Gwen McCrae – 1975 – Rockin’ Chair
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One of Gwen McCrae’s best-ever albums, with a mix of raw soul and smoother Miami production that captures Gwen’s talents perfectly. Gwen’s voice is perfect on the record, and it works extremely well with the deep soulful arrangements by Mike Lewis. Lots of great keyboards from Latimore, guitar from Little Beaver, and production by Steve Alaimo and Willie Clarke, for a classic TK sound. Features the classic cut “90% Of Me” — sampled to huge fame over the years. Other tracks include the big hit “Rockin’ Chair“, plus “It Keeps On Raining“.
1. Rockin’ Chair
2. Move Me Baby
3. He Keeps Something Groovy Going On
4. Let Them Talk
5. For Your Love
6. It’s Worth The Hurt
7. 90% Of Me Is You
8. It Keeps On Raining
9. He Don’t Ever Lose His Groove
Sweet beautiful soul from one of the all-time greats! Gwen’s Rockin Chair album sold more copies than anyone could ever imagine — and it not only includes the great title hit, but also the monster sample cut ‘90% of Me‘. Other nice ones are ‘He Don’t Ever Lose His Groove’, ‘He Keeps Something Groovy Going On’, ‘Move Me Baby’, and ‘It’s Worth The Hurt’. The record’s got a good mix of deep southern soul tracks and funkier modern soul numbers, and Gwen’s voice is right on the money on just about every cut.
This album marked the long-playing debut of Gwen McCrae, a sultry voiced singer who remains popular with soul music cultists today. Rockin’ Chair collects the material that she had been recording for the Cat label, a subsidiary of disco giant TK Records. Despite the fact that it was not technically conceived as an album, all the material on Rockin’ Chair hangs together nicely: everything here was produced by Miami soul stalwart Steve Alaimo, who strikes an effective balance between silky soul and gospel-tinged funk on all the tracks. The obvious standout is the title tune, a mid-paced invitation to romance that frames McCrae’s seductive vocal with stately horns and churning, infectious percussion. The end result is downright hypnotic and it deservedly became a massive hit on both the R&B and pop charts during 1975. None of the remaining tracks are as instantly infectious as the title hit, but they all make for fine listening: “Move Me Baby” is a gently-loping funk jam built on some silky keyboard riffs, and “Your Love Is Worse Than a Cold Love” is a convincing declaration of frustrated passion that gets a gutsy, gospel-tinged treatment from McCrae. Trivia fans will also want to take note that Harry Casey of KC and the Sunshine Band lent a hand on the production of “Move Me Baby.” However, the album’s unsung gem is “90% Of Me Is You“: this hypnotic tune is a grand showcase for McCrae’s emotive skills, allowing her to unfold a tale of emotional enslavement over a sleek backing track that balances yearning strings with a moody funk groove. All in all, Rockin’ Chair is an exciting collection that will appeal to any fans of 1970s soul.