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Thread started 04/16/19 10:52am

GottaHaveFaith

Rick James

I've been getting hugely into the music of Rick James lately. I always loved Super Freak but discovering songs like Fire and Desire, You And I, Give It To Me Baby, and Mary Jane recently have me wanting more. What would you all recommend?

The Wind and the willow's playing Tea for Two. The Sky Was Yellow and the sun was blue
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Reply #1 posted 04/16/19 11:16am

RobotFix

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From hard-hitting funk numbers to vulnerable yet unclichéd ballads, Fire it Up is when Rick threw down the gauntlet with his strongest album.

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Reply #2 posted 04/16/19 1:29pm

SoulAlive

check out his Bustin' Out Of L7 album....that's one of his best

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Reply #3 posted 04/16/19 1:29pm

JoeBala

Glow is a very underrated LP and my favorite. I also like Throwin Down.
Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
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Reply #4 posted 04/16/19 1:31pm

JoeBala

JoeBala said:

Glow is a very underrated LP and my favorite. I also like Throwin Down.

Also like the fact that Teena Marie was featured on these.
Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
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Reply #5 posted 04/16/19 1:50pm

SoulAlive

Check out Cold Blooded,too.

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Reply #6 posted 04/16/19 2:46pm

SPYZFAN1

His first album "Come Get It" is classic...and even though some may disagree, his 1997 "Urban Rapsody" album was great. The production is similar to "Emancipation" but still has some great songs on it.

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Reply #7 posted 04/16/19 6:21pm

Abdul

SPYZFAN1 said:

His first album "Come Get It" is classic...and even though some may disagree, his 1997 "Urban Rapsody" album was great. The production is similar to "Emancipation" but still has some great songs on it.

Agreed, I actually rate it over "The Flag", "Wonderful" and "Deeper Still", it's a solid album!

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Reply #8 posted 04/16/19 6:35pm

mrwiggles

I have never been a Rick James fan. I've recently given him a little more respect as of late. I saw a clip of him live at about 1981. I had to say ok, he was a decent entertainer. Stone City Band was cooking. He had some good music. Mug had talent. A friend of mine grew up with him. Had some tales Behind The Music can't touch, lol.

After the P-Funk Mothership crashed and burned at about 1980, Rick basically co-opted the funk. Took the two fingered PF salute sign and ran with it. Called it punk funk. He just never appealed to me. I don't really know why. I tried to buy a couple of his albums, but nothing really stuck with me. He always wrote some good songs and the material was solid. I did dig on the Urban Rhapsody record he put out after the jail time. Some good stuff on there.

To this day I still wonder how much of a true musician was he? What instrument could he really play and just turn some chyt out with? He is listed as bass, guitar, keys on most of the records. Somebody said he could play anything they put in front of him. How true is this?

[Edited 4/16/19 18:42pm]

[Edited 4/16/19 18:47pm]

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Reply #9 posted 04/16/19 6:41pm

Abdul

GottaHaveFaith said:

I've been getting hugely into the music of Rick James lately. I always loved Super Freak but discovering songs like Fire and Desire, You And I, Give It To Me Baby, and Mary Jane recently have me wanting more. What would you all recommend?

You can't go wrong with his albums between 1978-1985 IMO, some people don't care for "Garden of Love" because it's not enough hard hitting funk on it but I dig it. Here's the albums in order by year (including Teena Marie's Debut and the Stone City Band/ Mary Jane Girls/ Process & Doo Rags/ Val Young albums! all in the PUNK FUNK UNIVERSE!):

Come Get It (1978)

Bustin' Out Of L7 (1979)

Fire It Up (1979)

Teena Marie - Wild and Peaceful (1979)

Garden Of Love (1980)

Stone City Band -In-N-Out (1980)

Street Songs (1981)

Stone City Band -The Boys Are Back (1981)

Throwin' Down (1982)

Coldblooded (1983)

Mary Jane Girls -Mary Jane Girls (1983)

Stone City Band -Out From The Shadow (1983)

Reflections (1984)

Glow (1985)

Mary Jane Girls -Only For You (1985)

Process & the Doo Rags -Too Sharp (1985)

Val Young -Seduction (1985)

The Flag (1986)

Process & the Doo Rags -Colorful Changes (1987)

Val Young -Private Conversations (1987)

Wonderful (1988)

Kickin' (1989)

Urban Rhaposdy (1997)

Deeper Still (2007)

If I missed any I'm sure someone will add to the list biggrin

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Reply #10 posted 04/16/19 6:43pm

SoulAlive

mrwiggles said:

I have never been a Rick James fan. I've recently given him a little more respect as of late. I saw a clip of him live at about 1981. I had to say ok, he was a decent entertainer. Stone City Band was cooking. He had some good music. Mug had talent. A friend of mine grew up with him. Had some tales Behind The Music can't touch, lol.



After the P-Funk Mothership crashed and burned at about 1980, Rick basically co-opted the funk. Took the two fingered PF salute sign and ran with it. Called it punk funk. He just never appealed to me. I don't really know why. I tried to buy a couple of his albums, but nothing really stuck with me.



To this day I still wonder how much of a true musician was he? What instrument could he really play and just turn some chyt out with? He is listed as bass, guitar, keys on most of the records. Somebody said he could play anything they put in front of him. How true is this?

[Edited 4/16/19 18:42pm]




Wow! In 1981,you weren’t jamming to the ‘Street Songs’ album?!
eek
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Reply #11 posted 04/16/19 6:50pm

mrwiggles

I jammed Street Songs, I did. Ghetto Life is my favorite song of his of all time. I dug the hell out of Call Me Up. I just don't know what my deal is with him. He's funky for sure.

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Reply #12 posted 04/16/19 9:52pm

80tomato

hard to believe he usd to playin a band with Neil Young in Toronto back in the earli 1960s....but yes I do love when his funk comes on the radio biggrin

https://youtu.be/x29oJCS2r20

The

mynah Birds featuring Rick and Neil

can someone please post the video...please

[Edited 4/16/19 21:56pm]

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Reply #13 posted 04/17/19 2:35am

MotownSubdivis
ion

avatar

Happy to see the Master of the Punk Funk getting some love on here.

Pretty much any album from his debut up till Glow in '85 you can't go wrong with; that's an almost 7 year hot streak (though I personally have never listened to Glow or Fire It Up.
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Reply #14 posted 04/20/19 6:02am

mrwiggles

I went up on youtube and pulled up some stuff. Fire It Up on the Midnight Special. Another one of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. I went and pulled out the Fire It Up and Bustin Out of L Seven albums. Apparently he just was not my thing back then and still isn't.

Yes, Fire & Desire is badd, and Teena Marie can blow. But I was used to stuff like Mothership Connection, Funkentelechy Vs The Placebo Syndrome, Ahh The Name Is Bootsy. Stuff like that. When I heard Rick was throwing around the PF sign, touting himself as the King Of Funk, bringing Sir Nose onstage, I checked it out. Aside from a few tracks I just wasn't hearing anything that distinctive at all. Alot of his stuff just bored me. It's got some energy to it. And he is a soulful singer. He made his mark on pop music, can't take that away from what he brought to the game. He brought accessibility to the funk. But after I hear it a couple of times, I have no need to go back to it.

Not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but that's how his music left me.

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Reply #15 posted 04/20/19 6:32am

MotownSubdivis
ion

avatar

I think you should also check out the Mary Jane Girls albums. They were to Rick what Vanity 6 was to Prince.

Rick whipped up some fire on both LPs.

For evidence:

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Reply #16 posted 04/20/19 7:27am

SoulAlive

mrwiggles said:

I jammed Street Songs, I did. Ghetto Life is my favorite song of his of all time. I dug the hell out of Call Me Up. I just don't know what my deal is with him. He's funky for sure.

same here smile "Ghetto Life" is my absolute favorite Rick James song.

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Reply #17 posted 04/20/19 12:15pm

ChocolateBox31
21

avatar

Abdul said:

GottaHaveFaith said:

I've been getting hugely into the music of Rick James lately. I always loved Super Freak but discovering songs like Fire and Desire, You And I, Give It To Me Baby, and Mary Jane recently have me wanting more. What would you all recommend?

You can't go wrong with his albums between 1978-1985 IMO, some people don't care for "Garden of Love" because it's not enough hard hitting funk on it but I dig it. Here's the albums in order by year (including Teena Marie's Debut and the Stone City Band/ Mary Jane Girls/ Process & Doo Rags/ Val Young albums! all in the PUNK FUNK UNIVERSE!):

Come Get It (1978)

Bustin' Out Of L7 (1979)

Fire It Up (1979)

Teena Marie - Wild and Peaceful (1979)

Garden Of Love (1980)

Stone City Band -In-N-Out (1980)

Street Songs (1981)

Stone City Band -The Boys Are Back (1981)

Throwin' Down (1982)

Coldblooded (1983)

Mary Jane Girls -Mary Jane Girls (1983)

Stone City Band -Out From The Shadow (1983)

Reflections (1984)

Glow (1985)

Mary Jane Girls -Only For You (1985)

Process & the Doo Rags -Too Sharp (1985)

Val Young -Seduction (1985)

The Flag (1986)

Process & the Doo Rags -Colorful Changes (1987)

Val Young -Private Conversations (1987)

Wonderful (1988)

Kickin' (1989)

Urban Rhaposdy (1997)

Deeper Still (2007)

If I missed any I'm sure someone will add to the list biggrin

I use to be a HUGE Rick James(whom I attended his viewing at Forest Lawn Cemetery)fan & first saw him live when I was 14 years old. That's an excellent discography of his timeless music.

"4 all of us, life is death without adventure,& adventure only comes 2 those who are willing 2 b daring & take chances." prince AMA's 1985

"Kirk has a VAULT right here that's NEVER going 2 b unlocked" Kirky J.
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Reply #18 posted 04/20/19 5:28pm

Abdul

Rick with his band, before the Stone City Band, "The Great White Cane" biggrin Country Woman Suite (1972)

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Reply #19 posted 04/20/19 5:30pm

Abdul

ChocolateBox3121 said:

I use to be a HUGE Rick James(whom I attended his viewing at Forest Lawn Cemetery)fan & first saw him live when I was 14 years old. That's an excellent discography of his timeless music.

What's your favorite album of Rick's Chocolate?

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Reply #20 posted 04/20/19 5:39pm

Abdul

mrwiggles said:

To this day I still wonder how much of a true musician was he? What instrument could he really play and just turn some chyt out with? He is listed as bass, guitar, keys on most of the records. Somebody said he could play anything they put in front of him. How true is this?

[Edited 4/16/19 18:42pm]

[Edited 4/16/19 18:47pm]

He's always struck me as one of those cats who could play well enough on some instruments to get by but wasn't great at any of them. I think his voice and his ear for a good tune got him over.

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Reply #21 posted 04/20/19 5:44pm

ChocolateBox31
21

avatar

Abdul said:

ChocolateBox3121 said:

I use to be a HUGE Rick James(whom I attended his viewing at Forest Lawn Cemetery)fan & first saw him live when I was 14 years old. That's an excellent discography of his timeless music.

What's your favorite album of Rick's Chocolate?

"Garden Of Love" is my favorite album with the ballad "Summer Love"(Rick was an underrated soul singer) still remains in my playlist. "Bustin Out Of L7" & "Street Songs" (that he recorded on Prince's(r.i.p.) stolen preset/preprogrammed oberheim synthesizer) is a close second.

[Edited 4/20/19 18:03pm]

"4 all of us, life is death without adventure,& adventure only comes 2 those who are willing 2 b daring & take chances." prince AMA's 1985

"Kirk has a VAULT right here that's NEVER going 2 b unlocked" Kirky J.
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Reply #22 posted 04/20/19 5:45pm

Abdul

80tomato said:

hard to believe he usd to playin a band with Neil Young in Toronto back in the earli 1960s....but yes I do love when his funk comes on the radio biggrin

https://youtu.be/x29oJCS2r20

The

mynah Birds featuring Rick and Neil

can someone please post the video...please

[Edited 4/16/19 21:56pm]

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Reply #23 posted 04/20/19 8:10pm

funkdoctorrock

mrwiggles said:

I went up on youtube and pulled up some stuff. Fire It Up on the Midnight Special. Another one of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. I went and pulled out the Fire It Up and Bustin Out of L Seven albums. Apparently he just was not my thing back then and still isn't.



Yes, Fire & Desire is badd, and Teena Marie can blow. But I was used to stuff like Mothership Connection, Funkentelechy Vs The Placebo Syndrome, Ahh The Name Is Bootsy. Stuff like that. When I heard Rick was throwing around the PF sign, touting himself as the King Of Funk, bringing Sir Nose onstage, I checked it out. Aside from a few tracks I just wasn't hearing anything that distinctive at all. Alot of his stuff just bored me. It's got some energy to it. And he is a soulful singer. He made his mark on pop music, can't take that away from what he brought to the game. He brought accessibility to the funk. But after I hear it a couple of times, I have no need to go back to it.



Not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but that's how his music left me.



So you basically only listened to Parliament and Bootsy??? If that's the case..Yeah I can see why Rick and any other artist wouldnt appeal to you...
Rick James music is definitely not boring..far from it
P-funk is great...but there were other acts and groups that we're bringin It! And that...frankly offered more than P-Funk..
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Reply #24 posted 04/20/19 8:15pm

funkdoctorrock

GottaHaveFaith said:

I've been getting hugely into the music of Rick James lately. I always loved Super Freak but discovering songs like Fire and Desire, You And I, Give It To Me Baby, and Mary Jane recently have me wanting more. What would you all recommend?



Come get it
Busting out of the L7
Stone city band "In "N" Out"
Garden of Love
Streets Songs
Throwin Down
Glow
Mary Jane Girls/Only four you
Stone city band-out from the shadows
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Reply #25 posted 04/20/19 9:14pm

mrwiggles

funkdoctorrock said:

mrwiggles said:

I went up on youtube and pulled up some stuff. Fire It Up on the Midnight Special. Another one of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. I went and pulled out the Fire It Up and Bustin Out of L Seven albums. Apparently he just was not my thing back then and still isn't.

Yes, Fire & Desire is badd, and Teena Marie can blow. But I was used to stuff like Mothership Connection, Funkentelechy Vs The Placebo Syndrome, Ahh The Name Is Bootsy. Stuff like that. When I heard Rick was throwing around the PF sign, touting himself as the King Of Funk, bringing Sir Nose onstage, I checked it out. Aside from a few tracks I just wasn't hearing anything that distinctive at all. Alot of his stuff just bored me. It's got some energy to it. And he is a soulful singer. He made his mark on pop music, can't take that away from what he brought to the game. He brought accessibility to the funk. But after I hear it a couple of times, I have no need to go back to it.

Not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but that's how his music left me.

So you basically only listened to Parliament and Bootsy??? If that's the case..Yeah I can see why Rick and any other artist wouldnt appeal to you... Rick James music is definitely not boring..far from it P-funk is great...but there were other acts and groups that we're bringin It! And that...frankly offered more than P-Funk..

Back then I had my ears open to all of it. Still do. Anything that came across my radar that was funk I was on it. R&B, rock, pop, jazz. All of it. To me Rick offered a more generic sounding funk. Formulatic. Other than Street Songs, his records came across to me as flat, dull one note affairs.

Nothing really stood out to me or was distinctive sounding enough for me to categorize it as anything other than "by the numbers" funk. By contrast, when I listened to P-Funk, I got these vast multi-layered conceptual soundscapes that still interest me to this day. Now there were some tracks that did get to me, like the aformentioned Ghetto Life. Mary Jane. You & I jammed to no end, especially the long version. Dance Wit Me, in fact I think if I had to pick any one album it would be Throwin Down. Don't get me wrong, he's got a few jams. Good songwriter, wrote some solid cuts.

I'm not trying to turn this into a P-Funk vs Punk Funk affair. Even though he did a good job of starting that himself, lol. All I'm saying is he was calling himself the king of funk, I just didn't hear that. This thread came up just as a friend of mine sent me a link to a live performance of the Street Songs tour. So I went back and tried to reassess. Maybe I missed something the first time around. I got thru the Fire It Up and Bustin Out albums and they had the same effect on me.

[Edited 4/21/19 2:59am]

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Reply #26 posted 04/20/19 10:13pm

SoulAlive

SPYZFAN1 said:

even though some may disagree, his 1997 "Urban Rapsody" album was great.

I actually enjoy that album much more than I expected to.There are some great tunes on the album.,and the slow jam duet with JoJo, "Don't Ever Say You Love Me",is excellent.

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Reply #27 posted 04/20/19 10:17pm

SoulAlive

two very underrated songs by Rick James: "17" and "You Turn Me On" from the 1984 Reflections 'best of' album

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Reply #28 posted 04/21/19 7:51am

SoulAlive

as others have mentioned,Rick was a great producer of other artists' material too.The two Mary Jane Girls albums are superb.

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Reply #29 posted 04/21/19 9:11am

MotownSubdivis
ion

avatar

mrwiggles said:



funkdoctorrock said:


mrwiggles said:

I went up on youtube and pulled up some stuff. Fire It Up on the Midnight Special. Another one of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. I went and pulled out the Fire It Up and Bustin Out of L Seven albums. Apparently he just was not my thing back then and still isn't.



Yes, Fire & Desire is badd, and Teena Marie can blow. But I was used to stuff like Mothership Connection, Funkentelechy Vs The Placebo Syndrome, Ahh The Name Is Bootsy. Stuff like that. When I heard Rick was throwing around the PF sign, touting himself as the King Of Funk, bringing Sir Nose onstage, I checked it out. Aside from a few tracks I just wasn't hearing anything that distinctive at all. Alot of his stuff just bored me. It's got some energy to it. And he is a soulful singer. He made his mark on pop music, can't take that away from what he brought to the game. He brought accessibility to the funk. But after I hear it a couple of times, I have no need to go back to it.



Not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but that's how his music left me.



So you basically only listened to Parliament and Bootsy??? If that's the case..Yeah I can see why Rick and any other artist wouldnt appeal to you... Rick James music is definitely not boring..far from it P-funk is great...but there were other acts and groups that we're bringin It! And that...frankly offered more than P-Funk..


Back then I had my ears open to all of it. Still do. Anything that came across my radar that was funk I was on it. R&B, rock, pop, jazz. All of it. To me Rick offered a more generic sounding funk. Formulatic. Other than Street Songs, his records came across to me as flat, dull one note affairs.



Nothing really stood out to me or was distinctive sounding enough for me to categorize it as anything other than "by the numbers" funk. By contrast, when I listened to P-Funk, I got these vast multi-layered conceptual soundscapes that still interest me to this day. Now there were some tracks that did get to me, like the aformentioned Ghetto Life. Mary Jane. You & I jammed to no end, especially the long version. Dance Wit Me, in fact I think if I had to pick any one album it would be Throwin Down. Don't get me wrong, he's got a few jams. Good songwriter, wrote some solid cuts.



I'm not trying to turn this into a P-Funk vs Punk Funk affair. Even though he did a good job of starting that himself, lol. All I'm saying is he was calling himself the king of funk, I just didn't hear that. This thread came up just as a friend of mine sent me a link to a live performance of the Street Songs tour. So I went back and tried to reassess. Maybe I missed something the first time around. I got thru the Fire It Up and Bustin Out albums and they had the same effect on me.

[Edited 4/21/19 2:59am]

To each his own but Rick definitely possessed a funky sound unique to him. Maybe he wasn't necessarily innovating with new technology, creating a new genre/sub-genre or redefining funk but he had his own style and added an additional (and somewhat more accessible) flavor to an already colorful genre. Out of all the funksters then, Rick felt the most like a traditional rockstar both in image/persona and the music itself. No one else combined the worlds of funk and rock better than he.

His compositions combined with the sleazy, grimy attitude he brought to the table made him stand out. On top of that, his vocals made him stand out as well and though not the first, he paralleled Prince himself and came after him by only a hair to have "Produced, Composed, Arranged and Performed by..." preceding his name in the album credits. That doesn't mean you should like him but still a credit that's due.

Man, after typing that, I'm just thinking of the rainbow of unique funk/R&B outfits there were in the late 70s and early 80s, all throwing down hot buttered LPs simulataneously... Rick, Prince, Gap Band, Funkadelic, Parliament, Bootsy, Brothers Johnson, Isley Brothers, The Jacksons, Slave, Kool & The Gang, Heatwave... man y'all were spoiled back then!
[Edited 4/22/19 22:30pm]
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