Switch (1978) Switch – Switch (1979) Switch II

Intro reviews by Dusty Groove  Main Reviews by Allmusic

Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos

A seminal bit of seventies soul from Switch, and a record that really helped set the tone for countless others to come in the 80s – no surprise, given that the group’s got members from both the DeBarge and Ingram families! There’s a warmth here that few others can match – an earnest, honest quality that never gets lost, even amidst the well-crafted instrumentation and tight production of the record – almost an updated legacy of the early 70s east coast scene, but never polished up too much at all! There’s some wonderful harmonies that work perfectly on both the upbeat and mellower numbers – warming things up beautifully.

Tracks
A1 I Wanna Be With You 3:51
A2 There’ll Never Be 5:22
A3 I Wanna Be Closer 4:14
A4 We Like to Party…Come On 3:46
B1 Fever 3:31
B2 You Pulled a Switch 4:01
B3 It’s So Real 4:10
B4 Somebody’s Watchin’ You 3:34

The successful debut album from the self-contained sextet introduced the R&B community to an exciting, soulful sound. This album consisted of quality uptempo and midtempo tunes. Their first release, “There’ll Never Be,” graced the Billboard R&B charts for 26 weeks, peaking at number six. The moderately paced single features creative background vocals, inviting horn arrangements, and the high-pitched falsetto of Bobby DeBarge, who also co-wrote the track with the Bewley Brothers. As mellow as the aforementioned single is, the follow-up “I Wanna Be Closer” is even more comforting. Written, arranged and produced by Jermaine Jackson, the single peaked at number 22 after 13 weeks. Featuring three-part harmonies and a soulful introduction, it also showcased the articulate lead vocals of Phillip Ingram (baritone) and Bobby DeBarge. This is a good collection.

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Biography 

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Quite possibly the best album ever from Ohio funky soul combo Switch – and certainly proof that the hope of Motown in the 80s was in ensemble group funk! This second album holds up really well, and thanks to some sweet production by Bobby DeBarge and Jermaine Jackson, the record’s got a warm soulful groove that hooks on the popular styles at the end of the 70s, but which keeps the group fresh and point to possibilies for the new decade. We really wish more singers and groups followed suit in the early part of the 80s!

Tracks
A1 You’re the One for Me 4:29
A2 Next to You 4:11
A3 Best Beat in Town 4:48
A4 Calling On All Girls 4:34
B1 Go On Doin’ What You Feel 5:39
B2 Fallin’5:47
B3 I Call Your Name 7:33

Switch’s sophomore album picks up where the group’s debut left off. Scintillating harmonies and torching leads by Philip Ingram and Bobby Debarge make “Calling on All Girls“, written by Jermaine Jackson, a standout. Equally as captivating is the roller coastering “I Call Your Name“, written by Bobby Debarge, a song that aptly depicts teenage infatuation. They handle uptempo material with aplomb, too. Check out the groove on “Best Beat in Town“, and the urgency and realness of “You’re the One for Me.” A bright yellow album cover depicts Switch dressed in fly outfits and enjoying the California sun. The guys from Akron, OH and Grand Rapids, MI had it going on, and probably thought the phat grooves and adulation would never stop.

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Comments

  1. Das4 says:

    Personally, I really like both. I had the 2nd on vinyl. Still love it more. Thanks for remind me again this great group of my youth.

  2. Alex says:

    So sweeeeeeeeeeettttttttt

  3. Makis says:

    ‘I call your name’ is my jam!! Love Switch.

  4. Tobby says:

    Yesssssssss Bobby De barge.

  5. Gary11 says:

    I miss music like this!

  6. Len says:

    That’s right. Switch…Motown…Detroit, Detroit!

  7. Carlos says:

    This was before my time but i still love it, now this is real r&b.

  8. DrWho says:

    the good old 70s

  9. Lisa says:

    Smooth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Ted says:

    Thumbs up on this one!

  11. Emilio says:

    So Good. Thank u.

  12. Paul Thomson says:

    I love both. Great post.

  13. Alanis says:

    Super Awesome^^

  14. Lauren says:

    Nice…just got into more Switch.

  15. James says:

    Amazing singers Bobby and Philip.

  16. Limbo says:

    just jamming….

  17. Dover says:

    Such a pleasant surprise! Keep on Soulin’ & Funkin’.

  18. Serena says:

    So smooth and chill.

  19. Arm24 says:

    Funk, Goove & Soul !

  20. Trakbuv says:

    Their first 2 LPs were easily their best for me, with Bobby Debarge wild and effervescent with that crazy falsetto, and Philip Ingram with the majestic warmth in his tenor. On their debut, “We like to Party” was a big hit in the clubs, but I found “You pulled a switch” to be the cream uptempo track by far – stunning – and as the B-Side of “There’ll Never Be”, I used to play that 12” to death both sides. And “I wanna be closer” was huge too, but THE track that was unique to Switch and their sound was “There’ll never be”. Bobby just blew a hole through the roof with that song with his soaring harmonies and melodic adlibs. Man, that was a trip when I first heard it.

    On their second, the magic was still there, with “Best Beat in Town” being the club nodder. The left-fielder “You’re the one for me” has a real real special place in my heart, and “Caling On All Girls” is just the perfect dreamy ballad. But again, that Switch trademark had to go to the incredible “I Call Your Name”. Unbelievably good – I just don’t know where Bobby gets his phrasings and melodies, but he strings notes together like an inspired songthrush. One of the great great soul sides of all time for me. Such a shame the band couldn’t continue to match the calibre of their first two long players. And while Bobby did bring out a very mediocre solo LP, I was always saddened by the fact that Philip Ingram – while guesting on numerous Jazz LPs and forming one half of the short-lived duo “Deco”- never made a solo LP. Storming stuff Nikos.

  21. Marcin says:

    Incredible, love it!

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