Atlantic Starr hit its commercial peak in the late '80s, when the bland, insipid adult contemporary ballad "Always" soared to number one on both the pop and R&B charts. That song put Atlantic Starr in the Whitney Houston/Lionel Richie realm – in other words, people who associate Atlantic Starr with "Always" think of them as a crossover act. But from an R&B standpoint (as opposed to a pop/adult contemporary standpoint), Atlantic Starr provided their best work in the early '80s, when Sharon Bryant was still on board and the East Coast residents were being produced by James Carmichael. Released in 1982, Brilliance was the second of three albums that Carmichael produced for Atlantic Starr – and it is also one of the band's finest and most essential releases.
Most of this CD is the complete output by Curtis Mosby & His Dixieland Blue Blowers, one of the top jazz bands active in Los Angeles in the 1920s. Although the soundtrack from its appearance in the 1929 movie Hallelujah is not here, this disc has the first-time release of two numbers from a scratchy 1924 test pressing. Otherwise, the eight selections and four alternate takes from 1927-1929 are full of spirit and strong musicianship, with highlights including "Weary Stomp," "Whoop 'Em Up Blues," "Blue Blower's Blues," "Hardee Stomp," and three versions of "Tiger Stomp."
Early '80s is a part of Time Life's "Solid Gold Soul" series. If You like old school, then this it the one for you. This collection has many years to choose from. Brings back all the old memories.
Leaving Atlantic Records after the sales disaster of Ringo the 4th, Ringo Starr signed to CBS's Portrait label and returned to the record racks after only seven months with Bad Boy…
Goodnight Vienna was very much a follow-up to Ringo, on which Ringo Starr called upon his bevy of musical buddies. Most prominent among them was John Lennon, who again wrote the leadoff track, "(It's All Da-Da-Down To) Goodnight Vienna," and played on three songs; also included are Elton John, who wrote and played on "Snookeroo," Dr. John, Billy Preston, Robbie Robertson, and Harry Nilsson. Richard Perry again produced, bringing his strong pop sensibility to the diverse material. The only real fall-off was in the songwriting; the album's Top Ten hits were "Only You," the old Platters song, and Hoyt Axton's novelty number "No No Song," which winked at intoxicants, but little else on the set stood out. Goodnight Vienna was another enjoyable Ringo record, but it lacked the star power and consistency of its predecessor. Still, compared to the rest of his '70s albums, it was a masterpiece.
Ringo Starr kicks off Give More Love, his 18th studio album of new material, with "We're on the Road Again," an ode to the working musician that effectively summarizes the third act of his career. Following the formation of the All-Starr Band, Ringo has stuck to a regular schedule of tours and albums that pop up every two or three years. Paul McCartney shows up every so often, as he does on Give More Love, singing and playing on "We're on the Road Again" – a cameo that provides a promotional hook for its initial release, but doesn't drastically change the sound of the album. Starr remains fond of late-period Beatles, goosed with a bit of arena rock volume, and since he's working with a group of well-seasoned pros, this guitar pop is all well crafted and amiable.