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Face to Face Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
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Face To Face
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks, 16 Jan 2012
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* Few artists transitioned from the Disco era as successfully as Evelyn "Champagne" King. Tagged as a "Disco Diva" having set dance floors ablaze with her Disco smash hit `Shame', Evelyn was then able to transition into being one of the most successful R&B acts of the 1980s.
* She achieved this via her hit1981 album I'm In Love with the single of the same name becoming a US R&B #1 and reaching #27 in the UK Charts. This success was quickly followed up with the 1982 album Get Loose which became a US R&B #1 album as well as being her first UK Top Forty album, The album also spawned the mega-hit Love Come Down.
* The 1983 album Face To Face saw Evelyn being teamed with producers Leon Sylvers (fresh from his chart-topping work with Shalamar) and Prince Collaborator Andre Cymone to develop her transition into the increasingly electronic sounds of the 80s
* The album also produced three R&B/Dance hit singles - "Action", "Shake Down" and "Teenager" - which all gained top 30 spots in the US R&B Chart and all appear in remix format on this BBR remaster.
Top customer reviews
Moreover, there was room enough on the CD for the inclusion of some more versions (the instrumental/dub versions of "Action" and "Teenager" could have been added).
Don't spend your money on this one. Buy the Funky Town Groove release instead.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
As is the case with every BBR re-master, this was a job exceptionally well done. It feels like a labor of love. Included here as bonus tracks are the 12" Dance Remixes of "Shake Down" and "Teenager". Both are a welcome addition to the album. Special mention must also be made of the excellent, informative liner notes by Shelly Nicole, which include great interviews and commentary with Evelyn Champagne King, Andre Cymone and Leon Sylvers. The sound is incredible as always with BBR re-masters. FACE TO FACE is a vital part of Evelyn Champagne King's RCA catalogue and it's a welcome addition to any music collector.
On the Leon Sylvers-produced first two singles "Action" and "Shake Down," she excels, remaining true to her R&B/Funk roots and landing two Top 20 R&B hits. However, on the Cymone-produced tracks, a newness of sound is apparent and a little jarring (at first). I reference the third single, "Teenager," specifically, which Cymone himself called "Nu Wave," a self-created term which he used to describe his OWN style of music/production, which really wasn't very successful other than with Jody Watley. Additionally, there's magic abound in the album's sole ballad, "Makin' Me So Proud."
At this point in her career, Evelyn was 22 or 23 years old, so singing about being a "teenager" seemed a little odd. However, on the song, "Let's Go Crazy," she sings with such a deliciously lazy delivery, synths swirling all around her a la Minnie-apple, that one wondered why or how she never worked with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis or Jesse Johnson for that matter, who so easily (at that time) could have done wonders AND an ENTIRE album with her which would have capitalized upon her previous two successes. Jimmy and Terry would often only work with acts that "needed career boosts" back then and during that time, Evelyn was riding relatively high.
The worst song by far here would have to be the title cut, which is noisy, busy Techno-ish "Nu Wave" at best and which is completely out of place as it appears to reject rather than embrace her alto vocals. It's funny, the "techno" I speak of would present some 20 years later via an R&B producer/remixer by the name of Hex Hector. It just goes to show how truly ahead of her time she really was!
If you're a new fan to her music, this is not the place to start. If you're a longtime fan, then you already know this and will agree that it's a very minor moment in her mostly hit-laden career. Try any one of her other seven RCA albums instead, especially her debut, "Smooth Talk" or I'm In Love" so you can hear her with a live studio band on the former and with more modern (at that time) production on the latter.
From the beginning,it's clear NO ONE would mistaken this for anything she did with Kashif. Especially being 1983 this album is very loud,brash and far harder edged funk than the club oriented dance music she'd tended to specialize in before. Two perfect examples of this are "Action" and the ultra exciting "Shake Down". These songs are a mix of complex electronic chord progressions,a mixture of live and digital percussion and a very tough vocal attitude from King. The title track and "Teenager" are probably as close to new-wave pop as she was going to get with catchy hooks and rhythms that rock more than groove. "Tell me Something Good","Don't It Feel Good" and "Makin' Me Proud" on the other hand are more high octane Minneapolis type funk whereas the closer "Let's Get Crazy" (was Prince influenced a little by this title maybe?) gets right down deep into the groove.
In addition to the one ballad "Givin You My Love",the only tune at all similar to her Kashif era sound there are four bonus tracks. The most notable is the 12" version of "Shake Down" with the songs mean electric guitar solo getting strong emphasis. This was very very different than any album she'd ever made before. It didn't possess any of the dance and/or disco elements that signified her "classic" sound as it were. It actually went for showing her versitility at handling a vast array or harder edged funk and new wave type songs. And also put her in the forefront of new developments on the scene such as the Minneapolis sound and early hip-hop as well. Her more personally assertive lyrical stance and often half sung/rapped lyrics here went along with that tougher street edge the album has about it. Personally I think it's a great album. One of her best and most daring. And has stood up quite well too.
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