Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"Give It to Me Baby" by Rick James

Song#:  0621
Date:  05/30/1981
Debut:  84
Peak:  40
Weeks:  14
Genre:  R&B, Funk

Pop Bits:  Funkster James only had some minor success on the pop chart with his debut single for the Gordy label, "You and I," doing the best by hitting #13 (and it remained his best charting pop single). His first three albums were solid hits, but his fourth was not well received and it even failed to hit the R&B Top 10. So James threw down the gauntlet and released the best LP of his career with "Street Songs." This lead-off track and first single was an immediate blast of funk and it soared to #1 R&B and returned him to the pop Top 40.

ReduxReview:  How on earth this did not go Top 10 pop is a mystery. Well, maybe not as pop radio was still resistant to a good chunk of rap/funk/R&B unless you were Stevie Wonder or Michael Jackson. It's too bad as this is about as good as it gets from James. Could he even top this song? Actually, yes and very soon. But this song comes very, very close to being his best. Just try to stand still and listen to this - I bet you can't. And if you can, you must be dead.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  After enlisting in the Navy, he eventually went AWOL and headed to Toronto in 1964. He worked on his music career there and ended up forming a group called the Mynah Birds. By 1966, the group had its lineup set which included soon-to-be famous rocker Neil Young. The group recorded tracks for an album for Motown, but issues with their manager killed the album and lead to Motown discovering James' AWOL status. He was forced to turn himself in and spent a year in naval prison. After his release, the group convened at Motown once again but eventually broke up.


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