Classics: Ben E. King – Music Trance (Atlantic)
Four years after the memorable ‘Supernatural Thing’, Ben E. King teaming up once again with producer Bert DeCoteaux. As a result, ‘Music Trance’ pretty much stands in the same vein as the latter, although in a funkier mood. It would become the title track of his album of the likes released the year after.
American band Charanga 76 gave it soon after a cover version equally worth the check…
Born in Henderson, NC, Ben E. King launched his singing career in his father’s restaurant. Established in Harlem, NYC in 1947, he formed a Doo-Wop group (the Four B’s) during his high school days. He then would join The Five Crowns, another group in the genre, in 1958. He and his mates were soon after to replace the original members of The Drifters at the invitation of their manager, George Treadwell. From then, King would sing the lead on many of their hits, beginning ith the memorable ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’.
He left the band for contractual reasons before the release of the latter, although remaining with Atlantic Records as a solo artist. He would score his first success the following year with ‘Spanish Harlem’. Meanwhile its follow-up – ‘Stand by Me’ – (*) ultimately would be voted as one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America (* Wikipedia).
The mid-70’s saw King flirting with groovier vibes. Along with producer Bert DeCoteaux, on ‘Supernatural Thing’ and ‘Music Trance’, in 1975 and 1979. He also teamed up with Scottish funk combo Average White Band on ‘Benny And Us’, an album which featured the memorable ‘A Star In The Ghetto’.
His last album for Atlantic was ‘Street Tough’, with its title track featuring Luther Vandross and Ullanda McCullough in the backing vocals.
Ben E. King died of natural causes on Apr 30, 2015 in Hackensack, NJ. He was 76.
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