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Album Review

By the late '70s, Sly Stone wasn't nearly as popular or as visible as he had been in the late '60s and early '70s. But his former bassist Larry Graham was still going strong. Released in 1979, Star Walk was the last album that Graham would record with Graham Central Station for quite some time; in 1980, the influential singer/electric bassist officially became a full-time solo artist and soared to the top of the R&B charts with his debut solo single, "One in a Million You." And not until 1998's GCS 2000 would Graham use the GCS name on another album. If the name GCS had to be put to rest for a long time, at least the band went out with a bang on Star Walk. This excellent LP, which Graham produced himself, is full of sweaty, aggressive funk treasures; anyone who appreciates gutbucket funk would have a hard time not loving "Scream," "The Entertainer," and the single "(You're A) Foxy Lady." But not everything on this record is hardcore funk. "Tonight" is a lush Northern soul ballad, and the unexpected title song finds Graham getting into a synthesizer-driven Eurodisco groove — if you didn't know better, you would think that Graham traveled to Munich, Germany, and hired Giorgio Moroder to produce the tune.

Biography

Formed: 1973 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s

An exuberant mid-'70s funk group, Graham Central Station made some fine singles for Warner Bros. Former Sly & the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham renamed Hot Chocolate (not the British group) Graham Central Station after he moved from producing the group to playing with it. The group included Graham, guitarist David Vega, keyboardists Robert Sam and Hershall Kennedy, percussionist Patrice Banks, and drummer Willie Sparks. They utilized the identical funk cum rock and soul formula of Sly, though...
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Star Walk, Graham Central Station
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