The Best Of Shalamar
For a few years straddling the seventies and the eighties, Shalamar were one of the most successful disco pop groups around - Howard Hewett, Jody Watley and Jeffery Daniel were the vocalists, the latter two went on to have some solo success too. Where Odyssey were two female and one male vocalists, Shalamar were two male and one female.
They produced a string of danceable, singalong hits that also had enough funk about them to remain credible - Take That To The Bank, A Night To Remember and I Can Make You Feel Good were the funkiest of their offerings, before they veered more towards pop with the attractively-strummed guitar-riff sounds of (particularly) There It Is, Friends, Dead Giveaway and Disappearing Act. I like all of these singles so much, the last batch being very much part of the carefree, partying sound of 1982-83. What a copper-bottomed disco classic A Night To Remember is, let's be honest. Superb.
Also a really good track is the pop funk of the Second Time Around. I love this one too, it is full of unbridled enthusiasm and just that simple feel-good factor.
A Night To Remember/Don’t Try To Change Me/Help Me/On Top Of The World/I Don’t Wanna To Be The Last To Know/Friends/Playing To Win/I Just Stopped By Because I Had To/There It Is/I Can Make You Feel Good
This is easily the best of Shalamar’s albums, containing four big hits and some fine other tracks too.
The album begins with the superb disco-pop of A Night To Remember, presented here in extended form. Don’t Try To Change Me continues in the same style - quality, catchy and highly accessible poppy funk.
Help Me slows down the pace, but nicely slow on an appealing, romantic groove. On Top Of The World returns to the joyful pop funk of most of the album. It features some nice bass-guitar interplay and is very much the sound of ordinary town discos and nightclubs in 1982 and was in many girls’ record collections. They all seemed to own this.
I Don’t Wanna Be The Last To Know has Jody Watley on lead vocals on a slower number. Friends and There Is Is are cut from the same disco guitar-riffing cloth and were perfect singles while I Can Make You Feel Good is one of the great disco records.
The other two tracks are the upbeat, grinding groove of Playing To Win, enhanced by some great funky guitar and the smoochy heartbreaker I Just Stopped By Because I Had To.
This was a good album - it didn’t get much better than this for Shalamar.