SHORT: STANDING ROOM ONLY’s “Heart and soul” is a masterpiece of 80s soul funk with a pop edge that will excite fans of Chaka Khan, Sade, Luther Vandross, THE TEMPTATIONS or Marvin Gaye with well crafted memorable songs that show a great production and lush arrangements that reveal many quirky only with further spins on the turntable. A holy grail for collectors finally made available again.
DETAILS: 1982, funky dance music, disco, pop and soul, sounds like something familiar. But try to score a copy of this beauty and you will splutter getting aware oft he price which lies at 750 USD or even more for a copy in perfect condition. So feel grateful for Everland Music and their brandnew reissue if you are a fan of black 80s soul pop with a funky edge. This is music that was very present in the early 80s and could be heard nearly everywhere in movies such as “Beverly Hills Cop” or similar flicks, which gave us an overplayed insight into the lifestyle of those days, especially in the black community. I can see good ol’ Axel Foley chasing gangsters before my inner eye listening to this record. The production is typical for the release year. In some of the tunes you find synthies allover the place, but still the recordings feel handmade by highly skilled musicians. Flashing horn arrangements dance around your mind, the bass guitar pumps a jittery groove and the beats of the drum pulsate with a very clean sound. You have to dig deeper into the arrangements for more little details and will be surprised how many layers of rhythms and synthesizer lines with little solos added here and there can be traced within the complex, yet not complicated structure of such a song. These were the 80s and despite being up to date with sound and production values, this record offers so much depth. The vocal harmonies and all the melodies on this album point back to the huge mid to late 70s soul pop landmarks. And within all the very modern black pop songs on this album you can still find some of these lush anthems of silky soul that just blow your mind. This is certainly more than just a dance album which lasts with you for the time it rotates on your turntable. This record tells a story, probably not with the actual lyrics but with the music itself. And each song is different and has only one thing in common with the forthcoming song, namely the good vibrations, the expression of utter joy and love for the sunny side of life. The atmosphere here is great and puts the listener in a happy mood. My favorite tune here is the modern pop funk of “Take a chance” with loads of synthesizer lines duelling with the brass section, cool verse and chorus melodies and a steady groove. Now you may jump up from where you sit and swirl around in your place like a tornado, or you do it the other way round and stay there, listen to the music, listen more and more deeply and discover all the details and little quirky ornaments hidden in the thicket of the arrangements. Either way this album will soon become a regular guest on your stereo and those very memorable tunes even play in your head when you’re somewhere out there so that you cannot stop humming and whistling these harmonies. So get hooked on this record and discover one of the holy grails for collectors of 80s funk and soul music, you will realize right away why lovers of this style have laid down half of their salary of a month for a copy of this gem. Finally a new generation of fans gets the chance to listen to and fall in love with STANDING ROOM ONLY’s “Heart and soul”.
TRACKLIST: 1. Star From The Sky / 2. Heart And Soul / 3. Take A Chance / 4. Universal Funk Affair / 5. Desire / 6. Take Some Time / 7. Crazy Feelin’ / 8. Searchin’