Monday, May 16, 2011

Shalamar - "Make That Move"

Make That Move - Three for Love

(Debuted April 25, 1981, Peaked #60, 8 Weeks on the Chart)  

When I was growing up, there were certain types of music that I wasn't exposed to, for several reasons. Much of it was out of my control; my parents preferred country, my friends were influenced by rock radio and MTV...which in the pre-Thriller/Prince era seemed to avoid a lot of music that was soul/funk-based. As a result, I missed a lot of great music, including this song. Fortunately, I have managed to fill in some of those empty spots with repeated listenings of "old school" radio and exercises like this blog.

Shalamar began as an outgrowth of the Soul Train TV show. Their first hit was "Uptown Festival" in 1977, which was essentially a medley of 1960s Motown hits set to a disco beat. That song was sung by session singers, but its success led Soul Train impresario Don Cornelius to assemble a more permanent lineup that could tour to support their singles. Two of those members would be popular dancers from the show, Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel. Joining together with vocalist Howard Hewitt, they recorded what would be the group's best-regarded material under Dick Griffey's SOLAR Records.

One of the songs recorded during their late 70s/early 80s heyday was "Make That Move," a single that stalled short of the Top 40 but was a Top 10 R&B hit. Though "disco" was thought to have died out a couple years before, the song has every bit of the upbeat fun and even some elements of a late 70s-era disco hit. In short, the music didn't change nearly as much as the fans did. But, since the terminology had changed by the time the 1980s were underway, it's not considered to be the disco classic it would have been certainly tagged if it came out in '78.

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