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Soul Express CD Review

Stacy Lattisaw: Take Me All the Way CD

Take Me All the Way
US Funky Town Grooves CD, 2011
The original release on US Motown, 1986

Jump Into My Life / The Hard Way / Take Me All The Way / A Little Bit Of Heaven / Longshot / Nail It To The Wall / Love Me Like The First Time / You Ain’t Leavin’ / Over The Top / One More Night / Jump Into My Life (Jellybean Remix) / It To The Wall (Jellybean Remix)

Funky Town Grooves have been delving into Motown’s 1980s output, and have come up with this little number from 1986. I have to admit that at the time I did not appreciate the album and so its hasty return to the racks of Our Price Records was the case. As the years have moved on – and the musical arena has deteriorated somewhat, especially at the now defunct Motown label – I have sat and re-evaluated this set with hindsight of 25 years. Did I say 25 years? I did, and that’s scary. What isn’t scary, but in fact very warming is that fresh ears and dim memories have given me a greater inlet into this Motown album from 1986. How or why I didn’t leap on the single “Jump Into My Life” is open to conjecture. I would imagine that in those days there was so much classy material around that it just paled into the background. Of course today it sounds great, fresh and new and that is what the guys at FTG do. They are giving us new old memories! I am so for this kind of thing, and the more old tunes I can hear as fresh now the better! Good times will always be here if that’s the case!

Motown was undergoing change, and rapidly realising that it was struggling to stay afloat. Appealing to a popular music audience was one of the things that Berry Gordy and Jay Lasker were doing at that time, and the likes of Lionel Richie, El DeBarge and the Temptations were having notable successes. The formula was clear, and the scene set for Stacy Lattisaw’s debut set at Motown. Songs such as “Jump Into My Life” and the second single release, “Nail It To The Wall” are typical, yet stylish, Pop / Soul tracks and I suggest that if you liked songs such as “Love Overboard” by Gladys Knight, “Intimacy” by St. Paul and so on from the time then these songs are just up your street. Like I said, how could I Not have liked it???

I also highly recommend the classy ballad “Take Me All The Way” which sees our Stacy pitched again with the irreplaceable Narada Michael Walden. Aimed fully at the radio of the day it is still a classy soul / pop effort and marks it as one of the choice tracks of it’s day. To me it sounds better now than it did then, and it should have easily equally hit as well as anything from Whitney Houston. A worthwhile release and the first of many more from this, the stable of quality 1980s reissues.

-Barry Towler

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