LaBelle - 1974 – Nightbirds
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On 1974’s ‘Nightbirds’ Patti, Nona and Sarah all make it clear that when it comes to stanky, sweaty New Orleans R&B and funk they will be the undisputed female champians!”Lady Marmalade” was of course Labelle’s big breakthrough single and likely what they’ll always be remembered for but the trio also deliver several other funky tunes in a similar vein such as the title track,”Don’t Bring me Down“,”All Girl Band” and “Somebody Somewhere” and these gals truely give the music their all. Patti Labelle and Nona Hendryx never have belted out stronger then they do here and Alen Toussaint’s organ and horn heavy arrangements give every song here,even the two ballads a big,punchy sound. But it’s not a disco thing-it’s all about that hefty rhythm and alot of funkiness.
A superb place to introduce yourself to Labelle if you already haven’t and just a damn great LP to have!
A1 Lady Marmalade 3:56
A2 Somebody Somewhere 3:25
A3 Are You Lonely? 3:12
A4 It Took a Long Time 4:03
A5 Don’t Bring Me Down 2:48
B1 What Can I Do for You? 4:02
B2 Nightbird 3:09
B3 Space Children 3:02
B4 All Girl Band 3:50
B5 You Turn Me On 4:37
Labelle’s NIGHTBIRDS is an enduring classic album, and captures the trio at it’s peak creatively, musically & commercially. Patti, Sarah & Nona gained worldwide success, a Top 10 album and the #1 smash hit LADY MARMALADE after a decade of dues paying hard work. This album illustrates all their influences, with a mix of R&B, rock, gospel, soul and the amazing production by Allen Toussaint. Labelle got the right sound & songs that has made this album timeless.
The songs are amazing, both the original material written by Nona Hendryx and the outside material. It all comes together on this brilliant visionary album . LADY MARMALADE is just the beginning of this fantastic album. Labelle rings out loud & clear on socially concious songs like the astounding WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU – a loud, brash & bold song that represents their hybrid sound at it’s best. SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE, ARE YOU LONELY, SPACE CHILDREN and YOU TURN ME ON are some of Nona’s best, most concise, tight songs. DON’T BRING ME DOWN is funky as hell, and would have made a great single. The use of horns & brass on the album sounds as triumphant as this album actually is.
It was on Rolling Stone’s list of Top 50 Albums by Female Artists, went gold & has been in print since it’s release. Labelle broke new ground & hit it big with NIGHTBIRDS, and it’s awesome music to hear. Like a wake-up call that the time was here for a new sound of exciting music , Labelle is much needed to hear today for their sheer power, talent & boldness in making great music.
This LP epitomizes ‘glitter disco’ in its finest form! But the REAL difference is that this ‘disco’ has deep lyrics, emotion, meaning, & a relentless dance beat! And there are glittering moments of balladry at its finest written by the incomparable Nona Hendryx such as ‘Nightbird‘, ‘You Turn Me On‘ (incredibly erotic), & ‘It Took a Long Time‘. But if you want to DANCE in a sparkling cosmic galaxy to some of the FINEST dance classics of ALL TIME – zap your player with ‘Somebody Somewhere‘, ‘Don’t Bring Me Down‘, ‘What Can I Do for You‘, ‘Space Children‘, & OF COURSE the classic-of-all-dance-classics ‘Lady Marmalade‘! NO WONDER that stars such as Prince, Ashford & Simpson, & Patti Labelle continue to collaborate with the intensely talented singer/songwriter Nona Hendryx to this day! She, along with Patti & Nona, began their ‘cosmic magic’ with this LP – which should be in EVERY music lovers’ collection! …