Sylvia Striplin – 1981 – Give Me Your Love

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Sylvia’s debut gem comes to us via Roy Ayers‘ Uno Melodic label which he set up in the early eighties to showcase new talent that fitted his jazz-funk & boogie sensibilities. This LP showcases a real boogie/rare-groove masterclass from Sylvia Striplin. There are many classic tracks here with “Give Me Your Love” and “You Can’t Turn Me Away” being the best known.Sylvia’s voice is not unlike a young Minnie Ripperton at times although perhaps not quite as polished. As expected from a Roy Ayers funded label there is a high emphasis on tight playing from the band. Rare-groove gold that certainly deserves a wider audience.

A1   Look Towards The Sky (4:31)
A2   Toy Box (4:13)
A3   You Can’t Turn Me Away (5:28)
A4   All Alone (5:09)
B1   Give Me Your Love (6:17)
B2   Will We Ever Pass This Way Again (4:34)
B3   Searchin (6:26)
B4   You Said (4:53)

Review by MsMerising

Born one of 5 children, not much is known of Sylvia’s early life. We do know she was first heard singing background on Art Webb’s 1977 album ‘Mr. Flute’. Not long after she was recruited to sing for Aquarian Dream’s second album ‘Fantasy’ (1978). Though Aquarian Dream were associated with Norman Connor’s who was enjoying success in the R&B charts at the time, their highest charting position was with ‘Fantasy’ which peaked on the Jazz Charts (#49).  Sylvia continued to stay with the group through there early 80’s break-up.

Shortly after her debut performance she became associated with Roy Ayers and his Uno Melodic label. Sylvia was recruited to sing on Roy’s solo album ‘Love Fantasy’ (1980) as well as was a member of the short-lived group the Eighties Ladies, a quintet of female vocalists guided by Roy. Though there debut album Ladies Of The 80’swas the most widely distributed project from the Uno Melodic catalogue, it did not sell too well. Despite this several songs, notably Turned On To You& “I Knew That Love became moderate club hits.

During this time Sylvia cut one solo single with Uno Melodic (Give Me Your Love”/”You Can’t Turn Me Away). Roughly one year later her sole album for the label, Give Me Your Love was released. The single “Give Me Your Love” enjoyed renewed interest and went as high as #23 on the Club Play Charts. Fuelled by a boogie beat with Sylvia’s slinky vocals sailing smooth above a bubbling bass, it is a perfect pop dance moment climaxing with her smooth, girlish yowls peppering the extended outro.
The flip side “You Can’t Turn Me Away” has become infamous as the sample for Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s hit Get Money. The song’s clavinet propelled groove has deservedly become a certified classic in the Jazzy Soul & Rare Groove music scenes worldwide.

It is a testament to Sylvia’s musical talent of how prominent her skills are utilized for ‘Give Me Your Love’. Sylvia is the sole-writer of the album’s inspirational opener  Look To The Sky, as well as co-writer of “You Can’t Turn Me Away” and “You Said. Vocals, background vocals, hand-claps, arrangements – Sylvia is imbedded in every fiber of the recording and deserves as much credit as Roy Ayers and James Bedford for the album’s perfect pop-boogie flavor. Her unique take on Roy’s own time-honored Searching will garner admiration how one man’s classic can be construed to become another’s potential dance classic. Will We Ever Pass This Way Again is so beautifully forlorn in its sentiment, and Sylvia’s unique use of her vocal range could easily make the most knowledgeable music historian mistake it for a lost B-side from Prince’s 70’s catalogue. And I still consider it a crime that Sylvia’s management never initiated for her to sing Toy Box on Sesame Street, a song my 4-year old son begs to hear and goes bananas for!

In 1982, Sylvia released the single Keep On Pushing on Rissa Chrissa Records. Written and produced by Sylvia, it was another moment of boogie bliss. Sadly, this was her last strong release. In 1988 the Vista Sounds label released the single Could It Be You which lacked the distinctive writing and production flavor Sylvia Striplin is beloved for. Regardless, Sylvia has been described as a “stepping stone between the sound of disco and the more mainstream early 80’s R&B to come” (1) and her debut album and singles are still a prized commodity amongst collectors, fetching in the hundreds for an original pressing.

Did you know?

* Sylvia Striplin’s work has been sampled numerous times? Assorted Phlavors, Backstreet Boys, Naughty By Nature, the Madd Rapper and Armand Van Heldon have all sampled tracks from her debut album ‘Give Me Your Love’.

* A Tribe Called Quest utilized a sample from the Eighties Ladies “Turned On To You” for Phife-Dawg’s shining moment, “Butter”?


MsMerising is an addict for fierce, funkin’ females who can sang. A relentless digger & researcher of obscure women artists in rare-groove/funk music she is currently in the embryonic stages of writing a book on the subject, while simultaneously working on her Bachelor of Arts. Feel free to join her social network for music addicts at

I’d like to thank MsMerising for another excellent contribution. Please show some love and respect.

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Conversation for album: Sylvia Striplin – 1981 – Give Me Your Love

  • Simon
    Posted at 16:21h, 27 January 2009 Reply

    Got this one, GREAT stuff!
    Hey do you have the “80s Ladies” album from Uno Melodic?
    Was looking for it when compiling stuff for the Roy Ayers discography at Blaxploitation Jive …

  • Traj
    Posted at 17:23h, 27 January 2009 Reply

    This album is a treasure trove of hits: “Searchin,” “Give Me Your Love” and “Look Towards The Sky” are my favorites. Maybe someday I’ll actually find the original!!!!!!!!!! Great share.

  • Soul Bonanza
    Posted at 18:10h, 27 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks Nikos and MsMerising. A good read, and a good listening time can always be found here!

  • Chris
    Posted at 20:04h, 27 January 2009 Reply

    Great album. The research, effort and time that you all put into this site really shines through. Peace and many thanks.

  • manny
    Posted at 20:44h, 27 January 2009 Reply

    thanks for posting

  • Meredith
    Posted at 20:46h, 27 January 2009 Reply

    Brilliant! Great review too.

  • MsMerising
    Posted at 21:06h, 27 January 2009 Reply

    Simon, you can purchase the Eighties Ladies album at Rhapsody.



  • invisiblenigma
    Posted at 22:20h, 27 January 2009 Reply

    Much Appreciaate MsMerising! Great LP and Review!

  • jean paris
    Posted at 22:46h, 27 January 2009 Reply

    cant turn…irresistible…and thanks for the i know !=) jean paris

  • jahcisco
    Posted at 22:48h, 27 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks MsMerising. Much appreciated.

  • Astral Pro
    Posted at 23:53h, 27 January 2009 Reply

    Nice, thanks Nikos…i had a pretty shitty copy of this record before.

  • Donoso
    Posted at 00:27h, 28 January 2009 Reply

    Another fantastic rip Nikos, now I won’t have to rip my relatively bad copy.

    Keep it up man!

  • Oak
    Posted at 09:44h, 28 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks again for blessing us with this and many other gems.

  • nikos1109
    Posted at 11:50h, 28 January 2009 Reply
  • Trakbuv
    Posted at 12:04h, 28 January 2009 Reply

    Dear old Sylvia, somewhat a legend over here in the UK (as is about anything to do with Roy Ayers). There was always something very enigmatic about trading her sound with Roy Ayers avant garde approach. And her vocals and delivery are quite unique, always a mark of something special. Many thanks for a great review MsM, and in maintaining the high calibre of Nikos’s wonderful pages. Best of luck with your BA !!

  • ahawk
    Posted at 21:07h, 28 January 2009 Reply

    Many thanks 🙂

  • rich
    Posted at 22:05h, 28 January 2009 Reply

    MsMerising and nikos thank u very much for this wonderful treat.

  • Mel
    Posted at 02:14h, 29 January 2009 Reply

    Groooooooooovy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dr. Fever
    Posted at 02:45h, 29 January 2009 Reply

    Awesome!!! Thank You, Thank You!!!

  • MsMerising
    Posted at 06:15h, 29 January 2009 Reply

    I co-sign TRAKBUV. I appreciate the love and encouragement. And for the record, my first assessment garnered a “Distinction” 🙂

  • Amalia
    Posted at 10:10h, 29 January 2009 Reply

    Wow…looking forward to this…Thanks!

  • Adam
    Posted at 11:10h, 29 January 2009 Reply

    Brilliant stuff! Thank you so much.

  • fritzthecat
    Posted at 17:33h, 29 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks – keep up the good work.

  • Scuba
    Posted at 20:55h, 29 January 2009 Reply

    This maybe is the best soul, ever produced. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. from Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Jamal
    Posted at 21:56h, 29 January 2009 Reply

    Big up nikos thanks for this! dope lp right here!

  • konstantinos
    Posted at 22:00h, 29 January 2009 Reply

    Great music again Nikos!!! Thanks.

  • Goran
    Posted at 22:15h, 29 January 2009 Reply

    I don’t believe that I’ve finally found a copy of this album. You see i can’t spend more than 200 bucks for a vinyl copy. Even the cd usually goes for 80 – 100. So thank you very much for posting.

  • Joachim
    Posted at 01:09h, 30 January 2009 Reply

    Great great stuff. A pleasure to visit your blog, as always.

  • Kirk
    Posted at 10:33h, 30 January 2009 Reply

    Amazing! love it. Thanx

  • SoulStar
    Posted at 15:00h, 30 January 2009 Reply

    I’ve been curious about this album. Sounds great.

  • Greg aka a mind with no ceiling
    Posted at 03:09h, 01 February 2009 Reply

    Wow! had been looking for that one for some time! Thank you Nikos & Mesmerizing. Everything Roy Ayers related is always a delight… so I’m right there also for the 80s Ladies request if someone can come up with it..


  • serdar
    Posted at 13:32h, 01 February 2009 Reply

    damn, i was looking for that one thanks

  • nikos1109
    Posted at 13:55h, 01 February 2009 Reply

    Greg, 80s Ladies will be posted soon. MsMerising will do the review.

  • krochez
    Posted at 18:27h, 09 February 2009 Reply

    thank you, thank you, thank you for this gem of an album and for all the time and effort you put into this site. and more big thanks for the wisdom and knowledge you share. you are greatly appreciated!

  • Zoran
    Posted at 23:19h, 09 February 2009 Reply

    Great Album. Thanks

  • 92bpms
    Posted at 11:01h, 11 February 2009 Reply

    As always thanks so much… stellar material

  • DiskoTone
    Posted at 01:18h, 16 February 2009 Reply

    Great album, I love You Can’t Turn Me Away, Give Me Your Love, and Searchin! Thanks for the post.

  • pedro
    Posted at 16:29h, 25 February 2009 Reply

    sounds great can,t wait thanks

  • palooka
    Posted at 13:25h, 28 February 2009 Reply

    great album!

  • Simon666
    Posted at 19:00h, 08 May 2009 Reply

    Hi Nikos!
    I’ve linked to your page in my post of Mongo Santamaria – “A La Carte” (1978). Connection is string arranger William Allen, who produced the Mong album.
    All the best,

  • Joseph
    Posted at 07:35h, 07 August 2009 Reply

    Sylvia’s early years can be found by contacting Adam Falcon

  • Richard
    Posted at 03:00h, 06 April 2010 Reply

    Just listened to Erykah Badu’s new album where she covers “You Can’t Turn Me Away” Amazing song and I knew I could count of FMS to deliver, thanks so much to everyone who puts the time in to share, and to all who really love soul.

  • Teddy C.D.
    Posted at 06:11h, 01 July 2010 Reply

    Thank you so much for this! I have been looking for this all day, great stuff, and fantastic blog! Writing, music, all of it!

  • MsMerising
    Posted at 16:15h, 24 August 2010 Reply

    ATTENTION rare-groove/boogie/R&B/music lovers/ beatdiggers, Sylvia Striplin’s much-loved (and sampled) debut album is being reissued through ‘Soul Jazz Records’ (pre-orders currently being taken at official site).
    We all love our music, but most importantly we should be SUPPORTING artists by investing in their work. ‘Yall know this album is tight: support our Living Legends! They earned their dues, so let’s pay those dues 🙂 Mx

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