Classics: Dennis Edwards featuring Siedah Garrett – Don’t Look Any Further (Gordy)
Now, along with time, I would tend to think ‘Don’t Look Ant Further’ had something of premonitory. And, by that, I’m thinkin’ of Dennis Edwards‘ career. With the man most definitely unable to reproduce the same following. And this despite havin’ released a total of three albums.
Anyway, you’ve guessed it, the mellow ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ is most likely his biggest success ever. This while sharing the bill along with the sultry Siedah Garrett. And this with Dennis Lambert, himself remembered for his collaboration with the Commodores, in charge of the production work…
– A native of Birmingham, AL, Dennis Edwards was 7 when he moved to Detroit, MI with his family. During his High School days, he joined a Gospel group, meanwhile studying at the Detroit Conservatory of Music. He was not allowed to sing nor to listen to secular music when at home. And despite his mom’s disapproval, he got himself into singin’ Rhythm & Blues. Eventually forming his own band by the likes of Dennis Edwards & The Firebirds. Then releasing a single – ‘I Didn’t Have To (But I Did)’ back in 1961 on some obscure local label.
Auditioning for Motown Records as a solo artist, he nevertheless joined The Contours as their lead singer in 1966. Then 2 years after, he came to replace David Ruffin as the lead singer of The Temptations. With his rougher Gospel-hewn vocals, Edwards most likely led the group through their psychedelic, Funk and Disco periods along with producer Norman Whitfield. Two of the band’s classics he appears on – ‘Cloud Nine’ (1968) and ‘Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone’ (1972) – won Grammy Awards. Although Edwards would sang lead on many other Temptations‘ hits. From ‘I Can’t Get Next To You’ to ‘Ball of Confusion’, ‘Psychedelic Shack’ and ‘My Girl’.
By 1977, Edwards left the group but returned two years later to leave again in 1983. And in 1984, he made his Motown debut as a solo artist via Gordy Records. Eventually teamin’ up with producer Dennis Lambert. He released two albums for the label. Beginning with ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ and its memorable title track featuring Siedah Garrett. Then ‘Coolin’ Out’ in 1985 before returing with The Temptations for a brief period in 1987.
In the late 80’s, he toured with former Temptations members David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks, although no recording saw the light. And in the 90’s, he began touring under the name Dennis Edwards & The Temptations. Eventually prompting a legal battle between himself and Otis Williams who’d fired him from the band back in 1977. From then, it was decided that Edwards‘ group would be called The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards. With the latter still in activity as of today.
Dennis Edwards has received 7 Grammy Awards, 14 Gold Records, has sold over 100,000,000 recordings worldwide. A member of the Alabama Hall of Fame, he performed in Washington DC for the 2009 Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama.
Dennis Edwards sadly died of complications from meningitis on Feb. 01, 2018 in a Chicago hospital. He was 74…
– A native of Los Angeles, CA, Siedah Garrett started singin’ as a child. Eventually joinin’ a five piece band by the likes of Black Velvet & Satin Soul, which performed Top 40 hits around various clubs, when she was in her early teens. With the first official recording of her bringin’ us back to 1977. And this as a backing vocalist on D.J. Rogers‘ ‘Love, Music And Life’ album. Thus sharing the duties with other luminaries such as Wah Wah Watson (guitar) Keni Burke (bass) and Jeff Porcaro (drums) among others.
The beginning of the 80’s saw her sharing the bill with Tony Phillips and Ambrose Henry II under the Plush guise. The threesome releasing an eponymous album back in 1982 with production work courtesy of René & Angela. With the latter spanning the bumpin’ ‘Free And Easy’. Then, two years after, she topped the charts while duetting with Dennis Edwards on the memorable ‘Don’t Look Any Further’.
The mid-80’s saw her opening a long time working relationship with Quincy Jones. With the latter releasing the infectious ‘Do You Want It Right Now’ on his own Qwest Records label. This as a part of the 1985 ‘Fast Forward’ OST with remixing work courtesy of Jellybean. Then doin’ the same three years after regarding the Housey ‘K.I.S.S.I.N.G.’ produced by Shep Pettibone. Meanwhile, her connection with the Dude also allowed her to contribute to Michael Jackson‘s 1987 ‘Bad’ album. Co-writing ‘Man In The Mirror’, but also appearing on the vibrant ‘I Just Can’t Stop Lovin’ You’. And co-writing cuts such as ‘Back On The Block’ and ‘The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)’ for Jones as parts of his 1989 ‘Back On The Block’ album.
Later, by the second half of the nineties, she joined the Brand New Heavies on their 1997 ‘Shelter’ album. Eventually co-writing the memorable ‘Sometimes.
Strangely enough, Siedah Garrett only counts three albums to her credit. With her latest – ‘Siedah’ – back in 2003. Meanwhile she managed to leave quite an impressive legacy. Both as a performer and a songwriter. Working with others luminaries such as Al Jarreau, Kashif and Patti Austin. This in addition to the Commodores (‘Nightshift’), Madonna, Nick Kamen and Anthony And The Camp among many others. Meanwhile 2006 saw her sharing the bill with The Freemasons on the vibrant ‘Rain Down Love’, itself interpolating The Love Unlimited Orchestra‘s classic ‘Midnight And You’. Just like Soulpersona along with Princess Freesia would do five years later on ‘Ultrasuperlove’.
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