Street Songs [Deluxe Edition]

by: Rick James

Street Songs is one of the definitive R&B/funk albums from the '80s. Although much of the subject matter delves into the seamier and otherwise decadent undercurrent of pop society, Rick James, with his aggressive and no-nonsense style, is the real star of the album. Street Songs garnered the attention that James previous effort, Garden of Love should have received. The album as well as the singles "Give It to Me Baby" and "Super Freak" all hovered in the upper echelons of the R&B and pop charts. The funk that James lays down is drenched in the same high-gloss L.A. synth-pop that dominated the airwaves during this era. That isn't to say he wasn't funky. James exudes the same pure raw sexuality throughout both the up-tempo "Give It to Me" and "Super Freak," as well as the sultry "Make Love to Me" and "Fire and Desire." The deluxe edition includes a remastered version of the original LP, as well as four 12" mixes, and an entire second disc featuring a previously unissued live performance at the Long Beach Arena less than two months after the release of Street Songs. Augmenting Street Songs on disc one are 12" remixes -- both vocal as well as instrumental -- of "Give It to Me Baby" and "Super Freak." A composite of two live sets -- from July 30 and 31, 1981, is contained on the second disc. Although this show was in support of the Street Songs album, there are actually as many tracks from his 1979 release Fire It Up as from his current one. Among the highlights are the contributions from Levi Ruffin, Jr. and Teena Marie on "I'm a Sucka for Love," as well as a solo from Marie on the extended "Square Biz."] ~ Lindsay Planer

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