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Naughty

Chaka Khan

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Album Review

By the early '80s Chaka Khan and producer Arif Mardin had a great working relationship that was responsible for her hit solo debut, 1979's Chaka. Despite having the hit single "I'm Every Woman," Chaka was often a stilted and unfocused affair. Naughty presents the two in a more centered working relationship. The big hit here, "Papillion (aka Hot Butterfly)," projects an effortlessness that didn't come as easy during Khan's concurrent run with Rufus. The tough, Latinized rock/funk of "Too Much Love" has one of Khan's most visceral performances. For Naughty Khan also does one of the better versions of Aaron Schroeder and Jerry Ragovoy's "Move Me No Mountain" that's made even better by Anthony Jackson's steady bass and Steve Ferrone's tough drumming. Despite the high points, other songs like "What You Did," "Our Love's in Danger," and even Ashford & Simpson's "Clouds" come off underdone. Recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York, most of Naughty represents Khan in a holding pattern, without much material to accommodate her widening range. That being said, Naughty is only a few songs away from being a bona fide classic.

Biography

Born: 23 March 1953 in Great Lakes, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known in the mainstream for her superb 1984 cover of Prince's "I Feel for You," R&B singer Chaka Khan enjoyed solo success as well as popularity as a member of the group Rufus. Born Yvette Marie Stevens in Great Lakes, IL, on March 23, 1953, she was raised on Chicago's South Side, and at the age of 11 formed her first group, the Crystalettes. While still in high school, she joined the Afro-Arts Theater, a group which toured with Motown great Mary Wells; a few years later, she adopted the...
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Naughty, Chaka Khan
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