The Stairsteps – 1976 – 2nd Resurrection

Has anyone ever heard the classic song “Ooh Child”? Surely it is one of the singular R & B jams of the 70s. That jam is often revisited in movies with a 70s theme (“Boyz in Duh Hood”, Spike Lee’s “Crooklyn” and later still in “Dead Presidents”). “Ooh Child” was recorded by the Stairsteps (formally, “The Five Stairsteps”)– and for one golden moment in time, they were the biggest, most talented R & B siblings in the biz, before a little group of afro-topped kids called The Jackson Five stole their thunder. it was Curtis Mayfield who really gave them a push — as he discovered them, produced them, and wrote some excellent songs for them during their best early years.

Anyway, skip to five years later, and the newly named “Stairsteps” broke new ground with a masterful, synth-driven opus entitled “2nd Resurrection”. This album is the jam. It was far ahead of its time (in 1976) and each selection on this LP leads, without pause, into the next and the effect melts like psychedelic butter on vinyl.The song “Pasado” alone ( a mellow moody she-done-me-wrong very hummable ditty) should’ve been a major hit for these guys. The song is sung in English and features a part-Spanish chorus. Quite simply, it is a spectacular melding with all its moogs and modulated melancholy.

It was and is a very distinctive artistic collection, that like most great art, somehow missed connecting with the masses. Hopefully this album was included in the 100 greatest soul albums of all time compiled by Mojo Magazine.

Tracks
A1 From Us to You 3:39
A2 Pasado 3:09
A3 Theme of Angels 3:19
A4 Lifting 2nd Resurrection 3:45
A5 Time 3:48
B1 Throwin’ Stones Atcha 3:04
B2 Far East 1:06
B3 In the Beginning 2:53
B4 Tell Me Why 4:31
B5 Salaam 4:34

All songs produced by Billy Preston, Robert Margouleeff and Stairsteps

For me this is the gold standard of albums. I can remember hearing ‘From Us To You’ on the radio on it’s release debut could never get hold of the album as it was deleted almost immediately in the UK. It took me about 7 years to get a copy and I stumbled across it by accident at a record fair, which is usually the way. The album is an absolute tour de force you cannot get better than this and yes it’s the same Stairsteps group that sang ‘Ooh Child’ years before. This album came out on the late George Harrison’s Dark Horse record label. Stairsteps are the Burke brothers; Kenneth, James, Dennis and Clarence, they reformed in 1976 and produced this beautiful album that sounds as fresh today as it did in 1976. My personal feeelings are that the album was perhaps way ahead of it’s time and if it had been released today we’d all be raving about it. ‘From Us To You’ was a hit for them, however I love the laidback groove of ‘Pasado’, the vocals are a little slice of heaven. There are instrumentals on the album such as ‘Theme of Angels’, ‘Far East’ and ‘Salaam’. The other greats tracks are ‘Time’, ‘Lifting 2nd Resurrection’, ‘Throwin’ Stones Atcha’, ‘Tell Me Why’and ‘In The Beginning’. The greatest crime committed against this album is that It hasn’t been reissued on vinyl or CD, so if you can track down a vinyl copy, then snap it up.

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Comments

  1. DJ Abe says:

    Thank you…..

  2. GT says:

    I own 2 copies of the “2nd Reserrection” album. Just last week,I played ‘Pasado” on my show.
    I agree,this album was ahead of it’s time and I’m surprised that it hasn’t been released on either album or CD format. (maybe legal issues by it reing on George Harrison’s label)

    Hopefully it will see the light of day as a reissue.

    Thanks for posting this article,about on of my all time favorite groups from Chicago.

  3. Sameeh Muhammad says:

    It has always my contention that circumstances of the time prevented this alblum from getting the widespread airplay it should have gotten. The title and the fact that it was released on George Harrison’s label is an indication that it received chiily reception in the industry . Nevertheless, this is one of my all time favorite records. I consider it a masterpiece of R&B and a Classic alblum across the board. After 33 years it is still unique and powerful enough to take you to a place in your soul where you want to linger longer after the last track ends. Your posting is right on! Thanks.

  4. Yvonne says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this group! Its taken me over 25 YEARS to hear ”From Us to You”. Wish I had my own copy of this album. All of the responses are correct – fabulous and way ahead of its time. So glad to know there are so many ohers that hold the same appreciation of this music. From one ”Old Head” to another, stay strong & enjoy life! (smile)
    (great website-thank you!)

  5. erik says:

    this albumb was ahead of it’s time. Badf management held them back. they could have evoled to who knows what by now.

  6. I had this beautiful album as well as the cassette tape.
    I love all of the songs but, my favorites are Far East,
    2nd Resurrection,In The Beginning, and, the fact that it was dedicated to the late Imam Warith D. Muhammad. Shojld anyone know where/how I can obtain CD,
    album, cassette, or vinyl please contact me @
    arnoldkhalil22@yahoo.com Thank You!

  7. Anonymous says:

    THis was a talented group and do you know where I can download the 2nd resurrection album

  8. Nikos says:

    Click the download link (blue letters) at the end of the post. It takes you to Rapidshare and get it.

  9. keith says:

    I have a copy of this. I love love loved it in 1976. This and Minnie Ripperton’s Adventure In Paradise remind me of hot balmy summer nights in Notting Hill London

  10. Trakbuv says:

    I rate this with Stevie’s “Where I’m Coming From” and Marvin’s “What’s Going On” as an example of an artist moving from mainstream to pure unbridled genius. Dave Godin wet himeself for months after hearing this, and rightly so. An absolute classic on release to those of us fortunate to leap on it in ’76. My copy has not worn a day, unlike many albums that clearly belong to a capsule of time. This is an epitome of a timeless gem and in my top 20 for sure.

  11. Ron Hustleman says:

    You sir are the MAN!tHE STAIRSTEPS 2nd Ressurection must be considered a CLASSIC!This album was played by me so much it is stactic mess!But thanks to you…I CAN DO IT AGAIN!Any Choice 4? Because clearly you are a BOSS!Thanx again!

  12. albgardis says:

    until now I only knew “Ooh Child”, and since I really like that song, I am getting this album to listen to that too. The praising comments here give me even more encouragement that this must be an album really worth having.

    Now a rather personal question to Nikos:
    I thought you are greak?
    You know, your name and the gr after the dot on the url.

    But then I read this in the album’s description: “could never get hold of the album as it was deleted almost immediately in the UK”.

    So you lived in the UK back then? How old are you, Man?
    Or were your parents greak guest workers in England, like we had many greak guest workers in West Germany back then?

    Or are you really English and just chose a greak server?

    I am a bit confused now. I had considered you a kind of “mate” or “comrate” in being a non-native english speaker who likes foreign music. I hope this is not too invasive to you, I am just curious.

  13. trreeb says:

    I like him . i think obama is one of best president of america .
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  14. DLEE says:

    I’m from Chicago, and back in the day a DJ used to close his show by playing “Salaam”. I fell in love with this song and have been searching for it for years. This website is the first time I’ve seen the song named on an album. I would love to get it or even the chance to hear it!

  15. Paul Murphy says:

    When I first got into the label business I wanted to license this LP and reissue. Went to see Mrs George Harrison (who ran the show) and asked is it possible. “Sorry. No can do.” Legal issues.
    Shame.

  16. areli says:

    Been looking for Pasado for years, as it is not on CD or iTunes. Became one of my top 10 songs when I first heard it in ’78, serving as an anthem through many struggles, if not a prayer: “I’ll get on through this thing…”

  17. Asher Dust says:

    Thank You for this Sick Sick Blog

    Peace EveryTime

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