Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Randy & The Gypsys feat. Karyn White - Luv Thang (1989)

To anyone who's watched American Idol and wondered how Randy Jackson got a spot as a judge on the show and thought he didn't have much talent - well pull up a chair, we're gonna tell a tale of how Randy should be judged right up their with his more famous siblings.
Back in the summer of 1989, I picked up this CD on the strength of his family association and because of his track One More Chance on the Jacksons Victory album. He had deliberately chose to not use his famous surname in order to be judged on his own merits; and on that footing, he bats a 1000, as they say in baseball.
This CD proves that Randy has talent to burn, and if this CD had been better promoted, he'd be a household name. He formed a backing group called The Gypsys, consisting of himself, Pepe Tynes, Kris Kellow, Cece Worrall, Baba burns, Jara Harris, Jeff Harris, and Cornelius Mims.
The CD kicks off with the poppy sound of Perpetrators, with its high kicking, snares, and drums. Luv Thang (the track presented here) follows soon after; this was big on the airwaves in London at the time. The female vocalist is none other than Karyn White, at this point relatively unknown except for her collaborations with Jeff Lorber, but who went onto worldwide success with her own début album and the hugely successful track Superwoman.
Love You Honey follows; this could easily fit into the new jack swing category, and is one of my favourites (being a new jack swing head). You got a Lady, a funky/poppy affair, is next up to bat, and deals with Randy getting blanked by a lesbian, a fact that probably went over most peoples head when they listened to it. The Love We Almost Had is a slow ballad that plays to Randy's strengths; anyone that loves One More Chance will love this as it's in the same vein; it's quite beautiful, with haunting background vocals, over a piano base, with Randy displaying a mature vocal performance. He throws a curve ball with Gigolo, which plants it's flag firmly in the Prince-style funk camp with a great keyboard riff in the background underpinning a vocal which while it apes The Purple One himself, shows how much breadth of talent Randy had. I Can't Wait is a very nice mid tempo album track, which has a very summery feel to it, with a memorable synth string sound. I Need You is Light, sugary ballad that again, is done well, show casing Randy's strong vocal prowess. The CD closes, with Not Because Of Me, which is a full blown epic ballad, that builds, and dip, to a final musical finish.
On the strength of this album alone, Randy deserved a successful career and to be a star in his own right and not be just looked at as 'another Jackson doing music'. I personally think he was more talented than Jermaine, plus Randy was able to make his own music at the level as Prince; that sounds like over-praise, but as a diehard Prince fan, I think it's justified.
Randy remains a bit of an enigma; a great unrealised talent that could have equalled Michael's. her's hoping he'll give a recording one more chance.