what Frank is listening to #214 – GEORGE & GWEN McCRAE – Together – (RCA) – 1975
Foxy music for foxy people.
Are you foxy?
allmusic: Along with wife Gwen McCrae, Miami-based artist George McCrae was a prime mover on the early disco front with his own R&B chart-topper "Rock Your Baby" in 1974. With disco kings Harry Casey and Richard Finch of KC & the Sunshine Band producing and writing his output on Henry Stone's T.K. label, McCrae rapidly returned with the double-sided hit "I Can't Leave You Alone"/"I Get Lifted," but fads being fickle, McCrae's fortunes slipped as the decade ensured.
George McCrae was born in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1944 and Gwen (born Gwen Mosley) was born in Pensacola, Florida in 1943. They met and married in 1963 and split in 1976.
"Rock Me Baby" (1974) is the only George McCrae song (it was his big hit …#1) I knew and it is dumb fun and "Rockin Chair" (1975) is the only Gwen McCrae song (it was her big hit…#9) I know .
I don't profess to know a hell of a lot about 70s soul or disco but any music which has more innuendos than a Benny Hill marathon demands a listen to.
Here, love is …. rockin, rubbing, mechanical, makes you ill and does the talking. How many ways can you refer to sex? Sorry Big Black but this album should be called "Songs about Fucking" and you wont get duped on the title.
There is nothing new here and most of it is quite dated in that 70s dance music way, much like the hairy bush of years past, which some of us recall with fondness.
But everything that goes around, comes around …the beats have been sampled, no doubt, I'm sure, by some dance act or DJ. So, accordingly, mark my words, south of the border hirsuteness will return.
Is there a place for this …yes.
Err, and what about the music?
Yes there is a place for that also.
This "Miami soul" (yes it is a sub genre and it does bare a resemblance to Eurodisco) is quite infectious if it is done well. This is good time music without any thought, threat or danger. You would never mistake this for the magnificent O'Jays who combined beats, politics and attitude in the same tune. You know, some people just want to dance and grind.
The album is co–produced (along with Steve Alaimo) by Clarence Reid who also wrote or co-wrote all but one of the tracks. Reid (who also performed X-rated material under the pseudonym Blowfly) was a singer, songwriter, producer, musician wunderkind.
A little of this goes a long way, and most of it sounds the same to me. But then again we needed this type of music, if for nothing else, than to give punk a point of reference it could be antagonistic towards.
Tracks (best in italics)
- I'll Do the Rockin' – 3:42 – aaahhh sexual chocolate. Where is Eddie Murphy when you need him? Sexy vocals and sexy music. Innuendo galore but otherwise a straight 70s soul song.
- You and I Where Made for Each Other – 3:08 – Perfunctory soul.
- Mechanical Body – 3:01 – yawn.
- I'm Comin' at You – 3:12 – More innuendo ..in its own way this is becoming stiflingly dull.
- Let's Dance, Dance, Dance – 3:36 – a touch of Eurodisco on this one …and like most Eurodisco entirely forgettable. There is a lift from K.C. and The Sunshine band's "That's the Way I like it " half way through. My toe is tapping on this one.
- Winners Together or Losers Apart – 4:05 – the point of the song is in the title which is also the first lyric of the song. They should have stopped after that.
- Home Sick, Love Sick – 3:42 – no funk here
- The Rub – 3:36 – I wish someone was here to give me a rub.
- Let Your Love Do the Talkin' – 3:36 – and your legs do the walkin …away from the stereo speakers …..
OK, this has probably been sampled into oblivion but regardless the songs are samey, stupid and just not fun. This is supposed to be sexy seventies soul music but actually it leaves one quite limp. It is the aural equivalent of a bad handjob. I'm selling. Clearly, I'm not foxy.
1976 Winners Together, Losers Apart R&B Singles #44
I'll Do the Rockin'