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Ladies of the 80's

Eighties Ladies

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Album Review

On their first — and last — album, Ladies of the '80s, the disco/soul group Eighties Ladies displays the style and vocal prowess that also served its members well in other parts of their career: Marva Hicks went on to a solo career of some note, and Sylvia Striplin also performed with Aquarian Dream. Most significantly, perhaps, the album was written and produced by Roy Ayers, whose smooth but slightly edgy style elevates the project into something more interesting than just a would-be supergroup. Ladies of the '80s rings in the new decade with a set of funky disco and urban songs, including the title track, which is a feminist rallying cry along the lines of Sister Sledge's "We Are Family," and groove-based tracks like "It's Easy to Move" and "I Knew That Love." Ayers' arrangements and productions really stand out on the instrumental version of "Ladies of the Eighties" and "Turned on to You," which mixes lightly strummed guitars, brass, Latin-tinged percussion, and the Ladies' voices into a soft, sleekly sexy album-closer. Ayers fans as well as aficionados of late-'70s/early-'80s funk and disco will find a lot to like about this stylish, if slightly obscure, release.


Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s

Under the direction of Roy Ayers, the Eighties Ladies released one album, Ladies of the '80s, in 1980. The group was a quintet of vocalists featuring Sylvia Striplin, Marva Hicks, Susan Beaubian, Vivian Prince, and Denie Corbett. Ladies of the '80s, released on Ayers' Uno Melodic imprint, failed to do much sales-wise, but two cuts off the fine album, "Turned on to You" and "I Knew That Love," fared well in clubs and continue to be favorites of those into the rare groove scene. Striplin had some...
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