The Second Disc

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Reissue Theory x4: Chaka Khan (and Rufus Too)

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The Second Disc is a day late (but no less enthusiastic) in wishing Chaka Khan, The Queen of Funk Soul, a happy birthday. Chaka has had, to say the least, an illustrious career, first as a member of Rufus then as a wildly successful solo artist in the late ’70s and ’80s.

What is the secret to Khan’s ongoing popularity? Chalk it up to three things. First, there’s that powerhouse voice – at once sensuous and celebratory. There’s also the great sounds she surrounds her vocals with, whether it’s the tight funk of Rufus or the electro-futuristic delights concocted by the late, great Arif Mardin. But most importantly, it’s those songs.

Chaka Khan just knows how to interpret a song the right way, and that’s got to be the biggest key to her success. Whether it was Stevie Wonder (“Tell Me Something Good”), Ashford and Simpson (“I’m Every Woman”), David Foster (co-writer of “Through the Fire,” which Kanye West sampled to great effect on his first record) or Prince (“I Feel for You,” her cover of which has to be the only Prince cover that outdoes the original), she makes a tune her own with what seems like no trouble at all.

With that in mind, one has to wonder why there’s such a profound gap in Chaka Khan’s solo catalogue. We’re not solely talking titles in need of remasters or expansions (though that wouldn’t hurt) – there are simply several LPs Khan cut for Warner Bros. that have never been released on CD. Furthermore, reader Eddie Scott astutely pointed out that the Rufus catalogue (split about 80-20 between Universal Music Group, owners of the ABC-Paramount catalogue, and Warner Bros.) doesn’t even have a fit career-spanning compilation on the market (think along the lines of the double-disc Gold releases UMG does).

So here’s a belated birthday greeting to Chaka and all her fans: three(!) Reissue Theory-style expansions of her solo work and a theoretical track list for a Rufus Gold set. We’re telling you something good after the jump.

Chaka Khan – What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me (Warner Bros. HS 3526, 1981)

  1. We Can Work It Out
  2. What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me
  3. I Know You, I Live You
  4. Any Old Sunday
  5. We Got Each Other
  6. And the Melody Still Lingers On (Night in Tunisia)
  7. Night Moods
  8. Heed the Warning
  9. Father He Said
  10. Fate
  11. I Know You, I Live You (Reprise)
  12. Lover’s Touch (B-side to “What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me” – Warner Bros. WBS 49692, 1981)
  13. Only Once (B-side to “We Can Work It Out” – Warner Bros. WBS 49759, 1981)

Chaka Khan – Chaka Khan (Warner Bros. 1-23729, 1982)

  1. Tearin’ It Up
  2. Slow Dancin’ (feat. Rick James)
  3. Best in the West
  4. Got to Be There
  5. Be Bop Medley: Hot House/East of Suez (Come on Sailor)/Epistrophy (I Wanna Play)/Yardbird Suite/Con Alma/Giant Steps
  6. Twisted
  7. So Not to Worry
  8. Pass It On (A Sure Thing) (Pasa Lo Esta Seguro)
  9. Tearin’ It Up (Long Version Remix) (12” A-side – Warner Bros. 0-29721, 1982)
  10. Tearin’ It Up (Instrumental) (12” B-side – Warner Bros. 0-29721, 1982)
  11. No See, No Cry (from Superman III: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Warner Bros. 1-23879, 1983)

Chaka Khan – I Feel for You (Warner Bros. 1-25162, 1984)

  1. This is My Night
  2. Stronger Than Before
  3. My Love is Alive
  4. Eye to Eye
  5. La Flamme
  6. I Feel for You
  7. Hold Her
  8. Through the Fire
  9. Caught in the Act
  10. Chinatown
  11. I Feel for You (Remix) (12” A-side – Warner Bros. 0-20249, 1984)
  12. This is My Night (Dance Remix) (12” A-side – Warner Bros. 0-20296, 1984)
  13. Eye to Eye (Extended Remix) (U.K. 12” A-side – Warner Bros. W9009T, 1985)
  14. (Krush Groove) Can’t Stop the Street (Extended Dance Mix) (12” A-side – Warner Bros. 0-20367, 1985)
  15. (Krush Groove) Can’t Stop the Street (Instrumental) (7” B-side – Warner Bros. 7-28923, 1985)

 Rufus & Chaka Khan – Gold

Disc 1

  1.  Slip N’ Slide – 3:47
  2. Whoever’s Thrilling You (is Killing Me) – 2:42
  3. Feel Good – 4:09
  4. Maybe Your Baby – 4:14
  5. Tell Me Something Good – 4:36
  6. You Got the Love – 4:38
  7. Once You Get Started – 4:29
  8. Please Pardon Me (You Remind Me of a Friend) – 3:04
  9. Pack’d My Bags – 5:06
  10. I’m a Woman (I’m a Backbone) – 3:16
  11. Sweet Thing – 3:19
  12. Dance Wit Me – 3:57
  13. Jive Talkin’ – 3:34

Tracks 1-4 from Rufus (ABC, 1973)
Tracks 5-6 from Rags to Rufus (ABC, 1974)
Tracks 7-10 from Rufusized (ABC, 1974)
Tracks 11-13 from Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan (ABC, 1975)

Disc 2

  1. At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up) – 4:02
  2. Hollywood – 4:09
  3. Everlasting Love – 4:05
  4. Stay – 5:43
  5. Blue Love – 3:20
  6. Keep It Together (Declaration of Love) – 4:16
  7. Do You Love What You Feel – 4:29
  8. Any Love – 4:52
  9. Body Heat – 5:58
  10. Tonight We Love – 4:29
  11. Sharing the Love – 3:37
  12. Ain’t Nobody – 4:41
  13. One Million Kisses – 4:10

Tracks 1-3 from Ask Rufus (ABC, 1976)
Tracks 4-5 from Street Player (ABC, 1976)
Track 6 from Numbers (ABC, 1977)
Tracks 7-9 from Masterjam (MCA, 1979)
Track 10 from Party ‘Til You’re Broke (MCA, 1980)
Track 11 from Camoflauge (MCA, 1981)
Tracks 12-13 from Stompin’ at the Savoy – Live (Warner Bros., 1983)

Written by Mike Duquette

March 24, 2010 at 09:39

4 Responses

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  1. One of my biggest pet peeves. The lack of R&B reissues for many artists. You can get the Commodores back catalog on Itunes but many of their 70’s CD’s are out of print. Same goes for Ray Parker Jr. and Smokey Robinson’s 80’s releases. Here’s hoping a U.K. label will pick these up down the road. Maybe do a two-fer on these titles.

    Tom Lane

    March 24, 2010 at 12:34

  2. I agree, Chaka Khan remasters are looong overdue- as is a box set containing te hits, rarities and the many, many songs she recorded for soundtracks, compilations etc.
    However, all of Chaka’s WB albums have been released on CD, including the 1982 s/t album which only came out in Japan but is now part of a 5 cd box just released in the UK. Unless you are referring to the never released “Dare You To Love Me” which morphed into the Epiphany vol. 1 Best Of album.

    As far as your Rufus “Gold” collection, I would have added one more track off the underrated “Camouflage” and at least a few live tracks off of “Stompin’…” which imo is the Best Live Album of All Time where ALL of the live tracks performed are better than the original studio tracks! This album merits a remaster as well, especially since a few songs that were recorded did not end up on the actual release, including “Everlasting Love”.


    March 24, 2010 at 13:00

  3. I am usually not a fan of remix albums…but the Tony Humphries remix of “I Know You, I Live You” on the “Life Is A Dance” remix album is KILLER! Those DRUMS! Beats the original by a mile, IMO. There was also an excellent C+C Classic remix of “Clouds” that was only a bonus track on the cassette version that I’d love to hear on CD.


    March 25, 2010 at 07:52

  4. Thanks for posting the Rufus & Chaka Khan “Reissue Theory” article. Hope it encourages Universal Music to put together a decent collection for them (and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Warners to put together expanded edtions of Chaka Khan’s solo albums).

    Eddie Scott

    March 25, 2010 at 11:36

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