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Change: This Is Your Time CD
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This Is Your Time

CD reissue by Big Break Records (UK, 2011)
The original release on Atlantic, 1983

1) Got to Get up 2) This is Your Time 3) Angel 4) Magical Night 5) Stay'n Fit 6) Tell Me Why 7) You'll Never Realize 8) Don't Wait Another Night Bonus tracks:
9) Got to Get up (Extended version) 10) Magical Night (Single version) 11) This Is Your Time (Single version) 12) You'll Never Realize (Single version) 13) Don't Wait Another Night (Single version) 14) Got to Get up (Single version)

This is the second reissue of soul/disco group Change by the UK label BBR. All in all, Change released six albums:
The Glow of Love (1980)
Miracles (1981)
Sharing the Love (1982)
This Is Your Time (1983)
Change of Heart (1984)
Turn on Your Radio (1985)

UK label Big Break Records has now reissued the last 4 Change albums, originally released in 1982-1985. Hopefully they are able to reissue also the first two at some stage, since especially the second set Miracles is my personal favourite of the six, and it's currently unavailable in CD format. It has been reissued both in U.S. and Italy, but at the moment over 250 UK pounds is asked for a used copy!

This This Is Your Time, the fourth album by Change, was their least successful so far, when the album peaked at number 34 on soul charts. The reason was obvious: the overall sounds were getting more synthetic, and Change (just as Chic at the same time) was trying to follow the trends. At the same time, they lost their identity, as they sounded like dozens of other artists on the charts. The album also lacked effective dance hits, and the single picks were disastrous.

They first picked the repetitive title track This Is Your Time, which monotonously repeats the title chant endless times, and the groove is non-existent. It peaked at position 33, which was a miserable success comparing to their previous hits. The followup single, very synthetic dance tune Don't Wait Another Night fared even worse, and was a complete flop peaking at position 89, disappearing from the charts only after a short, 3 weeks visit.

The group also had a trouble with their lead vocalists. Their previous male lead vocalists were Luther Vandross and James Robinson - and it was not easy to find a replacement for such marvellous singers. Their latest recruitment Rick Brennan was not a bad singer, but honestly could not be compared to his predecessor on a same day. Everyone realised that - including Brennan himself, who describes in the CD leaflet: While this (becoming the lead singer of Change) presented a golden opportunity for Brennan, there was some trepidation on his behalf in terms of filling Robinson's shoes. "I was scared to follow him up", he admits with a laugh. "Luther Vandross, now this guy. What am I going to do? I was definitely third on the totem pole in the history of male singers in the group. Them boys can sing."

And what happened? After completing the studio recording, producer Fred Petrus phoned James Robinson, and asked him to re-record the lead vocals on five out of eight tracks on the album! Thus, they brought James Robinson back in studio, and he sings alone the ballad tracks Angel and You'll Never Realize and is featured on three uptempo tracks as well. And honestly, the tracks where he is featured, are the most worthwhile moments on this album, especially those ballad cuts which offer Robinson a change to stretch his magnificent vocals.

However, even Robinson returning on lead vocals did not save this album, the material simply was not strong enough. Especially the uptempo club tracks are very modest, and do not deserve a more detailed analysing. The group obviously needed outside producers who could better understand the new, more synthetic club sounds - and on their next album, Change had Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis as their producers.

-Ismo Tenkanen

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