Thursday, 17 April 2014

"Straight From The Heart / Now" by PATRICE RUSHEN – A Review Of Her 1982 and 1984 Elektra Albums - Now Reissued And Remastered Onto 2CDs By Edsel Of The UK In 2013 With 9 Bonus Tracks…

Patrice Rushen is part of my "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters Soul, Funk & Jazz Fusion" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:


"…Help Me To Remember…" – Straight From The Heart and Now by PATRICE RUSHEN

With 4 albums already under her belt at Prestige Records in the early to mid Seventies and all at the tender age of only 24 – PATRICE RUSHEN signed to Elektra Records in 1978 - and soon became the darling of the World’s dancefloors. Five albums followed between 1978 and 1984 (the other 3 are dealt with in a separate review for "Patrice" (1978), "Pizzazz" (1979) and "Posh" (1980)).

But this hugely talented Californian singer and multi-instrumentalist has seen her Funky catalogue languishing unloved by digital reissue companies for years - or been the province of massively expensive imports. Well along comes Edsel of the UK and they’ve done the total business by this – the second of two 2CD reissue sets.

Released 30 September 2013 - here are the Spandex-Expanding details For Edsel EDSK 7031 (Barcode 740155703134)…

Disc 1 (70:04 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 9 are her 8th album "Straight From The Heart" – released April 1982 on Elektra Records E1-60015 in the USA and on Elektra K 52352 in the UK.

Tracks 10 to 14 are BONUSES – Forget Me Nots (Special Dance Mix/12” Version), Breakout! (12” Version), Number One (Instrumental), Forget Me Nots (Single Version) and I Was Tired Of Being Alone (Byron Clark Remix)

Disc 2 (70:17 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are her 9th album "Now" – released May 1984 on Elektra Records 603 60-1 in the USA and Elektra 960 360-1 in the UK

Tracks 11 to 14 are BONUSES – "Get Off (You Fascinate Me)" Dance Mix and Instrumental with "Feels So Bad (Won’t Let Go)” Instrumental and Dub Versions

The outer card wrap gives the whole reissue a quality feel – as does the chunky 28-page booklet which pictures the albums, original Elektra labels, publicity photos, lyrics, track by track recording info and exceptionally detailed liner notes by Soul Expert and long-time Edsel Associate TONY ROUNCE.

The original production values of Charles Mimms, Jr. (pictured with Patrice in the last few pages of the booklet) on both LPs was top notch anyway – uber high class and funky as a rollerskater’s insoles.  So it’s not surprising to find that the remastered sound by PHIL KINRADE at Alchemy is gorgeous throughout – full of presence and toe-tapping detail.

The sessions heavily featured THE MADAGASCAR HORNS with Raymond Lee Brown on Trumpet with Gerald "Wonderfunk" Albright on Saxophone along with a procession top session players and guest vocalists like ROY GALLOWAY. But as with the three preceding albums - what’s more impressive is that this lady plays a huge array of instruments herself whilst writing, singing and co-producing. 

It opens with the fabulous "Forget Me Nots" (a tune that never seems to date – lyrics above) followed rapidly by another chart hit “I Was Tired Of Being Alone”, Roy Galloway guest vocals on “All We Need”. And the remaster absolutely shines on the lovely acoustic finisher “(She Will) Take You Down To Love”.  But my poison has always the albums one Instrumental track “Number One” which runs to just below 5 minutes. Now at last I have a CD version of the rare 12” Mix that adds another 2 minutes of Funky Nirvana. There’s an electric piano solo towards the end that is absolutely stunning - and I defy you to resist its groove!

1984’s “Now” continued in the same vein as “Straight” opening with the polished funk of “Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)” followed by the Kool & The Gang hit sound of “Come With The Night”. The ballad “Heartache Heartbreak” is a tad forced – better is the slap-bass funk of “Get Off (You Fascinate Me)” - so Prince in its moves. And I always liked the mid-tempo “High In Me” with a so warm bass backing. And again one of the discs highlights is a bonus track – the brill instrumental of “Get Off (You Fascinate Me)” – as sexy as Jean Reno speaking the phonebook in French.

After the high of “Straight From The Heart” I remember “Now” feeling like a bit of a let down at the time. But on rehearing it now – it’s better than that and it’s easy to see why these two LPs (along with the three that went before) are held in such affection by Soul and Funk lovers everywhere. Great stuff and what a trip down memory lane – and when I think of the clobber I wore to nightclubs back in the day - I can only hope no one got any photos!

You have to say that Edsel have done Patrice Rushen’s uplifting musical legacy proud. Way to go boys…

See also a separate review for "Patrice / Pizzazz / Posh" on 2CDs with 4 Bonuses 

Also make a further beeline to her stunningly funky "Shout It Out" album on Prestige from 1977 – it was reissued on CD by Soul Brothers of the UK in 2009 and sounds utterly amazing (features "The Hump" and "Let Your Heart Be Free").

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