Most Wanted! Narada Michael Walden – I Want You (Atlantic)
Former Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer Narada Michael Walden came to prominence both as an artist and a producer by the end of the 70’s. He therefore established an instantly identifiable signature along with regular session musicians. From Corrado Rustici (guitar), to Randy Jackson (bass). Not to mention Marc Russo on sax to name but a few.
From his 1980 ‘Victory’ album. The guitar driven ‘I Want You’ is another perfect illustration of his boiling sound, enlightened by the presence of a killer drum part. A solo much reminding of Bill Cobham‘s undeniable influence on him. No wonder why, when thinking of it, many record chasers said to thesemlves: ‘I want you’!
“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 (‘Jump To The Beat’, ‘Dynamite’, ‘Sixteen’, ‘Block Party’. These in addition to ‘Don’t You Want To Feel It’). To Sister Sledge (‘All American Girls’) and Angela Bofill (‘Something About You’). But also Aretha Franklin (‘Who’s Zooming Who?’, ‘Freeway Of Love’) and Whitney Houston (‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, ‘So Emotional’). And we can add too Wanda Walden (‘Don’t You Want My Lovin”, ‘I Must Be Dreamin”), George Benson and Clarence Clemons among others. Not to mention Carl Carlton (‘Swing That Sexy Thang’)…
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