Blue Magic (1974)
Sideshow/Look Me Up/What's Come Over Me/Just Don't Want To Be Lonely/Stop To Start/Welcome To The Club/Spell/Answer To My Prayer/Tear It Down/Guess Who/Where Have You Been
How could I have lasted from 1974 to 2018 without knowing too much about Blue Magic, other than that they appeared in my Atlantic Soul box set with their original of Barry Biggs's reggae hit from 1976, Sideshow. Much as I liked Biggs's version, Blue Magic's soulful original puts old Bazza in the shade.
I came across this Stylistics-esque 70s smooth soul/quality vocal/lush backing band via hearing the monumental seven minute soul beauty of Just Don't Want To Be Lonely on BBC Newcastle's excellent "Saturday Night Soul Show".
Although Just Don't Want To Be Lonely is the standout track (just how the hell wasn't it a hit?), and Sideshow a close second, all the album is quality. Spell, the poppy but goes funky at the end Look Me Up, the sweet soul of What's Come Over Me and Tear It Down are other highlights. Also the upbeat pre-disco disco groove of Welcome To The Club. Stop To Start is incredibly like The Stylistics, it has to be said.
If you like Stylistics/Chi-Lites/Delfonics style 70s soul, then you cannot go wrong with this relatively unknown gem.