Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Number 502 - Rose Royce


Number 502

Rose Royce

"Love Don't Live Here Anymore"

(1978)
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Genre:R&B
Update: Foo Fighters performed in Auckland, New Zealand at their sold out show last night. And by all reports "One of the best shows ever to be seen & heard in New Zealand" (!) click here for the review .... & yes, I didn't get to go again. Who has rock concerts on Tuesday nights anyway? Now you're probably looking at this artist Rose Royce at Number 502 and either thinking ..... wtf? or "Why is it not Car Wash?" or "This doesn't look like the Rolling Stones website, for the love of God, gmtfo of here". First of all, the "Car Wash" song sucks chunks. How it ever became a Number 1 hit (yes, it was off a film, thank you) I will never know. But, the track "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" is pure R&B classic & how that song ended up only at number 32 in the charts, well, go figure. Whatever we all think, this has to be Rose Royce's definitive song. Take a look who it's been covered by .... (Morrissey-Mullen, Madonna, I'm Talking, Joe Cocker, Jimmy Nail, Patti LaBelle, Faith Evans, Dallas Green and Jully Black)
Oh, and P.S, down the bottom of each page now, there is a rating you now can give for the post and not just the song ...... please go easy on me! Ah frag it ... go loose.
Whoa! rainbow suits
Rose Royce -- the Los Angeles-based group comprised of Henry Garner (drums), Terral "Terry" Santiel (congas), Lequeint "Duke" Jobe (bass), Michael Moore (saxophone), Rose Norwalt (lead vocals), Kenny Copeland (trumpet, lead vocals), Kenji Brown (guitar, lead vocals), Freddie Dunn (trumpet), and Michael Nash (keyboards) -- was actually formed by Copeland and Garner. Both were preparing for graduation from high school, and contemplating their careers. Joined by Dunn and Moore, the two decided to go the route of the music business under the name Total Concept Unlimited (and later as Magic Wand). They auditioned for Edwin Starr, and he hired them as his backup band.
ezzy voice herself
The group's association with Starr enabled them to interact with numerous music industry personalities. One in particular was Motown producer Norman Whitfield. Whitfield gradually became associated with the group by hiring them for recording sessions; the group also worked with Yvonne Fair, the Undisputed Truth, and the Temptations through Whitfield's influence. After a couple of years of seasoning, the group began production on their debut album under Whitfield's supervision. Also during this time, MCA Records was seeking an artist for the soundtrack to the movie Car Wash. Whitfield convinced executives that the band was more than competent for the job. So the material that Whitfield had assembled for the group's debut album became the soundtrack's material.
when covers were suave
The movie Car Wash and the soundtrack were big hits, and they also propelled the group, now known as Rose Royce, into national notoriety. Released in late 1976, the soundtrack featured three Billboard R&B Top Ten singles: "Car Wash," "I Wanna Get Next to You," and "I'm Going Down." The former was also a number one single on the Billboard pop charts. To offset any negative rhetoric regarding their legitimacy, the group released its follow-up album, Rose Royce II: In Full Bloom, and bloom it did. The group returned to the Top Ten with "Do Your Dance" and "Ooh Boy," silencing all critics. In 1978, they released their third album, entitled Rose Royce III: Strikes Again!, and it featued "I'm in Love (And I Love the Feeling)" and "Love Don't Live Here Anymore." Both singles cracked the Billboard R&B Top Five. The group followed with a string of hits that roamed the charts, but never gained the chart status that their previous songs did. They became very popular in England and remain a marquee attraction there. ~ [Craig Lytle, All Music Guide]
For Foo Fighters in the Definitive 1000 Songs see Number 535
For more Foo Fighters visit Mellow Mix Vol 1 #012
For Madonna in the Definitive 1000 Songs see Number 571
For more Madonna visit Mellow Mix Vol 1 #077
For Joe Cocker in the Definitive 1000 Songs see Number 633
For Edwin Starr in the Definitive 1000 Songs see Number 771
Go on, so what do you think RS?
In the past decade, Norman Whitfield, the great Motown writer/producer ("I Heard It through the Grapevine" and many of the later Temptations' hits) has changed his style little. Rose Royce, the nine-member band that recorded the soundtrack to Car Wash under his direction, sounds like the Temptations with a cotton-candy female lead singer (Gwen Dickey), a technically less facile but more compelling second lead (Kenny Copeland), three horns, two guitars, keyboard and rhythm. The Temptations' "Just My Imagination" is the prototype of Whitfield's ballad style. In Car Wash, its plaintiveness was echoed with uncanny purity in "I Wanna Get Next to You." None of the ballads on the new album can touch it.
click to enlarge
The Temptations' "Ball of Confusion," with its spacey instrumentation, disjointed vocals and Sly-influenced guitar twang, is the prototype for Rose Royce's uptempo music. But in Rose Royce's songs, "relevance" has been reduced to spiritual generalities. The strongest new influence on Whitfield is K.C. and the Sunshine Band's minimal disco; "Do Your Dance," a group chant heavily laced with horns, virtually reprises the tune of "Get Down Tonight." The concept Whitfield and Rose Royce convey on In Full Bloom is the same one the Car Wash soundtrack exploited so disarmingly: that the inner city is a zany, but basically tranquil, extended family stabilized by humor and, above all, by a shared sense of funk. It's a fantasy that's as congenial as it is unbelievable. ~ [RS 249 STEPHEN HOLDEN]
For the Temptations in the Definitive 1000 Songs see Number 601 & Number 819

Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (you cant be serious) and the Album ranked at Number (can you?) (deadly)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 75.1 out of 108

Click play to hear rest of the album
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