Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ray, Goodman & Brown -- "Special Lady" (1980)

For more than dozen or so years, doo wop-influenced singing groups ruled the carts, starting with the early 70's Philly boom of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The O'Jays and The Intruders, right through several years later to The Manhattans and Blue Magic.

These were the trademarks: impeccable string and horn arrangements, multiple harmonies, light on the funk and heavy on the "smooth," precision dance moves during live performance, and a not very subtle male chivalry in the lyrics.

Ray, Goodman & Brown fit into this mold perfectly. I didn't know until recently that they were originally The Moments who performed the classic slow dramatic "Love On A Two Way Street," but it clicked when I realized the vocal similarities ("oh yeah, they do sound like each other!").

In a tribute to those doo wop roots, the song starts out with the trio singing the chorus a Capella and snapping their fingers in time, instructing each other on who sings what ("Harry, man, I'm singing second!" "Al, bring that bass out!"). They all join in for "Sittin' on top of the world, sittin' on top of the world!" and the horns pop in -- bom bom bom bomp!

This is not really a slow dancer, but the kind you imagine yourself slipping and sliding across the floor in unison, snapping those fingers, showing off those teeth. Lots of nice little bells during the verse, electric piano chords sitting in with the bass and drums, a gritty clavinet during what they call the "pre-chorus." This is prime 70's smooth soul.

We have two videos below. The first is for audio, since it's the complete recording with the opening a Capella part, which is to me is an essential trademark of this song. The second is the group lip-synching on some variety show of the time, with the a Capella part dramatically shortened, but worth seeing for their appearance, disco ball lighting, and the screaming from the audience.

1 comment:

Fire Ball said...

Bạn đang muốn đi du lịch ở Đà Nẵng. Bạn đang đi tìm kiếm kinh nghiệm du lịch Đà Nẵng để có thể học hỏi áp dụng. Hãy ghé vào Villa Đà Nẵng để có thể xem qua những kinh nghiệm du lịch và thông tin liên quan mà chúng tôi cung cấp cho bạn nhé. Ngoài ra chúng tôi cũng đang cung cấp dịch vụ cho thuê villa đà nẵng đảm bảo giá cả rẻ hơn các nơi khác. Nếu có nhu cầu hãy liên lạc với chúng tôi nhé. Đảm bảo chúng tôi sẽ không làm bạn thất vọng. Xem thêm sửu nhi là gì - GATO là gì