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Street Songs

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Editors’ Notes

This album is Mastered for iTunes. With his tongue-in-groove “punk-funk” and gladiator smirk, singer-songwriter-bassist-producer Rick James had already racked up a trio of R&B smashes prior to releasing this 1981 magnum opus, which featured a pair of monster pop and R&B hits (the horn-driven “Give It to Me Baby” and the rock-riffed “Super Freak”) that could’ve served as the soundtrack for a film of Godzilla doing the Pop-Lock with King Kong. While album tracks such as “Call Me Up”, “Make Love to Me” and “Fire and Desire” focused on James’s romantic side, the remainder of the album reflects its titular concerns, addressing such socio-political topics as the self-explanatory “Ghetto Life”, the highly selective approach to law enforcement found in urban communities (“Mr. Policeman”) and a paean to pot, “Below the Funk (Pass the J)”.


Born: February 01, 1948 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

In the late '70s, when the fortunes of Motown Records seemed to be flagging, Rick James came along and rescued the company, providing funky hits that updated the label's style and saw it through into the mid-'80s. Actually, James had been with Motown earlier, though nothing had come of it. After growing up in Buffalo and running away to join the Naval Reserves, he ran away from the Navy to Toronto, where he was in a band with future Buffalo Springfield members Neil Young and Bruce Palmer, and with...
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Street Songs, Rick James
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