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Rick James - past and recent

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Sort of suprised that has been no mention of his passing on

Clip of his early days before "you and I" may be of interest if not read before and added that below, and also there is a great 5 part recent interview with him up on allhiphop.com here

The family was brought up by his mother, a dancer in Harlem night clubs who had progressed to running a numbers racket for the Mafia. "She raised us strict Catholics," James recalled.

Having already obtained a criminal record, at 15 James ran away from home and joined the US Naval Reserve.

When placed on the active service list for Vietnam, however, he escaped to Canada. Calling himself Ricky James Matthews, he formed a group called the Mynah Birds in Toronto.

Through his uncle, Melvin Franklin, the bass singer with the Temptations, James obtained an introduction to Motown, which signed the band in the late 1960s. The group never recorded a note, however, since an argument with their manager in Detroit led him to inform the military authorities of James's presence in the city. James spent the next year in prison.

After his release, still wary of being drafted, he passed much of the early 1970s in London, with a group called Main Line. By the latter half of the decade, he felt able to knock again on Motown's door......

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Agree he seems to have been missed out, not the most soulful singer maybe but one of a kind, introduced me to the funkier side in the 80's and bought most of his stuff, really opened me to a lot of different stuff, have very happy memories based round his music, what more can you ask. He was a musical genuis, just dont think his mind was always on the music.

He does have a couple of things that would interest the more broad minded Northern fan I reckon, one which the title escapes me was a huge play at Rotherham, although you had to listen to the LP version to get the real essence of Rick James.

Thanks a bundle Rick. R.I.P

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I endorse the above. Sad news. At least when you heard a Rick James record you always knew who you were listening to. He could be really soulful when he wanted to: Ebony Eyes, Make Love To Me etc.

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I agree, sure the man wasn't the most politically correct person but then again who is..

Some really nice outings by Rick James, check these out:

Rick James "fool on the street"

Rick James "ebony eyes"

Rick James "moon child"

Also his productions with Mary Jane Girls and Val Young is pretty good imo.

Also he did a (for him) quite early recording with Stone City that i featured on the Swedish soul-talk group Svensk Soul but i can't remember the title! Fonzeus? Kalle M? Well, it's a good one..

best

Leo

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Coincidence Leo, went looking through 45's last night (so good to have them back!) to find the Rick James that had plays and it was Fool On The Street, was played at Rotherham, great little tune. I am sure the 45 is very different to the album version (Busting Out Of L7 ???) where he has an interesting monolugue about Mary Jane.

Gareth didnt mean he wasnt soulful, just he wasnt the rip roaring gutbucket type singer like Womack or Teddy P, he was certainly soulful to me.

Once sorted my albums think I will have a Rick James tribute evening. Big Time!

Cheers

Jock

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Oh i wasn't reallt reffering to any earlier posts, just a general opinion about Mr James that he wasn't a good singer or whatever, people tend to know only of "super freak" and why he went to jail e.tc.

Regarding FOTS , yes the 45 is different, it's shorter and starts off better thagn the lp also it ends with just a "stop" in the music and not goes on and on like the lp, great track imo.

Still can't remember that damn track with him and stone city, bugs the hell out of me :-(

best

Leo

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I Have got a lot of time for Rick, the live recording from long beach LA on the street songs de-lux edition is great the adlibs are lol funny and the audience love him and their reaction is electric.

Thanks im new

stay Fresh

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There's an unreleased album from a couple of years ago.Richard Searling has been playing a couple of tracks off it lately,the tracks I've heard are wonderful.It looks as if they might get a deal on the album now,and it might get a release,fingers crossed.

Leo:- I've the Stone City Band one somewhere,will try and dig it out.

R.I.P Rick James

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The track i like is "havin' you around" by Rick James and Stone city, really good 2stepper... all you mooduhn guys should check it out ;-)

best

Leo

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