Do you ever hear an album for the first time, fall in love with it, and wonder how the thing managed to skip by you all those years ago?
It's happened to me, with Odyssey's HOLLYWOOD PARTY TONIGHT. This was the group's second album and their least successful.
Big Break Records has released five Odyssey albums on CD recently, each coming with a chapter in the story of the group. I was surprised to learn that Odyssey were far more popular here in the UK than back home in the US. In America, they touched the pop charts just twice, with their only Top 50 hit being NATIVE NEW YORKER, which peaked at number 21. In the UK, they scored eight pop Top 50 hits, five of which reached the Top 10. And, of course, a Number 1 with USE IT UP AND WEAR IT OUT.
HOLLYWOOD PARTY TONIGHT was produced by the top team of Sandy Linzer and Charles Calello and these guys composed all the songs, with assistance from Denny Randell, so we are talking high quality stuff here. Vocal support came from a trio of top session singers, including Chic's Alfa Anderson and Luther Vandross.
As the notes (written by Steven E Flemming Jr.) explain, Sandy Linzer had scored heavily with Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band and he developed that interesting blend of camp, swing and soul for HOLLYWOOD PARTY TONIGHT. The whole thing is varied and fun and probably too outrageously different to have caught on. It also includes a fun track with a very long title; YOU WOULDN'T KNOW A REAL LIVE TRUE LOVE IF IT WALKED RIGHT UP, KISSED YOU ON THE CHEEK AND SAID, HELLO BABY!
The thing is brilliant, with every track a unique, rhythmic, winner and I urge everybody to, either hear it for the first time, or dig the album out of the racks and give it a new spin.
I am in heaven.