Friday, March 14, 2014

"I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today" by The Crusaders

Song#:  0750
Date:  09/26/1981
Debut:  98
Peak:  97
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Pop, R&B

Pop Bits:  The Crusaders had been recording their brand of instrumental jazz, pop, and R&B since 1961 and had a few very minor chart entries along the way. But it was with their 1979 LP "Street Life" that the group found a larger audience. The album reached the Top 20 and spawned the #36 title-track single (#17 R&B). Normally an instrumental band, that single featured vocals by Randy Crawford. It would be the peak moment of their career. Their follow-up LPs (one studio, one live) wouldn't fare as well, but their next album "Standing Tall" contained this very minor chart entry that featured vocals by Joe Cocker. Although it wasn't a major hit, the song got the group and Cocker a Grammy nomination for Best Inspirational Performance. It would also be their last pop chart entry.

ReduxReview:  I really wasn't expecting this type of pop-gospel-ish ballad from the group. They try to take the song to church, but I don't think they quite make it there. Cocker sounds pretty good, if slightly subdued, and the sax is nice, but the tune just doesn't sing to me like it should. I guess with the artists involved I just wanted more.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  When the group first formed, they were called The Jazz Crusaders and their focus was on hard bop mixed with R&B. They retained that name for 18 albums over a decade beginning in 1961. They shortened the name for their 1971 album "Pass the Plate" and began to incorporate more funk into their sound. The main era of the group ended in 1991.


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