Classics: Atlantic Starr – Let The Sun In (Extended Mix) (Warner Bros.)
No matter what, let the sun in is pretty much what you would do when comin’ to listen to the music of Atlantic Starr. And this despite their regular changes in terms of line ups. With this delicate and groovy smoothie of theirs makin’ no exception…
Originally a member of local band Covacus hailing from Norh Carolina, Barbara Weathers joined Atlantic Starr back in 1984. Thus taking the lead vocals after the departure of Sharon Bryant. She eventually sang on two of the groups biggest hits by the likes of ‘Always’ and Secret Lovers’. Then she left the band 3 years after to pursue a solo career, soon after the release of their ‘All In The name Of Love’ album. An effort which marked their debut on Warners after the end of their long time liaison with A&M Records.
Taken from the latter, ‘Let The Sun In’ is one of A.S.‘s strongest grooves. Conducted and arranged by Gene Page with Gerald Albright on alto sax. With production work by the likes of David & Wayne Lewis and remix work courtesy of Bruce Forrest…
No need havin’ a deep look at the history of Atlantic Starr to understand it has been a long and winding road. And this, most likely due to the unceasing changes in terms of line ups, beginning with their lead singers.
Atlantic Starr saw the light by the second half of the seventies in Greenburgh, NY. Comprising drummer Porter Carroll Jr., bassist Clifford Archer, percussionist and flutist Joseph Phillips. But also the Lewis brothers. In other words, David (vocals/guitar), Wayne (keyboards and vocals) and Jonathan (percussion and trombone). Not to mention trumpeter Duke Jones and guitarist Sheldon Tucker who both left the band before their first recording. The band’s membership stabilizing itself around Archer, Carroll, Phillips and the Lewis brothers. This in addition to lead singer Sharon Bryant (whom Barbara Weathers eventually replaced), trumpeter William Sudderth III, and saxophonist Damon Rentie (who was later replaced by Koran Daniels).
It’s interesting to know that Atlantic Starr first released 2 albums as Newban. This back in 1977 on Guinness Records, meanwhile displaying an obvious penchant for Jazz/Funk vibes. They eventually changed their name upon A&M Records executive Herp Albert’s request when signing on his label. Their liaison lasted during 7 years which saw them releasing 6 albums.
Peaking at #2 in the US R&B charts, the groovy ‘Circles’ stood as their biggest success for quite some time. But it would be nothing as compared to the one they managed to get from ballads. Beginning with ‘Always’ which got them to top the Pop charts, but also ‘Secret Lovers’ and ‘Masterpiece’ to a lesser extend. Meanwhile, one could definitely feel the sophistication of their compositions when flirting with R&B, Soul and Funk vibes. This with absolute gems such as ‘Silver Shadow’ and ‘Let The Sun In’ athough they would have deserved a greater recognition at the end.
Atlantic Starr are still in activity nowadays with their last album to date – ‘Metamorphosis’ – released back in 2017.
Sharon Bryant left the group back in 1984 to pursue a solo career. Eventually releasing a solo album – ‘Here I Am’ – back in 1989 on Polydor. She’s also remembered for a feature along with Juliet Roberts and James ‘D-Train’ Williams on David Morales Presents The Face‘s ‘Needin’ U II’…
After leaving Atlantic Starr, original drummer and founding band member Porter Carroll, Jr. released ‘Porter Carroll II’ in 1986. An album that featured contributions from luminaries such as Marcus Miller and David Sanborn. But also former Atlantic Starr bandmate Sharon Bryant.
He has continued to do session work since that time. Besides, one could hear him playing percussion in Daryl Hall‘s live band for some time. But also joinin’ forces with Cool Million on the laidback synth led ‘Oh!’ as remixed by Dimitri from Paris. A cut we welcomed as our Single Of The Week back in February 2016.