On this day in music history: July 25, 1980 - “TP”, the fourth studio album by Teddy Pendergrass is released. Produced by Dexter Wansel, Cecil Womack, Cynthia Biggs, Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson, Gene McFadden, John Whitehead, Jerry Cohen, John R. Faith and Teddy Pendergrass, it is recorded at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, PA and New York City from December 1979 - April 1980. Ending the 70’s as one of the top R&B male vocalists, as well as experiencing major crossover success, Teddy Pendergrass starts the new decade with no signs of slowing down. With Philadelphia International co-founders Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff having their attention focused elsewhere at the time, Pendergrass’ fourth solo album is the first not to include any creative input from the duo (acting as executive producers only), neither writing or producing. Instead, Teddy takes the production reigns himself for the first time, along with several others contributing to the project including Ashford & Simpson, McFadden & Whitehead, Jerry Cohen, Cecil Womack (Womack & Womack, Valentine Brothers), and fellow Philly International staff songwriter and producers Dexter Wansel, Cynthia Biggs and John R. Faith. Musically, “TP” differs from previous albums as it features no uptempo songs at all. Coming out of the Disco Era and perhaps trying to downplay that sound, the album consists mostly of ballads and mid tempo material that emphasize Teddy’s “ladies man” image. The album features two duets with R&B star Stephanie Mills including “Feel The Fire” and “Take Me In Your Arms Tonight”. The lead single “Can’t We Try” (#3 R&B, #52 Pop) is also featured in the film and on the soundtrack of the musical comedy “Roadie”. The track that makes the biggest impression is the follow up “Love T.K.O.” (#2 R&B, #44 Pop) written by Cecil Womack and Gip Nobel, Jr.. The sexy ballad quickly becomes another of Teddy’s signature songs, and one of his most widely covered. “T.K.O.” is also sampled a number of times, on Ahmad’s “Back In The Day (Remix)”, Compton’s Most Wanted’s “Can I Kill It?” and Xscape’s “Who Can I Run To?” (Remix). R&B artists Kenny Lattimore (“I Won’t Let You Down”) and Total (“Spend Some Time”) also sample the song. First released on CD in the late 80’s, it is reissued in 1993 on Right Stuff/EMI Records. In March of 2016, UK reissue label BBR Records remasters and reissues the the album, including five additional bonus tracks. “TP” peaks at number three on the Billboard R&B album chart, number fourteen on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: July 25, 1987 - “Fake” by Alexander O'Neal hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #25 on the Hot 100 on September 26, 1987. Written and produced by James Harris III & Terry Lewis, it is the biggest hit for the R&B vocalist from Natchez, MS. Formerly the lead singer of the Minneapolis based R&B band Flyte Tyme, the predecessor to The Time, Alexander O'Neal reconnects with his friends and former band mates Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in 1985 when they write and produce his self titled debut album. It is a sizable success, spinning off three hit singles including “Innocent” (#11 R&B) and “What’s Missing” (#8 R&B). After he scores an even bigger hit, dueting with label mate Cherrelle on “Saturday Love” (#2 R&B, #26 Pop), O'Neal begins work on his second album in early 1987. The song is the result of an error made in the studio when the producers are programming a drum machine. The low rumbling sequence that comes out of the machine inspire them to scrap the song they had been working on and begin composing another. Lewis quickly comes up with the bass line and main chord changes that become “Fake”. Jam comes up with the concept of the new tune, and Lewis writes the lyrics. The song centers around a woman whose attitude and pretentiousness, causes her man to call her out for not being her real self. Issued as the first single from O'Neal’s second album “Hearsay” in April of 1987, “Fake” become O'Neal’s biggest single on the R&B charts, becoming his second top 40 pop single, also paving the way for his major success in the UK where he continues to enjoy a sizable and devoted following.
On this day in music history: July 25, 1983 - “On The Rise”, the fourth album by The S.O.S. Band is released. Produced by James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Gene Dozier and The S.O.S. Band, it is recorded at Master Sound Studios in Atlanta, GA, Larrabee Studios, and Sound Masters Studios in Los Angeles, CA from March - May 1983. Having written The S.O.S. Band’s hit single “High Hopes” (#25 R&B) for their then current album “III”, producer and songwriters Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are invited back to not only write new material, but also produce half of their fourth studio album. At the time, Jam and Lewis, both members of The Time are in middle of “The Triple Threat Tour” with Prince and Vanity 6. When the tour takes a break for a few days, the pair fly to Atlanta to work with The S.O.S. Band. The sessions go great but they run into trouble when they try to leave town and rejoin the tour. When they arrive at the airport to fly out to San Antonio, TX, a major snowstorm hits Atlanta, closing the airport and grounding all flights. Stranded, Jam and Lewis miss the show in San Antonio much to Prince’s displeasure, who is forced to sub for Lewis on bass (off stage while Jerome Benton mimes playing on stage) during Vanity 6 and The Time’s sets, and keyboardist Lisa Coleman filling in for Jam on keyboards. Initially, Prince says nothing to Jam and Lewis about their absence, but when he finds out they have been moonlighting, he fines and abruptly fires them. After the firing, they finish working on the three songs they have contributed in Los Angeles. The album spins off three singles including “Just Be Good To Me” (#2 R&B, #55 Pop), “Tell Me If You Still Care” (#5 R&B, #65 Pop), and “For Your Love” (#34 R&B). The success of the album and its singles not only restore The S.O.S. Band to full commercial prominence, it establishes Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as major creative forces in music industry, leading to their later successes with Janet Jackson and numerous other artists. Originally released on CD in the late 80’s, the album is remastered and reissued by Edsel Records in 2013, including four bonus tracks. It is followed by a vinyl LP reissue in 2014. “On The Rise” peaks at number seven on the Billboard R&B album chart, number forty seven on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
Hey guys! I’ve made a couple of playlist posts before, and I noticed it’s been a while since I last made one and they seem to be my most popular posts, so here is a playlist for songs that I find help me to release my anger, enjoy!