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The Trammps Christmas

The Trammps

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Album Review

Cranking out three albums in the space of two years, The Trammps III richly displays more innovation from disco's most popular group. That's the good news. The bad news is that by 1977, a countless number of other acts had also joined the disco bandwagon. To make matters worse, their 1976 classic "Disco Inferno" was beginning to pick up even more steam consequently making their subsequent efforts barely heard. Although the group was often thought of as lesser than the O'Jays and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, the majority of their '70s work often holds up better than their contemporaries. The Trammps III introduces more creative arrangements as well as a batch of smooth ballads. "The Nights the Lights Went Out" finds the guys taking advantage of New York's 1977 power outage. While the track could have been gimmicky, it's one of Norman Harris's best productions and arrangements. "People on the World, Rise" is an unfocused dancefloor plea. When they sing, "Just let the world be dancefloor people," it's this close to self-parody. While the Trammps aren't on the short list of balladeers, The Trammps III has them at least thinking about love. The winning "Living the Life" and "It Don't Take Much" is reminiscent of the group's work on Golden Fleece and Buddah. Both tracks feature the softer-voiced Robert Upchurch assuming lead duties from the irascible Jimmy Ellis. The Trammps III is an interesting effort from one of R&B's most overlooked artists.

Biography

Formed: 1973 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Disco's most soulful vocal group began in the '60s as the Volcanos, and were also called the Moods. Gene Faith was the original lead vocalist, with Earl Young, Jimmy Ellis, guitarist Dennis Harris, keyboardist Ron Kersey, organist John Hart, bassist Stanley Wade, and drummer Michael Thomas. But by the time they'd gone through various identities and emerged as the Trammps in the mid-'70s, the lineup featured lead vocalist Ellis, Norman Harris, and Stanley Wade, Robert Upchurch and Young. A snappy...
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The Trammps Christmas, The Trammps
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