AOTW: Brenda Russell - BRENDA RUSSELL (SP-739)

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Captain Bacardi

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Brenda Russell
BRENDA RUSSELL
A&M/Horizon SP-739
sp739.jpg
sp739alt.jpg

Released 1979
Peaked at #65 on the Pop Album chart (1979)

Format: Vinyl/8-Track/Cassette/CD

Produced by Andre Fischer for Sweet Street Productions
Associate Producer: Brenda Dash

Songs:
  • 1. So Good, So Right - 3:20
    2. In The Thick Of It - 3:56
    3. If Only For One Night - 4:13
    4. Way Back When - 4:23
    5. A Little Bit Of Love - 4:41
    6. You're Free (Brenda Russell/Andre Fischer) - 3:30
    7. Think It Over (Brenda Russell/Brian Russell) - 5:17
    8. God Bless You - 4:48

    All selections composed by Brenda Russell except where indicated
Musicians:
Brenda Russell - Vocals, Piano
Ed Brown - Bass
Andre Fischer - Drums
George Sopuch - Guitar
Fred Tackett - Guitar
David Wolfert - Guitar
Ron Stockert - Keyboards
Ian Underwood - Synthesizer
Susaye Greene Brown - Trumpet, Background Vocals
Jerry Hey - Trumpet
Steve Madaio - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Judd Miller - Trumpet
Gary Herbig - Flute, Baritone Sax
Doug Richardson - Tenor Sax
Tom Saviano - Soprano Sax
Larry Williams - Flute, Tenor Sax
Hector Andrade - Timbales
David McKelvy - Harmonica
Gerald Vinci - Concertmaster
Harry Bluestone - Concertmaster
Background Vocals: Michelle Aller, Kathy Collier, Venette Gloud, Elaine Hill, Carmen Twillie
Choir: Doublerock Baptist Junior Choir

Recorded by John Rhys
Mixed by Al Schmitt
Project Coordinators: Jeff Fura, Barry Korkin, Lynise Levine
Photography: Norman Seeff

Capt. Bacardi
 

jazzdre

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This album/cd is..is..is aCLASSIC!! Every(well most of the songs, anway)song is great, the arrangements are a combination of jazz, r&b,pop, Hollywood/Broadway styled orchestration. And this was in the late 70s, when disco was the rage! Brenda Russell proved that a beautiful female singer not just be a singing tool for the producer; she can be a creative force in the studio, and make great, compelling music that can last thru the years.

Rumor has it that President Obama LOVES this album, has loved it since he was a kid, and still plays it every now and then. Also, ex-"Angel", Cheryl Ladd covered "Think It Over", and lots of hip-hop/rappers have sampled cuts from the album over the years. True signs of a classic, don't you think? I CERTAINLY DO!!
jazzdre
 

Rudy

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Given what our local station played, I probably know a couple on this album. I haven't heard it yet, though.
 

Harry

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The soft rock station I worked for was all over "Piano In The Dark". Our PD was a jazz aficionado, and this kind of record was right up his alley. The song peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Top 40 and was on the charts for 13 weeks.

Less successful was "So Good, So Right" which peaked at number 30 and stayed on the charts for 6 weeks.

It's interesting that the Whitburn book lists "Piano In The Dark" as being A&M 3003, while "So Good, So Right" is on Horizon 123.

Piano In The Dark official video:

Harry
 

Rudy

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I wonder if they popped that single over to A&M since it was receiving a lot of pop chart airplay. They may have figured it would not sell if it were on a jazz label. (Although I'm sure some PDs probably didn't care what label it was on.)

Heh, I keep thinking of another song when I see the title "So Good, So Right". I keep hearing "So Ruff, So Tuff" (by Roger Troutman, of Zapp fame). :laugh:
 

Mr Bill

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Given 3003 is a much later # than the single #s A&M was using when this album came out in the Horizon era, I'm guessing the A&M 3003 single is a later reissue tied in to the alternate cover (i.e.: the later re-release) featured on the right above. Not being into this kind of music at either time (and just now appreciating it) I have to ask, "what was going on with Ms. Russell so many year54s later that A&M re-issued this with a new cover (and quite possibly this 3003 version of the single)???
 

Harry

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Would the #3003 single coincide with the era of Herb's WILD ROMANCE, on which Ms. Russell appeared as a vocalist?

Harry
 

Captain Bacardi

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The single "You Are The One" from Wild Romance is #2779, that featured Brenda. Looking at the BOF #3003 was released in 1988. The highest number in the 3000 series is 3023 by Robyn Hitchcock.
 

Captain Bacardi

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As far as this album goes, it's a very pleasant listen, but any actual jazz is virtually nil. I think Brenda Russell is a very underrated songwriter who deserves more recognition. I understand she's a very nice lady as well.
 

Rudy

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I just played the video above...man, it brings back a lot of memories of our local station WJZZ! They'd play stuff like this all the time...they'd even get in the occasional Teena Marie "Portuguese Love" and a couple of Randy Crawford songs like "Rio Di Janeiro Blue". Miss those days.

"So Good, So Right" also sounds familiar, but not quite as much. I recognize a couple of the hooks in it.

 
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