Saturday, April 22, 2017

Narada Michael Walden – Summer Lady

Lost but not least! Narada Michael Walden – Summer Lady (Atlantic)

Far from being his most famous cut, singer / drummer Narada Michael Walden delivering the cheeky ‘Summer Lady’ back in 1982. Somehow standing as an unlikely soundtrack to the Miami Spring Break. An infectious horn led funk gem which might pretty well have deserved a mention in our 10 essential sexy jams. With backing singer Martha Rubinson spicin’ up the whole with French horny lyrics…

Overview
“All the roads lead to Rome…” is the first expression coming to mind when thinking of Narada Michael Walden‘s career. Nothing could predict – and probably not the man neither himself – his transformation… From his early musical leanings, geared towards Rock, to his repertoire, one of the richest in the history of Disco/Funk.

Playing in a Rock group (the New McGuire Sisters) in Miami, he discovered the music of Mahavishnu Orchestra before meeting their leader, John McLaughlin. A group which he would join a few months later, replacing famous drummer Billy Cobham who was a major influence to him. He recorded two albums with them, then joined Beck as a producer and musician on his ‘Wired’ album in 1975.

Walden delivered his first LP – ‘Garden Of Love Light’ the year after on Atlantic. He would nevertheless have to wait until 1978 to score his first significant success with ‘I Don’t Want Nobody Else (To Dance With You)’. A success amplified the year after with the release of ‘I Shoulda Loved Ya’ and ‘Tonight I’m Alright’ from his ‘The Dance Of Life’ album. Extra gems followed such as ‘I Want You’ (1980), ‘Summer Lady’ (1982) and ‘Reach Out’. The man resurfacing by the end of the 80’s as Narada with the memorable ‘Divine Emotions’…

Last but not least, his name is associated to a myriad of artists, as a writer or producer. From Stacy Lattisaw to Sister Sledge and Angela Bofill. But also George Benson, Aretha Franklin or Clarence Clemons to name but a few…

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