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Archive for December 12th, 2014

Big Break Is “On Fire” With Latest Quartet Of Releases From Anita Pointer, Silver Convention, More

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Anita PointerAnita Pointer’s solo debut might have seemed inevitable.  She had sung lead on many of The Pointer Sisters’ biggest hits including Allen Toussaint’s “Yes We Can Can” and co-wrote the Grammy-winning “Fairytale.”  By the time she released Love For What It Is on RCA in 1987, Anita was following in the footsteps of sisters Bonnie (who left the group in 1977 for a Motown solo contract) and June (with 1983’s Baby Sister).  The album arrived on the heels of the success of “Too Many Times,” a duet with Earl Thomas Conley that landed Anita on the Country chart at No. 2, but wasn’t country-flavored.  Instead, Anita and RCA turned to R&B veteran Preston Glass to produce.

Glass, whose production C.V. included Whitney Houston, Phyllis Hyman and Aretha Franklin, also co-wrote a couple tracks on the nine-song album – one with Brenda Russell (“Beware of What You Want”) and one with Alan Glass and Ron Broomfield (“More Than a Memory”).  The album’s opening track, “Overnight Success,” was penned by Motown vets Brenda and Michael Sutton, while Tom Snow and Jennifer Kimball provided “The Pledge,” a duet with Earth Wind and Fire’s Philip Bailey.  “Overnight” peaked at a respectable No. 41 on the R&B Singles chart, with “More than a Memory” only making it to No. 73.  Despite its sleek, soulful sound, Love For What It Is only made it to No. 48 on the Cash Box R&B Albums Chart.  BBR has uncovered this underrated LP for an expanded edition boasting six bonus tracks – three mixes of each of the two singles.  Reissue co-producer Christian John Wikane has written the detailed new liner notes based on an interview with Anita, and Nick Robbins has remastered.  It’s presented in a Super Jewel Box.

Silver Convention - MadhouseBBR dips back into the Silver Convention catalogue for the West German disco act’s third release.  This expansion of 1976’s Madhouse follows the label’s reissues of Silver Convention’s first two albums Save Me and Get Up and Boogie.  For Madhouse, producers Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze injected a stronger element of funk into their set of ten original songs performed by the group line-up of Penny McLean, Ramona Wulf and Rhonda Heath.  Foreshadowing Kunze’s later involvement in musical theatre, Madhouse was also conceived as a loose concept album, or a Wild Party for the disco set.  The titular madhouse appeared on the album artwork, and songs included “Fancy Party,” “I’m Not a Slot Machine,” “Magic Mountain” and a title song, too.  The funky theme park of an album, however, didn’t match the success of its predecessors.  In the U.S., the LP peaked at No. 65 Pop/No. 47 R&B, and the single “Dancing in the Aisles (Take Me Higher)” only reached No. 102 Pop/No. 80 R&B.  Stephen “SPAZ” Schnee provides a brief essay on the album’s history, and the single mixes of “Fancy Party” (released in Germany) and “Dancing in the Aisles” have been included, too.   Remastering has again been handled by Nick Robbins.

After the jump: BBR gets shocked with 5000 Volts and is downright sinful with Rinder and Lewis – plus track listings and order links for all four titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 12, 2014 at 11:08