Monday, January 7, 2013

"Landlord" by Gladys Knight & the Pips

Song#:  0208
Date:  06/14/1980
Debut:  87
Peak:  46
Weeks:  9
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  The group featuring Knight and her brother and two cousins were one of the top R&B/pop groups of the 60s and 70s. With eight Top 10 pop hits including the #1 classic "Midnight Train to Georgia," the group remained a solid unit until 1988. The only blip in the road was when legal issues with their label forced Knight and the Pips to record separately from 1978 to 1980. Their first album after the imposed block was a collaboration with songwriters Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson that yielded this #3 R&B hit.

ReduxReview:  Oh how I loves me Miss Gladys! Fabulous Gladys! I'm not sure how she is in real life, but she always appeared to be nice, classy, fun, and beautiful. And a terrific voice. The group was fortunate to get some choice material during the heydays, but with minor exceptions, song quality lacked in the 80s. This Ashford & Simpson tune is one of the better ones, but still not top-notch material.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The Pips was the original name of the group that initially included Knight, her brother, sister, and two cousins. The name came from another cousin, James "Pip" Woods.  2)  The group's real breakthrough hit was "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (#2, 1967). They had the first chart hit with this song, however Marvin Gaye had recorded it first. But his version wasn't released until a year after Knight's version. Gaye's classic version eventually hit #1  in 1968 and became one of his signature songs.


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