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Album Review

Most of the solo albums that Chaka Khan provided in the 1980s are excellent. 1986's Destiny falls short of perfect, although the LP is impressive more often than not. Many people were surprised to hear how rock-minded much of Destiny is, but then, Khan's former band Rufus had major rock leanings in the beginning: 1973's Rufus and 1974's Rags to Rufus underscored Khan and Rufus' appreciation of Ike & Tina Turner's soul/rock and were hardly the work of R&B purists. Nor is Destiny; while some of the material is straight R&B (including "Tight Fit" and the exuberant single "Love of a Lifetime"), Khan successfully combines R&B and rock elements on "My Destiny" and "Who's It Gonna Be" (which Janice Marie Johnson of A Taste of Honey fame had recorded on a little-known solo album in 1984). And some of the tunes are really more pop/rock than R&B, including "Watching the World," "The Other Side of the World," and "So Close." As much as Destiny has going for it, the LP isn't without its shortcomings. "Who's It Gonna Be" would have been better off without the fake applause that producers Arif and Joe Mardin pointlessly added, and the post-bop jazz offering "Coltrane Dreams" (which features saxman Sam Rivers) is too brief for its own good. Rivers, a major talent, doesn't get a chance to stretch out, and the piece ends up sounding undeveloped, which is quite frustrating because Khan can be a great jazz singer when she puts her mind to it. But while Destiny isn't perfect, the album has many more pluses than minuses and is easily recommended to both R&B and pop/rock enthusiasts.

Customer Reviews

Rock On Chaka!

Although not a fan favorite because of it's heavy Rock influences, "Destiny", nevertheless, is a great CD. Obviously attempting to give Tina Turner a run for her money, Chaka takes on these tunes with a vengeance. "So Close", "Who's It Gonna Be" and "The Other Side of the World" are all Rock songs and are some of the best material Khan recorded in the 80s. The only miscalculations here were the first single "Love Of A Lifetime", where the lyrics are very muffled and "Earth To Mickey", a very silly song penned by Charlie Singlton with awful lyrics and a very whack rap. "Destiny" should have picked up where Khan's previous album left off and should have cemented her as a cross-over artist. Unfortunatley,the disc was only half-heartedly promoted at Black radio, which was a mistake on the part of the record company. Single releases failed to make much noise on R&B radio and received no promotion on Pop radio. Therefore, the fate of "Destiny" was doomed. Chaka never made any mistakes on vinyl during the 80s. And this disc is proof in the pudding that, in her prime, Chaka was a force to be reckoned with.

I don't care what anyone says....THIS ALBUM ROCKS!

Not a big hit when it came out, (IMO due to the fact that it didn't have a video like "I Feel For You" to promote it), personally, I fell in love with this album the first time I heard it. Phil Collins plays his "over-the-top" drums and sings backup on "Watching the World," which along with "I Can't Be Loved," "It's You," and "So Close" show a hard-rocking, swinging side of Chaka that she would never duplicate. Heavy guitars and a swinging beat with Chaka's sultry vocals are an irresistable match, and the rest of the songs, 99% of the time, don't disappoint.

It's ok, but it's not a "I Feel For You" vibe!

Arif Mardin challenges the songstress' Jazz/R&B vocals to deliver a pop styled product and Chaka delivered perfectly. But in my opinion, I feel like she wasn't feeling the vibe. It's ok, but you can tell this was not Chaka's cup of tea. This is a crossover album: Soft pop/Pop/ Soft Rock feel! Nonetheless, it's a great listen product if you want to hear Chaka's range and unforgettable talent.


Born: March 23, 1953 in Great Lakes, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
Full Bio

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