Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"Cold Blooded" by Rick James

Song#:  1546
Date:  07/30/1983
Debut:  86
Peak:  40
Weeks:  12
Genre:  R&B, Funk

Pop Bits:  James' album Throwin' Down, the follow-up to his massively success Street Songs, was a bit of a disappointment. Despite support from R&B with a couple of Top 10's, the album failed to be another crossover hit with none of its singles able to crack the Pop Top 40. As a result, the LP stalled at the gold level. Like Throwin' Down, his next effort didn't stray too far from the Street Songs sound and the results were similar. A minor bright spot was that this time around this title-track single reached the Pop Top 40 - just barely. It would reach #1 at R&B (for six weeks) as would the album, but the lack of a solid follow-up single once again kept the album from doing better than gold.

ReduxReview:  James relies more on synths this time around and it works out okay. It's a good groove, but James doesn't really add much to keep it interesting. I kept waiting for something cool to happen that would elevate the song, but it never came. I got bored with it after a couple of minutes. Although he had some good songs to offer up in the coming years, it was pretty apparent by this point that he wasn't going to get back to the creative peak of Street Songs.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Around this time, James had been dating actress Linda Blair (The Exorcist). Blair was in her early twenties at the time and the affair would be fairly brief. Blair has said that she left the relationship in 1984 due to James' continued drug use. At one point while they were together in James' studio, Blair showed interest in how to write music. James began tinkering on a synth and soon the formation of a song began. He ended up writing this track and has said that Blair was the inspiration for the lyrics.


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