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Thirteen Blue Magic Lane

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Album Review

The third Blue Magic LP continues to subtly refine and expand the group's approach. While their gossamer harmonies remain squarely at the forefront, 13 Blue Magic Lane features more pronounced club grooves than on their previous records, bowing to the inexorable shift from classic Philly soul to disco. Arranged by Norman Harris and Ron Kersey, several songs feature electronic textures that add surprisingly complementary muscle to Blue Magic's delicate vocals. In fact, despite the presence of sumptuous ballads like "Chasing Rainbows" and "Loneliest House on the Block," up-tempo fare like "We're on the Right Track" is even better. The times would later pass Blue Magic by, but for this glorious album, they were not only in lockstep with the prevailing attitudes but further ahead of the curve than any of their contemporaries.

Biography

Formed: 1973 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

Blue Magic, an R&B vocal quintet whose members were Ted "Wizard" Mills, Vernon Sawyer, Wendell Sawyer, Keith Beaton, and Richard Pratt, formed in Philadelphia and signed to Atco in 1973. The group specialized in dreamy ballads and choreographed stage moves. They hit the Top 40 of the R&B singles chart with their first three 45s before breaking through and crossing over with "Sideshow." Released in April 1974, it went gold, topped the R&B chart, and became a Top Ten pop hit. "Three Ring Circus," their...
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Thirteen Blue Magic Lane, Blue Magic
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