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The Changing of the Gard

Stargard

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Album Review

The Changing of the Gard was an appropriate title for Stargard's third album because it was, in some respects, a departure from the female trio's two previous albums. With this LP, Stargard switched from MCA to Warner Brothers — and while Stargard and What You Waitin' For were both produced by Mark Davis, The Changing of the Gard found Rochelle Runnells, Debra Anderson, and Janice Williams working with Robert Wright and Earth, Wind & Fire's Verdine White. So, not surprisingly, Stargard becomes a bit more Earth, Wind & Fire-ish at times, and the Wright/White team gives the group a sleeker sound on gems like "Take Me Back," the ballad "(Once in a Lifetime) Dream Come True," and the exuberant single "Wear It Out." But Stargard still has plenty of grit and passion; like EWF's 1970s recordings, The Changing of the Gard manages to sound polished and gritty at the same time. Those who expect Stargard to provide uninhibited, extroverted party jams won't be disappointed by "Footstompin' Music," "Put on Your Rollerskates," and other funk smokers. Now for the bad news: this vinyl LP didn't do nearly as well as it should have. While The Changing of the Gard is full of pearls that deserved to be major hits, this record didn't receive as much attention as Stargard's two previous albums. It goes without saying that justice doesn't always prevail in the music world, and The Changing of the Gard is a perfect example of a fine album being a commercial disappointment.

Biography

Formed: 1976

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Heavily influenced by Labelle and the Pointer Sisters, Stargard was a female R&B vocal group that was best known for providing the theme song from the 1977 film Which Way Is Up. Rochelle Runnells, Debra Anderson, and Janice Williams — who comprised Stargard's original three-woman lineup — didn't go for the type of breathy, sweet, girlish vocals that the Supremes and the Three Degrees were known for. Like...
Full Bio
The Changing of the Gard, Stargard
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Disco
  • Released: 1979

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Contemporaries

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