Every Tuesday, the Analog Kid blog goes back in time and features some groovy R&B/soul songs from a specific year. Sometimes you’ll hear songs from individual artists, and other times you’ll get an entire full-length classic LP ripped directly from the Analog Kid’s vast vinyl vault. Warning: by R&B/soul, I also mean disco. I could go all Village People on your ass at any given moment, so just be ready!
Groovy Tuesday: 1980
The Brothers Johnson: “Stomp!” (Temperton/Johnson/Johnson/Johnson)
From the album Light Up The Night
A&M Records, 1980
The Brothers Johnson turned to former Heatwave member (and “Rock With You” writer) Rod Temperton for some help with their fourth album, and the result was a #1 R&B record and a Top 10 pop single. “Stomp!” also appeared on Hitline, the very last K-Tel record that I purchased as a kid. I turned 13 in the summer of 1980, and it was now time for AC/DC and The Cars instead of “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” and “Just When I Needed You Most” (both of which were also included on Hitline).
I loved K-Tel Records growing up almost as much as I loved the Los Angeles Dodgers. That, my friends, is a lotta love.
The S.O.S. Band: “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” (Abdallah/Clayton)
From the album S.O.S.
Tabu Records, 1980
When I rent a car, my only real requirement is an auxiliary jack for my iPod. Enterprise could offer to upgrade me to a Rolls at no cost, and I would still say no if the automobile in question lacked an auxiliary connection. The only exception is when I travel to Los Angeles, thanks to the ridiculous amount of radio variety in the area. I also grew up there, and it really takes me back to my youth when I listen to KLOS and KROQ. I didn’t listen to it very often as a kid, but K-Earth 101 has become my go-to radio station during my frequent visits to the Southland. Here’s why:
My soon-to-be wife and I were in Los Angeles in January of 2010 for the Texas-Alabama national championship game. Obviously the game didn’t go quite as we had hoped, but the depressing drive back to Orange County that night was greatly enhanced by two things:
1) a stop at In-N-Out Burger off the 405.
2) K-Earth played “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” by the S.O.S. Band.
That was actually the second time we had heard K-Earth play “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” that week, which is a minor miracle when you consider the fact that it must have been 25 years since I had last heard the song. Of course, I immediately tracked this masterpiece down upon my return to Texas and can now proudly say that I own just about everything from the S.O.S. Band.
Thanks, K-Earth One-Oh-One! (warning: the jingle will stick in your brain FOREVER)
The Manhattans: “Shining Star” (Graham/Richmond)
From the album After Midnight
Columbia Records, 1980
It may have been a new decade, but the Manhattans’ “Shining Star” has smooth ’70s soul written all over it. The only thing missing from this classic is a slow-burn, deep-voiced spoken intro (see the Manhattans’ “Kiss And Say Goodbye” for a perfect example). “Shining Star” spent three weeks at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 on July of 1980.
Yarbrough & Peoples: “Don’t Stop The Music” (Peoples/Simmons/Simms)
From the album The Two Of Us
Mercury Records, 1980
My family relocated to the Dallas area from Los Angeles in the summer of 1979, so we arrived in Big D just in time to see local heroes Yarbrough & Peoples hit #1 on the R&B chart with “Don’t Stop The Music.” The song actually peaked at #19 on the pop charts, but you wouldn’t have guessed that based on the insane amount of airplay it received in the DFW Metroplex area.
I have a vague recollection of Channel 5’s Bobbie Wygant conducting a hilariously awkward interview with Yarbrough & Peoples on a local news broadcast back in 1980. Wygant has been with Channel 5 for 64 years, so she was ancient even back in 1980. I cannot guarantee you that this event actually took place, as I can find no proof that it happened. My mind may have made it up, because if it didn’t really happen, it should have happened…
The Gap Band: “Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” (Wilson/Simmons/Taylor)
From the album The Gap Band III
Mercury Records, 1980
“Don’t Stop The Music” actually knocked The Gap Band’s “Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” out of the top spot on the R&B charts. Somehow, this funk masterpiece only managed to reach #84 on the pop charts. Sure, it’s no “Every Woman In The World,” but “Burn Rubber On Me” certainly deserved more exposure on radio than it received at the time. At least 1982’s “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” almost made the Top 30…
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Michael Jackson: “Rock With You” (Temperton)
From the album Off The Wall
Epic Records, 1979
AC/DC: “Have A Drink On Me” (Young/Young/Johnson)
From the album Back In Black
Atlantic Records, 1980
The Cars: “Touch And Go” (Ocasek)
From the album Panorama
Elektra Records, 1980
Rupert Holmes: “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” (Holmes)
From the album Partners In Crime
Infinity Records, 1979
Randy VanWarmer: “Just When I Needed You Most” (VanWarmer/Wilson)
From the album Warmer
Bearsville Records, 1979
Nicolette Larson: “Lotta Love” (Young)
From the album Nicolette
Warner Brothers Records, 1978
The Manhattans: “Kiss And Say Goodbye” (Lovett)
From the album The Manhattans
Columbia Records, 1976
Air Supply: “Every Woman In The World” (Bugatti/Musker)
From the album Lost In Love
Arista Records, 1980
The Gap Band: “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” (Simmons/Taylor/Wilson)
From the album Gap Band IV
Mercury Records, 1982