 16 on the Pop Chart, thus becoming significantly more successful than the album’s major hit single. In 1994, Rap/Hip-Hop artist Coolio sampled Lakeside’s Fantastic Voyage. His hit single of the same title reached R&B/Hip-Hop No. 1 and Pop No. 3.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

4.
Street Songs Album Cover Rick JamesSuper Freak and Give It To Me Baby by Rick James: In 1981, Soul/R&B/Funk singer and musician Rick James released his fifth album, Street Songs, which spent all of twenty weeks at No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and reached No. 3 on the Pop Chart. Rick James’ signature song, the hit single Super Freak, peaked at No. 3 on the Soul/R&B Chart and also reached No. 16 on the Pop Chart. The single Give It To Me Baby spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and reached No. 40 on the Pop Chart. Both singles are also available on The Definitive Collection.





[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

5.      
Celebrate Album Cover Kool And The GangCelebration by Kool & The Gang: Legendary R&B/Funk/Disco group Kool & The Gang released their fourteenth studio album, Celebrate!, in 1980, reaching No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and hitting No. 10 on the Pop Chart. Celebrate! produced the worldwide smash hit single and dance-floor classic Celebration, which spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Pop Chart and also made its way to No. 1 on the Soul/R&B and Dance charts, as well as No. 7 on the U.K. Singles Chart. Also available on The Vey Best Of Kool & The Gang.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

6.
This Place Hotel Album Cover The JacksonsThis Place Hotel (a.k.a. Heartbreak Hotel) and Lovely One by The Jacksons: The hit single This Place Hotel (a.k.a. Heartbreak Hotel) was thus titled because the original title of “This Place Hotel” was “Heartbreak Hotel”. Written and composed by Michael Jackson – and produced by The Jacksons – This Place Hotel (a.k.a. Heartbreak Hotel) reached No. 2 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 22 on the Pop Chart. The successful single Lovely One was another huge hit (Soul/R&B No. 2, Pop No. 12). Both singles were taken from The Jacksons’ (a.k.a. The Jackson 5) thirteenth studio album, Triumph (Soul/R&B No. 1, Pop No. 10). Also available on The Very Best Of The Jacksons.





[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

7.
Juice Album Cover Oran Juice JonesThe Rain by Oran “Juice” Jones: As the first artist signed to OBR Records, a subsidiary of the Rap/Hip-Hop record label Def Jam, Oran “Juice” Jones’ The Rain spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart in 1986. The Rain also reached No. 9 and No. 4 on the U.S. and U.K. Pop charts, respectively. In addition, The Rain earned two Grammy nominations and was ranked #63 on VH1’s “100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the ‘80s”. The accompanying album, The Juice, was a modest success on the Pop Chart (No. 44), but the LP made it all the way to No. 4 on the Soul/R&B Chart and was eventually certified Gold in 1991 (500.000 copies sold). Also available on the Soul collection Number 1’s: ‘80s Soul.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

8.
S.O.S. Band Debut Album CoverTake Your Time (Do It Right) by S.O.S. Band: The classic debut single by Atlanta-based Soul/Funk/Disco group The S.O.S. Band, Take Your Time (Do It Right), reached No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 3 on the Pop Chart during the summer of 1980 and was certified Platinum by the RIIA (Recording Industry Association of America) for sales of two million copies. The song was featured on their eponymously titled debut album, also released in 1980: the LP The S.O.S. Band peaked at No. 2 on the Soul/R&B Chart and hit No. 12 on the Pop Chart. Also available on Best Of The S.O.S. Band.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

9.
Winner In You Album Cover Patti LaBelleOn My Own by Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald: Released as a single in 1986, On My Own, a hit duet by Soul singer Patti LaBelle and ex-Doobie Brothers lead vocalist Michael McDonald, reached No. 1 on both the Soul/R&B and Pop charts. The single, written by legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach (and his ex-wife Carole Bayer Sager), was released from Patti LaBelle’s Platinum-selling eighth LP, Winner In You (Pop No. 1, Soul/R&B No. 1). Winner In You was certified Platinum by the RIIA (1.000.000 copies sold). The song’s also available on The Essential Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald’s The Ultimate Collection.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

10.
Hearsay Album Cover Alexander ONealCriticize and Fake by Alexander O’Neal: The stylish ‘80s Soul/R&B/Funk singer’s second LP, Hearsay, reached No. 2 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 29 on the Pop Chart. Hearsay produced all of seven hit singles in the U.K. and was certified Gold by the RIIA (in 1987), having sold more than 700.000 copies. Fake remains Alexander O’Neal’s biggest hit single in the U.S. (Soul/R&B No. 1, Pop no. 25), whereas Criticize reached No. 4 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 70 on the Pop Chart. Both hit singles are included on The Very Best Of Alexander O’Neal (2-CD compilation).





[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

11.
Solid Album Cover Ashford and SimpsonSolid by Ashford & Simpson: Written, sung and produced by the talented, in-demand husband-and-wife songwriting team Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, the single Solid was released in 1984, hitting No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart, No. 12 on the Pop Chart, and No. 3 on the U.K Singles Chart. Solid became the duo’s biggest hit as performers (they wrote numerous hit singles for other artists, including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing, both for Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, and I’m Every Woman for Chaka Khan). Released that same year, the album Solid reached No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 29 on the Pop Chart. Also available on The Very Best Of Ashford & Simpson.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

12.
Midnight Love Album Cover Marvin GayeSexual Healing by Marvin Gaye: Released in 1982, Sexual Healing was Marvin Gaye’s first single since his departure from his long-time record label Motown. The single reached No. 1 on both the Pop Chart and the Soul/R&B Chart (where it remained for all of ten weeks) and also won two Grammy Awards for “Best Male R&B Vocal Performance” and “Best R&B Instrumental Performance”. The song featured on Midnight Love (Soul/R&B No. 1, Pop No. 7), Gaye’s first full-length release on Columbia Records, which turned out to be his last official studio album before his premature death in 1984. Midnight Love became his commercially most successful LP to date, selling over six million copies worldwide. In 2001, Sexual Healing was certified 2x Platinum (2.000.000 copies sold) by the RIIA and by 2005, the digital sales had reached 500.000 downloads.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]


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

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

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

Posted by Thomas Thomsen on Thursday, November 14, 2013
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