Alicia Myers – 1981 – Alicia
The former lead singer with the R&B/dance music group One Way, Detroit-born Alicia Myers had a total of four albums released on MCA Records between 1981-84, experiencing varying degrees success with each. Produced by songwriter and One Way bass player Kevin McCord and multi-instrumentalist Al Perkins, the 1981 LP ALICIA ,contained two tracks that have long been favourites among soul music collectors on both sides of the Atlantic: the gospel-influenced ‘I Want To Thank You’ (a US Top 40 R&B hit) and the rare groove gem, ‘If You Play Your Cards Right’.
Massive work from Alicia Myers – a set that’s right up there with her One Way recordings, but with some deeper, more personal touches as well! Production brings in a nice mix of the funkier numbers that group was known for, and some warmer, mellower cuts that really show Myers maturing as a soul singer – a depth that might not have been expected a few years before, and which should have made her a bigger act for years to come after this wonderful set! The setting really lets Alicia open up on vocals, singing with a power and presence that’s really great.
A1 Don’t Stop What You’re Doin’ 3:22
A2 If You Play Your Cards Right 5:58
A3 Spirit Of The Boogie 4:52
A4 We Can’t Stay In Bed Forever 3:15
B1 Reservation For One 4:54
B2 I Want To Thank You 3:47
B3 Reggae Funky Dance 4:48
B4 Life, Joy And Happiness 4:07
When Al Hudson & the Partners (later One Way) recorded their Happy Feet LP in 1979, the singer who stood out the most was Alicia Myers. Arguably, she was the best lead vocalist Hudson ever had, which is ironic because One Way enjoyed some of its biggest hits after her departure. In 1979, it seemed inevitable that the passionate, big-voiced Myers would pursue a solo career and sure enough, MCA released her first solo album, Alicia, in 1981.
With the help of Kevin McCord (who produced this LP with Al Perkins and wrote most of the material), Myers was able to make her first post-Hudson effort a classic. McCord gave the Detroit singer some infectious funk-dance numbers to work with, including “Reggae Funky Dance” (which isn’t reggae at all), “Don’t Stop What You’re Doin‘” and the sweaty “Spirit of the Boogie” (not to be confused with Kool & the Gang’s 1975 hit). But most of the songs that McCordprovides are ballads and slow jams, which is just as well because Myers really soars on romantic gems like “If You Play Your Cards Right“,”Life, Joy and Happiness” and the hit “I Want to Thank You“. The latter wasn’t Myers’ biggest solo hit – that honor goes to 1984’s “You Get the Best From Me (Say, Say, Say)“, which reached the Top Ten on Billboard’s R&B singles chart. But “I Want to Thank You” did enjoy extensive airplay on quiet storm formats. Between Myers’ expressive, gospel-influenced belting and McCord’s first-rate songwriting, Alicia is a consistently impressive solo debut.