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Adventures In the Land of Music

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Album Review

By 1980, it was obvious that Dick Griffey's Solar Records had as distinctive and recognizable a sound as Motown and Stax in the 1960s or Philadelphia International in the 1970s. Put on just about any late-'70s or early- to mid-'80s recording by the Whispers, Shalamar, Midnight Star, or Dynasty, and it only takes a few notes to realize that you're listening to a Solar recording. Dynasty wasn't as big as the Whispers or Shalamar, but the Los Angeles-based vocal group did enjoy a few hits and made some valuable contributions to the Solar catalog. Adventures in the Land of Music, which came out on vinyl in 1980 and was reissued on CD by the Canadian Unidisc label in 2001, is Dynasty's second album — and it is arguably the group's most essential. Adventures contains the Angelinos' biggest hit, "I've Just Begun to Love You," as well as the equally danceable single "Do Me Right," but the singles aren't the only things that make this album produced by Leon Sylvers III worth owning — Adventures also contains a lot of memorable album tracks, which range from dance-oriented numbers like "Ice Breaker," "Day and Night," and "Groove Patrol" to the soul ballad "Take Another Look at Love." Dynasty is best remembered for up-tempo dance and disco-funk material, but "Take Another Look at Love" demonstrates that the group was quite capable of handling romantic soul ballads. Because Dynasty favored a lot of male/female vocal interaction and was so Solar-sounding, the group was often compared to another part-male, part-female group, Shalamar. But Dynasty had an appealing identity of its own, and that identity serves the quartet well on this excellent sophomore effort.


Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active:

The creation of producer/label-head Dick Griffey and Leon Sylvers, this Los Angeles band did light funk and clever dance-pop numbers in the late '70s and '80s. Bassist Kevin Spencer and vocalists Nidra Beard and Linda Carriere comprised the group. They got off to a fast start with the single "I Don't Want to Be a Freak (But I Can't Help Myself)" from their 1979 LP Your Piece of the Rock. The next single, "I've Just Begun to Love," was their lone Top Ten R&B hit, peaking at number six in 1980. They...
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Adventures In the Land of Music, Dynasty
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