Rick James

Rick James

Anthology

Motown / Universal

Oh yeah, there have been tons of folks throughout the years who have tried to be “the bad boy” of the rock era, but Rick James actually has the record to prove it. Kinkier than a process after a rain storm, James picked up the tattered remains of funk after disco and carried it into the ’80s before the bottom fell completely out from R&B. Not as raw and more synthesized than his predecessors, he was still funkier than most musicians of the time (remember Junior and O’Bryan?) and could only be stopped by the coming-of-age of Prince. This two-disc anthology pops with promiscuous musk, funking up any environ. “Mary Jane,” “You And I,” “Give It to Me Baby,” “Fire And Desire,” “Dance Wit’ Me,” “Standing on the Top,” “Cold Blooded,” “17,” and, of course,”Super Freak” (ruined forever, for me, by Hammer). The best of the best is represented here. Unfortunately, as with most of these anthologies, you also get the best of the worst. James had fallen off drastically in the mid-’80s, and it shows here on this collection. Yes, he had some great collaborations with Teena Marie, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, and Roy Ayers, but he also had some real clunkers when he tried teaming up with those early rap stars (“Loosey’s Rap” with Roxanne Shante — not to be confused with The Real Roxanne — and “P.I.M.P. the S.I.M.P.” with Grandmaster Flash). In all honesty, you could do without most of the second disc altogether. Not to disrespect Rick — because he was The Man — but he rose, worked, and played just like he fell — hard!

Motown Records: http://www.motown.com • Universal Chronicles: http://www.universalchronicles.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Payal Kapadia
    Payal Kapadia

    Earlier this year, director Payal Kapadia was awarded the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature, A Night of Knowing Nothing. Lily and Generoso interviewed Kapadia about her poignant film, which employs a hybrid-fiction technique to provide a personal view of the student protests that engulfed Indian colleges and universities during the previous decade.

  • Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

    A classic children’s tale re-imagined by America’s greatest composers.

  • Taraka
    Taraka

    Welcome to Paradise Lost (Rage Peace). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • AFI Fest 2021
    AFI Fest 2021

    The 2021 edition of the American Film Institute’s Festival, was a total success. After mounting a small virtual festival in 2020, AFI Fest came roaring back this year with a slate of 115 films representing over fifty countries. Lily and Generoso rank their favorite features from this year’s festival which include new offerings from Céline Sciamma, Miguel Gomes, and Jacques Audiard.

  • Comet Of Any Substance
    Comet Of Any Substance

    Full Of Seeds, Bursting With Its Own Corrections (COAS). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Poetic Song Verse
    Poetic Song Verse

    A study of how poetry crept into rock and roll.

  • Foreigner
    Foreigner

    Is it really Foreigner with no original members?

  • Mixtape 171 :: Scarcity Is Manufactured
    Mixtape 171 :: Scarcity Is Manufactured

    For a quarter century, Deerhoof have been a benchmark for the contrasting dynamics of sweet and sour, spiked and pillowy, and all manner of sounds that should not get along but quite obviously do.

From the Archives