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In a Special Way


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Album Review

After the release of 1982's All This Love, the group became one of the most popular and talented acts in music. While that effort was a likeable though uneven affair, In A Special Way was, in short, a classic. This boasts a minimalist and artful sound, and rumor has it that the horn tracks were lost during the recording. So as a result In A Special Way is one of the most spare and effective albums of the '80s. The first track, the synth based "Be My Lady," and the bittersweet and pragmatic "Need Somebody," both feature lead vocals from James DeBarge. In A Special Way also marked the coming of age of the vocally gifted El DeBarge as a producer and writer. The biggest hit here, the poignant and spare "Time Will Reveal," is perfect, from its beautiful arrangement and flawless backing vocals to El DeBarge's amazing lead. His prowess also makes the potentially overdone sentiments of "Love Me In A Special Way" come off instead as romantic and effective. The last track, "A Dream," was written and sung by Bunny DeBarge. With a great melody line, the song accurately attains a sense of longing as Bunny DeBarge's lead is particularly moving. Although R&B and rap have appropriated segments of this album in every conceivable manner, the greatness begins and ends with this album.

Customer Reviews

Amazing Talent!

I love this group. Talent runs deep in this family. They compose, sing, and play the instruments on most of their songs. This album is great, one of their best. If you like this one, you should check out "All This Love", if Itunes makes it available.

Stands up to todays "R&B"

This is a must listen, especially to fans of the music that is out today. This album is filled with gospel roots, and lots of soul. Theres about 3 songs that have been heavily sampled by hip-hop on this album as well.

The best group of all time!

Love this album. Take notice...many artists are sampling DeBarge music. Don't sleep or you might miss out on some good music.


Formed: 1978 in Grand Rapids, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s

Groomed to be the heirs to the Jackson 5 throne in the early '80s, DeBarge mirrored the Jacksons early success with a string of hits, but were unable to sustain their winning streak beyond the mid-'80s. Formed in 1978, the Grand Rapids, Michigan quintet was comprised of four brothers and one sister: Eldra, Mark, James, Randy, and Bunny. The group signed with the same label that the Jacksons started with, Motown (via the Gordy subsidiary), courtesy of older brothers Tommy and Bobby (who were members...
Full Bio
In a Special Way, DeBarge
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Customer Ratings