Floaters – 1977 – Float On
Their classic, with the great long version of “Float On“, which is a monster soul cut that stands tall with steppers and rappers alike. It’s probably the best track they ever did, and it’s all here in a version that’s nearly 12 minutes long – with loads of samples that you’ll recognize from numerous recent records. Also includes a number of other great, mellow 70s soul numbers, like “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me“, “Everything Happens For A Reason” and “No Stronger Love“.
“I Am So Glad I Took My Time” released on Fee Records, was their debut single, but the Detroit quartet struck gold with their second release (the Floaters were actually a quintet; Ralph Mitchell missed the “Float On” session and the album’s photo shoot for some unexplained reason, though he was present for the other tracks). “Float On” was 11 minutes and 46 seconds of pure magic; the tune echoed the group’s name, for it just floated on a bed of rhythm and harmony as the guys introduced themselves and gave their astrological signs. The other Floaters are Paul Mitchell, Jonathan Murray, Charles Clark, and Ralph Cunningham.
Disk jockeys loved “Float On” — they could pair it with Isaac Hayes’ “By the Time I Get to Phoenix“, make a munchie run, and be back before Ike sings “she’ll be rising.”
“Float On” aced Billboard’s R&B chart and Great Britain’s pop chart. Nothing else as magical appears on this LP. They followed with “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me“, which surprisingly charted despiteCharles Clark’s whiny, uninteresting falsetto lead.