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Joystick / Jukebox (2LPs On 1 CD)
Out of Stock
Nº of Discs:
|1. To The Roof|
|4. Until You|
|5. Rock With Me|
|6. Out Of School|
|7. Now That I Have You|
|8. Laughing At You|
|9. T. Mata|
|10. Let It All Blow|
|11. Keep You Coming Back|
|12. She's The One|
|14. Dream Girl|
|15. Undercover Lover|
|16. I've Been Waiting|
|17. Main Attraction|
|18. So Much Love|
Joystick 1983 & Jukebox 1984 - 2 Classic Dazz Band albums on 1 CD.
Usual 2 on 1 price for this product is $15.98 / £9.99
So began a five period that saw the group enjoy a string of six consecutive Top 100 albums, and a virtual residency in the American R&B and Dance charts with a string of releases cut from the same cloth as “Let It Whip”. Beginning in 1983 with the release of Joystick, a tight ‘n funky collection of electro-etched dancers and beat ballads that had all the hallmarks of the evolving sound of the Dazz Band. In the former category the syncopated techno-funk “Swoop (I’m Yours)” was elevated to single status; the funky Rick James-sounding scratchy tech-smart production juxtapose to the group’s characteristic harmonies from the past. Similarly “Joystick” was a staccato stark Midnight Star electrophonic phunk inspired marriage of “Operator”-meets-“No Parking On The Dancefloor” with nudge nudge wink wink lyrics that also enjoyed considerable success in the clubs. Of the ballads “Until You” and “Now That I Have You” became mainstays on the burgeoning quiet storm radio format on after-dark FM radio in the US. Continuing their association with Reggie Andrews (who had previously enjoyed success as a producer and writer with Patrice Rushen, Rick James and DeBarge) the album was released just in time for the Christmas stocking filler market and peaked at a respectable 12 and 73 on respective Billboard R&B and pop listings.
But their greatest success outside of “Let It Whip” was waiting just around the corner. “Let It All Blow” a mostly instrumental groove single would remain their only UK pop hit peaking at #12 in September 1984. With its irresistibly hooky lazily delivered “heave-ho, heave-ho, let it all blow, down down down down” catchphrase - which people there had coined as slang for ending a relationship – over a Herbie Hancock “Rockit”-inspired piano and see-sawing beats, it stormed up the charts. “It was freaky,” Harris said about the song’s success across the ocean, “because the ‘heave-ho’ is something they use that was a colloquialism they had, and we didn’t realize it!”
“Keith Harrison (formerly of Heatwave and Faze-O who had been drafted in early 1983 as lead vocalist and pianist with the group) has to take credit for that one,” Harris told Blues & Soul magazine upon its release. “He’s a real jovial guy and has the ability to come up with those kinda grooves. I don’t know what particularly inspired him to write that one, but it was probably en route between dates. You see we have our own tour bus with its own 4-track studio on board, and sometimes the drives can take up to eight hours. Being on the bus rehearsing and looking at the countryside can be very inspirational!”
Jukebox, from which “Let It All Blow” was elevated to single status, was also the first album the group recorded in Los Angeles, and the first to show a slightly edger rock-feel creeping into their work that would become all the more evident on subsequent long-players. “A lot of credit for the single and also the album has to go to Frank Byron Clark too,” Harris recounted to Blues & Soul. “He’s a very talented studio engineer who we specifically went out of our way to use on this album. We recorded in L.A. because Frank was there. He hasn’t an ego as an engineer, just an enthusiasm and genuine talent for engineering and bringing out what is unique and special about whomever he works with. In the past he’s worked with the Isley Brothers and Crusaders, to mention just a couple of acts.”
Peaking at 18 and 83 on respective Billboard R&B and pop charts in the summer months, it was again overseen by Reggie Andrews and Bobby Harris. The obvious follow-up single perhaps should have been the Prince-ly billiard balls beat dancer “Undercover Lover”, or the midtempo “Dreamgirl”, yet surprisingly both were overlooked in favor of the moody ballad “Heartbeat” – the syncopated drum patterns and clichéd lyrics failing to register at radio, and ultimately the cash registers.
This is an authorised reissue of an Original Motown Album. Mastered by Kevin Reeves.