"I Feel for You" by Chaka Khan on iTunes

10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the transition from the ‘70s to the ‘80s, few R&B artists showed as much willingness to adapt as Chaka Khan. Her fearlessness paid off with 1984’s I Feel For You, the most successful album of her career. Rather than rest on snappy new-wave soul of her last few albums — let alone the bubbly disco funk of Rufus, whose music now seems ancient in comparison to I Feel For You — Khan and producers Arif Mardin and David Foster wholeheartedly embrace modern sounds while retaining the high musical standard of Chaka’s past efforts. The shiny, mechanized grooves of “This Is My Night” and “My Love Is Alive” are brought to life by Khan’s vivacious singing. The new production techniques give extra dramatic flair to “Stronger Than Before,” and especially “Through the Fire,” one of the most smoldering ballads of the mid-‘80s. All of the album’s aspects come together on the title song. Written by Prince, it features Stevie Wonder on harmonica and rapping by Grandmaster Melle Mel. Leave it to Chaka Khan to unite three generations of R&B innovators for the purpose of one perfectly wrought pop song.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the transition from the ‘70s to the ‘80s, few R&B artists showed as much willingness to adapt as Chaka Khan. Her fearlessness paid off with 1984’s I Feel For You, the most successful album of her career. Rather than rest on snappy new-wave soul of her last few albums — let alone the bubbly disco funk of Rufus, whose music now seems ancient in comparison to I Feel For You — Khan and producers Arif Mardin and David Foster wholeheartedly embrace modern sounds while retaining the high musical standard of Chaka’s past efforts. The shiny, mechanized grooves of “This Is My Night” and “My Love Is Alive” are brought to life by Khan’s vivacious singing. The new production techniques give extra dramatic flair to “Stronger Than Before,” and especially “Through the Fire,” one of the most smoldering ballads of the mid-‘80s. All of the album’s aspects come together on the title song. Written by Prince, it features Stevie Wonder on harmonica and rapping by Grandmaster Melle Mel. Leave it to Chaka Khan to unite three generations of R&B innovators for the purpose of one perfectly wrought pop song.

TITLE TIME PRICE
4:40 $1.29
4:21 $1.29
4:40 $1.29
4:38 $1.29
4:27 $1.29
3:38 $1.29
5:16 $1.29
4:46 $1.29
3:47 $1.29
4:35 $1.29

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

71 Ratings

incredible

Candiapple,

a truly inspired (and inspiring) album by an AMAZING singer

The Best of 80's R&B!

Adam J. Byrne,

This record came out in the heyday of Prince and the Minneapolis sound. It was also a time when auteurs of real hip-hop were coming into view in mainstream America. The sense that was at the fingertips of the kids who bought the albums. As the professional review states 1984 was a time when black radio programmers weren't looking for bands with like 10 members, and live instruments, they were hungry for electronic, highly polished, stylish danceable R&B. This record burst onto the scene and in many ways was a frontrunner to a few not so memorable albums from other not so talented divas of the day. Everything here is different, all of it of its time, and fully satisfying, showing off the sound of the day, and shedding light on the sound of an era. This album has aged very well compared to its pale predicessors. Coming like a fireball burning up the charts, the albums title track was actually a cover of the funked up "I Feel For You" as performed by Prince on his 1978 self titled release. Featuring a killer speedy rap from Grandmaster Melle Mel, and a smoking harmonica solo from Stevie himself, this track was destined to be a hit. It is still amazing to hear it 23 years later. The other tracks are just as amazing. This Is My Night, the first track, has to be the most interesting. It boasts a lot of different sounds, has a changing drum pattern, and some great sound effects. Chaka is in excellent voice, to say the very least. Stronger Than Before is an amazing vehicle for that heavenly voice as well. My Love is Alive, another cover, is sung amazingly, also helped by some samples. This is definitely one of those great old Breakdancing songs, get out your cardboard for this one. Eye to Eye is probably the only pedestrian track here. La Flamme is interesting and has great time changes and great sampling of previous Chaka hits! Hold Her is a dance song featuring a scorching vocal. Through the Fire, Chaka's signature track shines here, in its original 4.47 glory. Caught in the Act is a short masterpiece. Chinatown is a strange and elegant dance tune, about getting lost in the interesting Chinatown (DUH!). The record was masterfully produced by Arif Mardin (who himself has bounced from Genre to Genre effortlessly. It also helped that he had "Hawk" Wolinski and David Foster helping out. One track was also produced by The System (Let the Music Play...) and Prince was in the studio for I Feel For You. This classic album has some history too! It was an early digital recording from Warners and actually released on CD as well as Cassette and Album in 1984! Talk about longevity. And the music still lives on!

About Chaka Khan

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 African name Chaka Khan while working on the Black Panthers' breakfast program. After quitting high school in 1969, Khan joined the group Lyfe, soon exiting to join another dance band, the Babysitters; neither was on the fast track to success, but her fortunes changed when she teamed with ex-American Breed member Kevin Murphy and André Fisher to form Rufus.

Debuting in 1973 with a self-titled effort on the ABC label, Rufus was among the pre-eminent funk groups of the decade; distinguished by Khan's dynamic vocals, the group earned half a dozen gold or platinum albums before she went solo in 1978. Produced by Arif Mardin, Chaka proved to be a significant hit on the strength of the single "I'm Every Woman" (a hit over a decade later for Whitney Houston); however, Khan's success was somewhat tempered by her public rivalry with the remaining members of Rufus, to whom she was still contractually bound for two more LPs. (Their differences were eventually resolved in a 1982 concert at New York's Savoy Theater, issued as Stompin' at the Savoy.) As a solo artist, Khan recorded backing vocals for Ry Cooder's 1979 effort Bop Till You Drop, then cut her sophomore album, 1980's Naughty; it was not a hit, however, nor was its follow-up, What Cha' Gonna Do for Me.

In 1982, Khan recorded Echoes of an Era, a collection of jazz standards featuring performances from Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, and Lenny White. Her pop career was on shaky ground when she released 1984's I Feel for You, a platinum-seller launched by its title cut, a Grammy-winning, rap-inspired rendition (featuring memorable cameos from Melle Mel and Stevie Wonder) of a fairly obscure Prince album track. Still, while subsequent LPs like 1986's Destiny and 1988's C.K. kept Khan riding high on the R&B charts, her standing in pop's mainstream again began to wane, and at the end of the 1980s, she relocated to Europe.

In 1990, she won another Grammy for "I'll Be Good to You," a duet with Ray Charles. Come 2 My House, released on Prince's independent label, appeared in 1998, years after Khan had a falling out with Warner Bros. Just after penning the autobiography Chaka! Through the Fire, she collected another Grammy -- in 2004 -- for performing Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" with the Funk Brothers in Standing in the Shadows of Motown. Classikhan, featuring several interpretations of jazz standards, followed later that year. As she continued an active touring schedule, she recorded Funk This, a set of relatively funky originals and covers (produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis), released in 2007. ~ Jason Ankeny

  • ORIGIN
    Great Lakes, IL
  • BORN
    Mar 23, 1953

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