My deepest condolences to Rick James' family and friends. May he rest eternally in peace. The man is gone, but not his memory and music. It will continue to shine on...He was a brilliant musical creator who could not be creatively confined, controlled, or contained no matter what corporate labels would tell him or want him to do. He did his own thing and he did it his way and every production reflected that! That my friends was an artist.
Street Songs was more than a milestone in James' career;It was a revelation to his fans as well as new fans, critics, and skeptics.I was eleven years old when my cousins would play this album on the weekends or at parties.It instantly became an all-time favorite of mine in James' output.It's an essential classic for anyone to own who's taste in music is as expansive as the universe itself and knows no boundaries (eclecticism?).From the dance-funk driven riffs and hooks of Give It To Me Baby to the frenetic and soulful punk/new wave funk gem of a jam Super Freak and everything else in between, Street Songs made a lasting impression on me and has never left my album collection.James was truly a master at his craft and his sound and style was unique and his own. Some critics say that his music was sometimes derivative.It was not derivative but moreso inspired by whomever his musical influences were as an artist. He turned all this into his own artistry with his own talent. Afterall, even the great masters of painting sometimes learned or were inspired by others; The end product was from their own originality, though. Street Songs was my first Rick James' album, and from there I collected several other titles over the years. I even explored the musical universe James had created with the Mary Janes Girls, Teena Marie, Process and the Doo Rags, Val Young, and any other protegees he helped or worked with and wrote material for. It has been a pleasure and an honor to know and enjoy his music and that of affiliated artists mentioned!To think my curiosity and seeking out these other artists' material was sparked by Street Songs...
The Temptations, the horns, the lyrics, the grand creativity and free spirit that Rick James put into this project was phenominal for Street Songs.There will never be another artist who can even come close to doing what Rick James did...and he did it the best !
Two albums that must be re-mastered or released on c.d.(with bonus tracks,alternates,outtakes) from Rick James' catalog are "Reflections" (1984) and "Glow" (1985)...By a wonderful miracle I came across one(and ONLY one used copy in the record store) of his vinyl album with a befitting title called Reflections on the day of his passing...
Those two (Glow and Reflections)sit right next to Street Songs in my musical library !
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