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Involved

Edwin Starr

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Album Review

It's amazing that Edwin Starr had any voice at all after recording these songs. Producer Norman Whitfield had the explosive singer hitting incredible notes in the studio. A follow up to his #1 "War," the jammin' "Stop the War Now," which many fluffed off as a copy cat, is actually its own brand of poison. From Starr's opening line, "Make the Sign of Peace," and "Sing Now!" It's a nonstop rocker that suffered from comparisons to "War." Unbelievable, but "Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On" reaches even higher decibels. Norman had the session musicians playing fast, funky and reckless, as Edwin belted, at the top of his lungs, his love for low-down grooves. Whitfield recorded the same songs by different artists, so it didn't surprise me to hear Edwin doing the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion," which employs a motor-booty beat to drive home its socially significant lyrics. The Miracles' "Way Over There" was first released on Edwin's debut Motown LP; the brain trust at Hitsville U.S.A. decided to include it here also. And it's easy to see why, it has the same driving beat that is prevalent on this LP. The only cooling points are versions of Sly & the Family Stone's "Stand," and a soulful rendition of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord."

Biography

Born: 21 January 1942 in Nashville, TN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Rightly revered for the storming protest classic "War," Edwin Starr didn't really need another hit to achieve legendary status in soul circles, so electrifying was that single performance. Starr first made his name as "Agent Double-O-Soul," and when his contract was transferred to Motown, he instantly became one of the roughest, toughest vocalists on the crossover-friendly label, with his debt to James Brown and the Stax soul shouters. Even if nothing else ever matched the phenomenon...
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Involved, Edwin Starr
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