Sunday, November 27, 2016

RAY PARKER, JR. AND RAYDIO-A Woman Needs Love (1981)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: November 27, 2016

I've come full circle now in my music-listening over the past several days with my 'R' re-connections while I've started a brand new circle that sees me revolving back in time to my favorite decade. It all started with the man who recorded the original "Ghostbusters" theme song.....and it's the same man who entertained my ears again on this final Sunday night of November. Except this time, Ray is performing with the short-lived soul group RAYDIO on their final studio album, "A Woman Needs Love". I am so proud to say that this album's title track, which deservedly leads off this particular old-school joyride, is my #2 favorite song recorded by this man which, ironically, I had never even heard on the actual radio! It would be well into the New Millennium when this romantically sexy groove first dazzled my ears, taking particular interest in the jazzy smooth groove and the occasional fluttery melody of the woodwind overtures adding some sweet zing to the music. Ray tenderly voicing 'a woman needs love' followed by the backup crew answering with an equally tender 'just like you do'—that portion of the charming chorus is really the only thing that I need! Songs like that, I had determined a while ago, are when Ray is at his best; such similar slower-tempo grooves as "That Old Song" (a warming feel-good tune where he's reminiscing and reminding the listener that there's often a certain song that floods our minds and hearts with fond memories of that first ever love), "Old Pro" (where he confesses his expertise at romance) and the slowed-all-the-way-down number, "So Into You", support that notion. Yet it's a remarkable delight to hear the silky-voiced Ray whenever the old-school funky disco party erupts first on "It's Your Night" (his shout-outs to the various peoples and locales around the globe add some flair to the disco fun!), then again on "All In The Way You Get Down", "You Can't Fight What You Feel" (I noted a funky yet very subtle ' SUGARHILL GANG/"Rapper's Delight" ' thing going on in the rhythm) and "Still In The Groove" (yeah, I'd say he's groovin' alright on this 6+ minute instrumental explosion!). Hey, how about an instrumental for the beautiful title track, too? Well, no such luck on this particular release, but I've already got all that I need with just the original four-minute version:

1. A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)
2. It's Your Night
3. That Old Song
4. All In The Way You Get Down
5. You Can't Fight What You Feel
6. Old Pro
7. Still In The Groove
8. So Into You
9. All In The Way You Get Down [Remix]
10. It's Your Night [7" Version]
11. A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do) [7" Version]

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