Apr 29, 2017

RhoDeo 1717 Grooves

Hello, the artists today came up with a curious image dressed with a medieval militaristic maille headdress, like they were some kind of Crusaders, bizarre but then Star Wars were all the rage back then, and we know now 35 years later, it's still being milked by Disney (Walt must be so happy, Snow White gets rescued again and again).

Today's artists are a New York City octet, one of three funk and/or disco bands in which producer/keyboardist Randy Muller was involved. Muller organized the group and they recorded for Salsoul from the late '70s until 1984. Their biggest hit was "Call Me" in 1981, an R&B chart-topper. They could do sweeping funk tracks, dance-oriented cuts, or light ballads..... N'joy

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Skyy was formed in Brooklyn, New York in 1973, when sisters Denise, Delores, and Bonnie Dunning first met musician Solomon Roberts, Jr. The record producer/keyboardist Randy Muller (who was also a member Brass Construction and an arranger for B.T. Express) soon became involved with the project. By 1976, the Skyy lineup of the three Dunning sisters as vocalists, Roberts as the male vocalist/guitarist, Anibal Anthony Sierra on guitars and keyboards, Larry Greenberg on keyboards, Gerald Lebon on bass, and Tommy McConnell on drums had solidified.

In the late 1970s, Skyy signed to Salsoul Records. After several albums that saw moderate success in the R&B market, the group crossed over to the mainstream in a big way with the release of the Skyy Line album in late 1981. Featured on this album was the single "Call Me", which gave the group their first (and only, to date) top 40 hit on the pop charts, peaking at number 26 in 1982. It also became the first of several number one R&B hits for Skyy. Meanwhile, the group continued to record for the Salsoul label up through the release of their 1984 Inner City album (Salsoul would fold in 1985), scoring several additional hits on the R&B chart during that time.

In the mid-1980s, the group signed with Capitol Records and released their next album, From the Left Side in 1986. Apart from the top ten R&B single, "Givin' It (to You)", the album saw limited success, and the group left Capitol soon thereafter.

Things were looking rather bleak for the band by the late 1980s. However, after signing to Atlantic Records, Skyy launched a major comeback in 1989 with the release of their successful Start of a Romance album. This release spun off two number one R&B singles, with both the title track ("Start of a Romance") and the quiet storm classic, "Real Love" claiming the top spot. "Real Love" also became the group's second and final crossover pop hit peaking at number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1990. The second single released from the album (between the title track and "Real Love"), "Love All the Way" also cracked the R&B top 50. By the release of the Nearer to You album in 1992, the hits had again dried up, and the band has not released a new studio album since then. Although Skyy is one of very few bands to release 12 studio albums in 12 years (two compilation albums), which turned out multiple hits, they often go unnoticed and unsung. In 2014, the French Nu-Disco act Solidisco released an updated version of Skyy's 1980 single "Here's To You", in which the group received credits due to the original version being used.

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This was the debut album for this self-contained octet. Their first release was the dance number "First Time Around." It was a mixture of funk and disco. A very lengthy musical track with some vocals added here and there; ideal for a party. It sealed the top 20 inside 14 weeks. It was followed by "Let's Turn It Out." Funk was the focus here for the Brooklyn based band. Chanting party vocals, improvising solos and Solomon Roberts master of ceremonies wail keep this groove on the move. However, it was only on the charts for nine weeks peaking at 65. A bonafide party song, as are most of these selections and solid ones they are. "Stand By Me" is the only ballad; it's trimmed in a pop texture. Though disco was on its last leg, its popularity still warranted groups including it in their repertoire and Skyy has its share.

Skyy - Skyy    (flac  425mb)

01 This Groove Is Bad 6:20
02 First Time Around 6:37
03 Lets Turn It Out 6:37
04 Fallin' In Love Again 4:51
05 Stand By Me 5:04
06 Disco Dancin' 4:12
07 Lets Get Up (S-k-y-y) 5:17
Bonus Tracks
08 First Time Around (Larry Levan's Greatest Mixes Vol.2 Version) 7:32
09 First Time Around (Larry Levan 12" Disco Mix) 9:05
10 First Time Around (Randy Muller 12'' Remix) 6:31

Skyy - Skyy  (ogg   159mb)

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The second album from the Brooklyn-based octet featured two releases: "High" and "Skyyzoo." The former is a moderately-paced groove showcasing the unison vocals of the Dunning sisters. Lightly arranged with an unruffled rhythm track and some guitar licks, the strings and horn complement this laid-back dance number. The single peaked at 13 after 16 weeks on the Billboard R&B charts.

The follow-up, "Skyyzoo," was more of a antic-driven number. With its hyped vocals and various music gadgets, the song was an invitation to the dancefloor. It peaked at 32 on the charts after 11 weeks. The remainder of the album falls in line with these two singles save the ballad "Who's Gonna Love Me." and "Music. Music," which swings the way of rock with its heavy electric guitar and slashing vocals.

Skyy - Skyway    (flac 328mb)

01 High 5:04
02 Don't Stop 4:55
03 Skyy Zoo 4:34
04 Dance, Dance, Dance 4:16
05 Love Plane 5:25
06 You Got Me Up 5:07
07 Whos Gonna Love Me 3:57
08 Music 4:35
09 Skyyzoo (Larry Levan Remix) 8:32

Skyy - Skyway  (ogg     120mb)

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In the late '70s and early '80s, producer Randy Muller was best known for two things: being a member of Brass Construction and working with Skyy. Both bands favored a funk/disco approach that brought many dancefloors to life, but there were some major differences between the two East Coast outfits. For one thing, Skyy had three female vocalists. Plus, Skyy was a lot more consistent. While Brass Construction recorded its share of albums that were uneven or disappointing, Skyy was usually reliable -- more often than not, one could safely assume that the latter would deliver a first-rate party album. Skyyport is no exception. This 1980 release was the band's third album, and the party people who had acquired Skyy's two previous albums were not disappointed. The LP gets off to an impressive start with the hit "Here's to You" (written by Muller), and they keep the creative momentum going with equally infectious funk dance numbers like "Superlove" (another hit single that Muller wrote) and "Take It Easy." So, if Brass Construction and Skyy both had Muller's input, why was the latter so much more consistent? It all came down to chemistry -- he had a more consistently productive relationship with Skyy, which is interesting when you consider that Muller was actually a member of Brass Construction. Though he co-produced Skyyport and other band releases with Skyy's Soloman Roberts, Jr. and did a lot of writing for the band, he was never an actual member. One of the Skyyport offerings that he didn't write is the ballad "For the First Time," which Roberts contributed. Although ballads weren't the group's forte, the tune is pleasant enough. However, it is the up-tempo funk/dance numbers that ultimately define Skyyport and make it one of Skyy's best releases.

Skyy - Skyyport   (flac  247mb)

01 Here's To You 5:22
02 I Can't Get Enough 5:05
03 Superlove 5:08
04 No Music 2:19
05 Easy 5:18
06 Sun Won't Shine 4:30
07 For The First Time 4:03
08 Arrival 4:06

. Skyy - Skyyport  (ogg   90mb)

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In the late 70's Skyy landed a deal with the legendary Salsoul Records. Skyy released three albums with some R&B success, but it wasn't until the release of Skyy Line in 1981 that the group achieved cross over popularity. The album was their biggest Pop chart placement, climbing all the way to #18 while rocketing to the top spot on the US R&B chart and later winning a coveted RIAA Gold Certification. Skyy's "Skyy Line", released in 1982, was actually the group's fourth studio album. This outing offers a combination of grittier and funkier songs and some sophisticated mid tempo grooves. "Call Me" is a killer funker/Dance jam that deservedly became an across the board R&B, Pop and Dance smash. "Let's Celebrate", a sleek mid tempo sophisticated groove followed suit and also became a huge Top 40 and R&B/Dance Hit. "Girl In Blue", "Jam The Box" and "Get Into The Beat" follow the same jamming formula as the one two punch of the album's two smashes and could all easily still find a home on the dance floor. "Gonna Get It On" is a Latin tingled killer jam that would have been a smash had it been released just a few years later when the Latin sound became oh so popular in the mid 80's. The album's lone ballad, "When You Touch Me" demonstrates the group's depth and their ability to perform any genre.

Skyy - Skyy Line  (flac 385mb)

01 Let's Celebrate 5:32
02 Call Me 6:21
03 Girl In Blue 4:24
04 Jam The Box 4:54
05 When You Touch Me 3:38
06 Gonna Get It On 4:13
07 Get Into The Beat 4:28
08 Let's Celebrate (Tom McConnell Mix) 7:04
09 Let's Celebrate (Francois Kevorkian Mix) 7:12
10 Let's Celebrate (Instrumental Dub Mix) 8:51

  Skyy - Skyy Line (ogg  140mb)

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