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Rags to Rufus (feat. Chaka Khan)

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iTunes Review

Rags to Rufus is the album that introduced the world to Chaka Khan. A twenty-year-old dynamo from the South Side of Chicago, Chaka is arguably the original queen of ‘70s funk. She had a powerful, gospel-infused voice and a stage presence to rival James Brown and George Clinton. Meanwhile, Rufus was a sharp, well-oiled machine — just check the tightly knit riffs of “Rags to Rufus,” or better yet, the groaning, gurgling grooves of “Sideways.” They knew just how to set up Chaka for the power play, and she hits it out of the park every time. Her original song “You Got the Love” comes off as the perfect merger of rock and funk. “In Love We Grow” and “Smokin’ Room” showed she could translate the vulnerability and dreaminess of true love. Still, the album is hottest when Chaka is allowed to let her inner lioness loose. There is no mistaking the signature strut of “Tell Me Something Good,” which Stevie Wonder wrote specifically for the group. Chaka prowls across the song’s grunting riff, turning it into one of the decade’s most delicious expressions of pure lust.

Customer Reviews

Smokin' Room

This album was one of the ones that touched me; growing up listenin' to Sly and the Family Stone and the Jackson 5, I wasn't a big Rufus fan. I mean, I had this vinyl, I think I got it for my birthday in '75, right before or after Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan was released. My favorite not popular song on this album is 'Smokin' Room'. I remember, laying in the tub for hours, replaying this one song over and over, as a young teenager, wondering, 'What do I wanna do with my life?" And after I realised the bath water had gone real cold, and it was the early hours of the next morning, I knew-I wanted to meet Chaka, my FUNK Queen. I've been in love with her 30 years, and havent met her; but I have also collected every single one of her solo albums in the process. Long live the Queen of FUNK Soul!

Classic Title

I still have the orginal vinyl and have worn it out over the past thirty years. It's classic Chaka, better then anything she did solo. I captures the best combo of funk, pop, jazz and r & b. It's a treasure.

Smokin Room

Nice to see other people were so affected by the song Smokin' Room.

I listened to it on my car radio back in the 70s but never knew who it was by and never heard it again. Since then, I've searched the internet over the years and never found it, figuring it was some obscure old song. But just last Friday I tried again and WOW not only found it but discovered it's by one of my all time favorite female vocalists: Chaka Khan!

Couldn't be happier to have this long lost tune back in my head.


Formed: 1970 in Chicago, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

One of the most commercially successful funk groups of the '70s, the multi-racial Rufus are today best remembered for launching the career of soul diva Chaka Khan, whose fiery lead vocals were easily the band's focal point. Powered by Khan -- who was eventually billed in addition to the group -- and an unerring sense of groove, Rufus scored an impressive string of hit singles on both the pop and R&B charts, which lasted through the '70s and up to Khan's official departure in 1983. Rufus grew out...
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Top Albums and Songs by Rufus

Rags to Rufus (feat. Chaka Khan), Rufus
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