10 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a singer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and all-around showstopper, Rick James was Prince’s equal in the ‘80s R&B arena. But in contrast to Prince’s unwieldy, sometimes impenetrable discography, James’s work can be neatly summarized in the ten songs included on 20th Century Masters. James was equally adept at writing ineffably catchy funk songs (“Mary Jane”) and dreamy ballads (“Ebony Eyes”). His career straddled — and in many ways, instigated — the shift between the fat, big-band funk of the ‘70s (“Bustin’ Out”) and the programmed, icy funk of the early ‘80s (“Cold Blooded,” “17”). In between, he delivered several dance-floor anthems that belong neither to the ‘70s nor the ‘80s, but fuse elements of funk, disco and boogie, and have therefore become timeless (“Give It To Me Baby,” “You and I”). Of course, the most definitive Rick James song will forever be “Super Freak,” if only because it's the hit that adequately reflects its author’s eccentric-yet-irresistible personality.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a singer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and all-around showstopper, Rick James was Prince’s equal in the ‘80s R&B arena. But in contrast to Prince’s unwieldy, sometimes impenetrable discography, James’s work can be neatly summarized in the ten songs included on 20th Century Masters. James was equally adept at writing ineffably catchy funk songs (“Mary Jane”) and dreamy ballads (“Ebony Eyes”). His career straddled — and in many ways, instigated — the shift between the fat, big-band funk of the ‘70s (“Bustin’ Out”) and the programmed, icy funk of the early ‘80s (“Cold Blooded,” “17”). In between, he delivered several dance-floor anthems that belong neither to the ‘70s nor the ‘80s, but fuse elements of funk, disco and boogie, and have therefore become timeless (“Give It To Me Baby,” “You and I”). Of course, the most definitive Rick James song will forever be “Super Freak,” if only because it's the hit that adequately reflects its author’s eccentric-yet-irresistible personality.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
70 Ratings
70 Ratings
GNR 4 evr ,

RIP Rick James

I can't believe all of the great musical artists we have lost in the last two years, Dimebag, Rick James, I mean why could we lose someone as unimportant as 50 cent. I mean he is the worst rapper, especially compared to Tupac and Biggie

HTForerunner ,

I'm Rick James!!!

Rick James is an awesome singer that is just fun to listen to......
hes just got that funny funk that makes you laugh...or dance or whatever!

DeeFunk ,

*sigh*

Rick James was the man long before Dave Chappelle and Charlie Murphy decided to do a skit about him. Rick recorded some of the hotest jams from the 70's and 80's, was pretty much the creater of the Mary Jane Girls, who have plenty of hot tracks themselves. Rick also produced some great music from that generation.

It aint all just "Superfreak" and Dave Chapelle kids. Check it out.

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