Saturday, October 14, 2006

Number 771 - Edwin Starr

Number 771

Edwin Starr

"25 Miles"

I heard this song when i was a teenager in the 80's and even back then wondered why i had never heard of him before. "25 Miles" is an ageless song, doesn't matter if its 1968, 1998 or 2008 it still sounds fresh energetic and vibrant.Oh and by the way i know all of his music now, lets say i caught up over the years :)
January 21, 1942 – April 2, 2003
"Rightly revered for the storming protest classic "War," Edwin Starr didn't really need another hit to achieve legendary status in soul circles, so electrifying was that single performance. Starr first made his name as "Agent Double-O-Soul," and when his contract was transferred to Motown, he instantly became one of the roughest, toughest vocalists on the crossover-friendly label, with his debt to James Brown and the Stax soul shouters. Even if nothing else ever matched the phenomenon of "War," Starr had several Top Ten hits on the R&B charts over the late '60s and early '70s, and also enjoyed a brief renaissance during the disco era. "
"Motown head Berry Gordy subsequently bought out Ric Tic and took over its artist roster, with Starr the crown jewel. Contract negotiations took some time, but Starr rebounded with his biggest hit yet in 1969's "25 Miles," which reached the Top Ten on both the pop and R&B charts. The follow-up, "I'm Still a Struggling Man," wasn't as successful, and Starr was something of a forgotten man for several months. When he returned to the studio, it was with producer Norman Whitfield, who'd been reinventing the Temptations as a psychedelic soul act. Whitfield had co-written a strident anti-war protest song, "War," for the Temps' Psychedelic Shack LP, and in spite of growing demand for a single release, Motown didn't want the group to take such an aggressive stance. Whitfield recut "War" with Starr, and the resulting version was arguably the most incendiary song Motown ever released. It zoomed to the top of the pop charts in 1970, and its chorus -- powered by Starr's guttural delivery -- remains a catch phrase even today. "
Starr moved to the U.K. during the '80s, recording a Marvin Gaye tribute album for Streetwave and a handful of singles for Hippodrome over 1985-1986. His participation in the Ferry Aid charity project led to a deal with Virgin and a session with the hot production team of Stock, Aitken & Waterman, but he didn't take to their high-tech dance-pop style and instead moved to Ian Levine's Motown revival label Motorcity from 1989-1991. Later he guested on dance remakes of his past hits by Utah Saints ("Funky Music") and Three Amigos ("25 Miles"), but otherwise recorded little until his death in 2003. ~ [Steve Huey]
For James Brown see Number 741
For Marvin Gaye see Number 611
What Rolling Stone Magazine think about Edwin Starr?
In the mid-'60s, gruff-voiced Edwin Starr scored a few hits for Detroit's tiny Ric-Tic label, and then moved on to the mother ship, Motown. There, he's chiefly remembered as an early proponent of message music--"War" (1970) became a #1 pop hit and was later covered by Bruce Springsteen; its followup, "Stop the War Now," reached #26 on the pop charts. His albums are sturdy soul music, not the work of a true trailblazer, but certainly the commendable product of an ace craftsman. Hell up in Harlem is the tough soundtrack to one of the representative blaxploitation films of the era; Legends gives up the most solid stuff; The Millennium Collection is an okay Starr primer.
For Bruce Springsteen see Number 817
Sheesh! "scored a few hits" "Not the work of a true trailblazer" Thank God Rolling Stone didn't write the obituary for Edwin Starr eh?

Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Your dreaming!) and the Album ranked at Number (We make the big decisions here Mr Crowbarred....not you)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 65.3 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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