Classics: Stacy Lattisaw – Jump To The Beat (Cotillion)
Stacy Lattisaw made the sensation back in 1980 with the release of her second album ‘Let Me Be Your Angel’. An album produced by Narada Michael Walden, full of goodies such as the aforementioned, ‘Dynamite’ and its title track. Not to mention the unsung ‘Don’t You Want To Feel It (For Yourself)’. There, a then 14 years old girl would brilliantly take the centerstage, surrounded by killer musicians. With, as a result, this irresistible invitation to… Jump to the beat!
WDC-born Stacy Lattisaw just had everything to become an artist. Her mom singing at school together with Marvin Gaye when they were kids. And the young lady collecting victories at local talent shows. It wasn’t long before she got offered to sign a record deal with Cotillion and release her debut-album – ‘Young And In Love’ produced by Van McCoy.
The success would come the year after though (back in 1980) with ‘Let Me Be Your Angel’ along with Narada Michael Walden who produced 5 albums for her. The latter was undoubtedly her more achieved one with classics such as ‘Jump To The Beat’ and ‘Dynamite’. Other gems worth the listen from them most likely including ‘Sixteen’ then ‘Block Party’ along with Johnny Gill.
Signed to Motown in the mid-80’s, she would score her first #1 hit – ‘Where Do We Go From Here’ – in 1989 along with the same Gill, with production work by the likes of LeMel Humes.
She soon after disappeared, progressively disenchanted with the record industry, and focused on raising her family.
– “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’) and Shanice‘s memorable ‘I Love Your Smile’…
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