Midnight Star : Curious
taken from the album “Planetary Invasion” on Solar (1984)
Imagination : So Good, So Right
taken from the album “Body Talk” on MCA (1981)
Someday IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have children. Not soon, but eventually. And someday those children of mine will reach an age when, if but slowly, they awaken to the world of soul music. Perhaps theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be listening to the radio in friendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s car one day and hear those first plucked strings of Love and Happiness, or maybe theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be seduced in a record store by Sam CookeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s alluring smile, enough to pick up Night Beat and give it a listen.
If my future progeny inherit even a shadow of my love for R&B, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be hooked from that day forward. Chances are theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll want to know more about this universe of grooveÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ At which point, noticing the tens of thousands of records (letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s be optimistic here: this is years from now) that their father has lying around the house, my child may come to me and say, Ã¢â‚¬ËœFather, tell me what you know about this thing called Soul Music.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
I could begin with the obvious choices. Marvin. Ray. Stevie. Curtis. Babyface. But no, I must remind myself, I will save those for later; those musical monoliths will be discovered in due course. I will begin my story elsewhere, in the least likely of places: A land of twinkling synthesizers and flaring purple outfits. A land of blips and beeps and drum machines. A land where superstars were defined both by the length of their jeri-curl and their instrumental introÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s. Where all roads lead to glorious, candle-lit, very slow sex. This is 80Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s soul.
Midnight Star is a clear favorite. Purveyors of “Midas Touch” and “No Parking On The Dancefloor“-quality jams, the Calloway brothers hit (harder still?) with the subtler, drop-them-panties anthem that was later sampled to great effect by Kurious Jorge (an essential early-Nineties one-album wonder who has since dropped into obscurity). There is an element of cheesiness that pervades many of the masterworks of this genre, but donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be fooledÃ¢â‚¬â€these are certified bullets. The kind of tune that registers on such a satisfying gut level, that I have actually seen grown white men weep on a dancefloor when Curious drops.
Lesser known Imagination can hang with the best of them. A European, Eighties-era funk/soul outfit? Unheard of, right? (No, Boney-M doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t count.) If the three solid minutes of slow-building electro-instrumental introduction (think Kano) donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have you and your girl in a compromised position on your parentsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ couch then youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll certainly find yourself there by the time the hauntingly simple chorus hits. And it is Oh-so-good, Oh-so-right.
For added effect, drop the two, back to back in a set. They mix perfectly and will very likely induce massive group ejaculation.
With a little fatherly advice like this, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s safe to say my kids are gonna get laid. A lot.