Friday, April 22, 2005

Funky Friday - Time For Change

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Change were an early '80s r'n'b group based in Italy. The brainchild of Italo-Guadalupean business man Jacques Petrus, they put out four albums of American styled r'n'b. Jacques was not a musician, so he relied heavily on hired studio help to create the music, and relatively unknown American singers provided the vocals. The earliest recordings were helmed by his Italian partners Mauro Malavasi and Davide Romani, and featured the vocals of soon-to-be legends like Jocelyn Brown and Luther Vandross (whose debut solo LP had not yet been released - at this point he was known best for his backup vocals for people like David Bowie and Chic, and for doing radio and TV jingles). I owned several of the albums over the years, but ended up getting rid of them - a few good tunes amid a lot of so-so stuff. I kept this one 12" tho', because it puts together 3 of their greatest songs. Searching highlights the smooth-like-velveeta croon of Luther over a very seductively pulsing electro groove. Lover's Holiday has to be one of the best Chic songs that Chic never wrote - it's such a perfect copy of the trademark sound you'd swear it was Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards playing those guitar and bass riffs. It is a gloriously uplifting track. In 1984 Jacques' relationship with his Italian partners was over and he hired a pair of then up-and-coming song writers and producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The single Change Of Heart is typically Jam & Lewis - the stacatto drum program, the keyboard run at the beginning of the song, the chunky syn-bass, the multiple vocal parts and that ability for crafting a catchy melody and chorus are all present. It's as good as any of the stuff they did with the S.O.S. Band around the same time. The musical project known as Change ended after one more album, but I will always love them for these three stellar tunes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you say "Human" by Human League (produced by the same duo that wrote and produced "Change of Heart")? The beginning is almost identical -- once past the PSB precussion but before the hip Chic beats. OK. 2 seconds worth, but nice to here this original sound before taken to the Human League...