A big deliverer of quality soul hits throughout the eighties was Randy Crawford, who came to attention initially as the lead voice on the Crusaders' jazz funk hit, Street Life, in 1979.
Possessed of an immaculate, soulful and crystal clear voice, her biggest hits were One Day I'll Fly Away, a sublime cover of Tony Joe White-Brook Benton's Rainy Night In Georgia and the delicious late night soul of Secret Combination and the brassy, surprisingly deep, bassy ballad-funk of You Might Need Somebody.
Also notable were Tender Falls The Rain, the original version of I've Never Been To Me (later released on the Motown label by one-hit wonder Charlene), Everything Must Change, Who's Crying Now and two really good covers - Bob Dylan's Knockin' On Heaven's Door and John Lennon's Imagine - both of which are given a real soul sheen by Crawford. These are songs that have been covered many times over the years by many different artists but these are two of the very best. Both the songs are turned by Crawford into sounding like proper soul classics.
Randy Crawford was one of the great soul voices of the eighties - heard all over the airwaves and in every wine bar.
Secret Combination (1981)
You Might Need Somebody/Rainy Night In Georgia/That's How Heartaches Are Made/Two Lives/You Bring The Sun Out/Rio De Janeiro Blue/Secret Combination/When I Lose My Way/Time For Love/Trade Winds
Randy's best selling album was Secret Combination, from 1981. Its highlights (apart from the three hit singles You Might Need Somebody, Rainy Night In Georgia and Secret Combination) are the rhythmic jazzy funk of the Chris Rea-esque Rio De Janeiro Blue, the lively When I Lose My Way and the slow, evocative Trade Winds, made famous by Rod Stewart on his 1976 A Night On The Town album. Time For Love is a nice one too. Nice album, nothing world-shattering, but full of pitch perfect, pleasant and slick soul. Eminently listenable.