All posts tagged: Shalamar

Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’80s, Part 79

Glad you stopped by for the third week of artists whose names begin with the letter S, as we continue looking at the bottom three-fifths of the Billboard Hot 100 chart during the 1980s. S-Express “Theme from S-Express” — 1988, #91 (download) S-Express totally baffles me. The group name is actually pronounced “S Express” rather than “Sex Press,” which would make much more sense considering the soundscape of this track and that their second record is called Intercourse. But that silliness nonwithstanding, “Theme from S-Express” is one of the first tracks to use sampling this heavy with the main sounds being from Rose Royce’s “Is It Love You’re After” and “Situation” from Yaz. Paul Shaffer “When the Radio Is On” — 1989, #81 (download) I admit that I just don’t get Paul Shaffer. I find him annoying and quite lame usually, so there’s no doubt that I think this song is ridiculous. To me, this is such a poor attempt at trying to fit in that it’s almost unlistenable to me. The Fresh Prince does …

Future Retro: Jody Watley

A TOUCH OF SHALAMAR Singer, songwriter, and producer Jody Watley first boogied her way to fame at the age of 14 as a dancer on the legendary music program Soul Train. In 1976 the group Shalamar was created by Soul Train‘s booking agent, Dick Griffey, and R&B producer Simon Soussan. After a group of session musicians recorded the original hit “Uptown Festival” in 1977, Jody and her male counterparts took over as the official version of the group. For seven years Shalamar was a solid-gold hit machine, spinning off a string of disco, soul, and funk classics. The group’s longest-lasting and most popular lineup consisted of Jody and singers Howard Hewett and Jeffrey Daniels: their success began when they signed with SOLAR Records and joined forces with producer Leon Sylvers III. Shalamar’s run of chart success kicked off with 1979’s “Take That to the Bank,” which reached #20 on the UK pop chart. Numerous pop and R&B hits followed, including “A Night to Remember” (#5 pop in the UK), “This Is for the Lover in …

Lost in the ’80s: Shalamar

Shalamar began life as a studio project by Soul Train booker Dick Griffrey, but after the success of their first single, “Uptown Festival,” Griffrey had to put some faces with the voices quick. Looking to the Soul Train dancers, he recruited pop/lock empresario Jeffrey Daniels and the runway-ready Jody Watley. They were soon joined by singer Howard Hewett, and Shalamar began a decent run on the American R&B charts. The story was different overseas, where the trio crossed over with regularity on the U.K. pop charts. They’d score a U.S. pop hit here and there, but with the exception of the #8 peaking “The Second Time Around” in 1980, major crossover success eluded them. 1983’s The Look was concocted to solve this problem, with a slick sound that fused the funky r&b Shalamar typically traded in with the New Wave zeitgeist. The result was the band’s first significant crossover hit in years as “Dead Giveaway” (download) (here in its single version) became a bit of a hit, thanks in no small part to its blistering …