Friday, June 29, 2012

Rick James - Street Songs

Hot weather in Chicago - hot record album.   In college, this would get played after 1 am, at some of the best house parties.  Once - the floor caved in and some people ended up in the basement.  Street Songs had two monster hits on it: Give to me Baby and Super Freak.  But let's look at this album cover.  The front - he has an I'm Bad look on his face, leaning on street light, and a gorgeous Rickenbacker bass guitar.  But feintly in the background we see two women being led off in handcuffs.  But why?  The back cover tells us - all three (Rick, and the girls) just got busted.  But who got off?  Rick, of course.   So - from sources - this is Street Songs, a concept album, released in April 1981 via Gordy Records. "Give It to Me Baby", the lead song and single from the album, became James' second number one single on the R&B chart.  It spent five weeks at the top spot. The fifth song on the album, "Super Freak", was also one of James' biggest hits.  Although the song "Fire and Desire" (a duet he performed with singer Teena Marie) was not originally released as a single, the song itself received much airplay on R&B radio stations and has since become a classic hit. (James and Marie would reunite to perform the song at the 2004 BET Awards a few months before James' death.)  The song "Ghetto Life" was featured in the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and later sampled in both Busta Rhymes' song "In the Ghetto" & Snoop Dogg's song Ghetto. "Super Freak" and "Give It to Me Baby" are also featured on the soundtrack of the video game Scarface: The World Is Yours. The song "Give It To Me Baby" is featured on EA's "Skate."

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