Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The Bar-Kays “Light Of Life”

Light Of Life”
( LP Mercury Records, 1978 )
Catalog # SRM-1-3732

A1 Get Up ‘N Do It (3:39)
A2 Shine (3:41)
A3 I Learn You (You Learn Me) (3:12)
A4 Give It Up (4:30)
B1 Love’s Is What It’s All About (3:03)
B2 I’ll Dance (3:38)
B3 We’re The Happiest People On Earth (3:16)
B4 Are You Being Real (2:59)
B5 Angel Eyes (2:55)

1978 saw the Bar-Kays continue across Light of Life all that they’d begun on the previous year’s Flying High on Your Love. Debuting a new ten-member lineup, the group offered up a heady blend of classic funk spun with thoroughly contemporary disco ethics. The only drawback to the Bar-Kays’ sound was that such a rapid-fire release schedule was rendering their unique sound a little samey. What worked beautifully across one LP was less unique across the next and, by the third, was nearing the point of overkill. That said, there are still many, many fine moments on Light of Life. Their balladeering skills were improving and are showcased magnificently on “We’re the Happiest People in the World” and, of course, they absolutely sparkled across the funk-fests: the effusive “Get up ‘N’ Do It” and “Give It Up,” which carries nods to both Hamilton Bohannon’s “Disco Stomp” and the iconoclastic “Theme From Shaft.” Rush-released to compete with Fantasy’s cash-in Money Talks, compiled from the band’s late Stax-era recordings, Light of Life faltered some in its wake. Nevertheless, Light of Life still gave the band their fourth Top 20 hit as “Shine,” while “Are You Being Real” furthered their longevity on the singles chart.
By Amy Hanson (AMG)

By Celo

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