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Tyrone Davis: In the Mood (1979 reissue)

Tyrone Davis: In the Mood album

August 4, 2013

Original release: US Columbia 1979
Now available as CD Reissue: UK Big Break Records 2013

Rating: 8/ 10

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1) In The Mood
2) You Know What To Do
3) I Can't Wait
4) Keep On Dancin
5) I Don't Think You Heard Me
6) Ain't Nothing I Can Do
7) All The Love I Need
8) We Were In Love Then

Bonus tracks:
9) In The Mood (Single Version)
10) Ain t Nothing I Can Do (Single Version)

The UK label Big Break Records (part of Cherry Red) started as a pure "dance oriented" reissue label, printing Gloria Gaynor, Evelyn King, A Taste of Honey, Pointer Sisters and other disco or club oriented stuff on CD, but recently they have also reissued several quality soul albums from the 70s and early 80s. In the Mood by Tyrone Davis is a great example of this. The album has been reissued using the original Columbia master tapes.

Surely the release year 1979 was the hottest disco period, and also Tyrone's album has lots of disco material, but still the main course are the ballads. In the middle of the disco heat, Columbia managed to score a top ten soul hit for Tyrone with the gorgeous soul ballad In the Mood, produced by Leo Graham and co-written by Paul Richmond, who is interviewed in the CD booklet liner notes. I really appreciate the way BBR does a proper journalism with the liner notes, recruiting various soul columnists writing the introductory of the album and the artist. This time, a NYC-based writer and concert producer Christian John Wikane contributes the liner notes with his 10-page analysis, including comments by Paul Richmond.

In the liner notes, Richmond describes how they managed to turn a traditional Southern Soul singer into a more modern day Tyrone Davis, without compromising too much. And I think Leo Graham and Paul Richmond really did a great job here. The ballad hits In the Mood (Billboard soul # 6) and Ain't Nothing I Can Do (soul #72) are close to the same sound Graham had produced for The Manhattans; in a lush and orchestrated backdrop, but still containing a touch of bluesy soul elements typical for Southern soul. And most of all, Tyrone is in great form, singing the classy melodies in his typically soulful style.

Funky disco tracks were not new to Tyrone, either, as he had already gained major hits for Columbia with disco smashes like Give It up (Turn It Loose) (soul # 2) and Get on up (Disco) (soul # 12). This album does not contain equally catchy dance tunes, but Leo Graham's You Know What to Do is a funky swayer with a solid bass line (Richmond himself played the bass) and horn riffs, whereas Keep on Dancin' has a more Miami / T.K. type of light shuffle. All the Love I Need was strongly influenced by Philadelphia sound, and Richmond admits in the liner notes that he tried to do his best to give the track a Teddy Pendergrass feel. The midtempo song I Don't Think You Heard Me is probably closest to Tyrone's old Dakar sound that gave him huge hits like Turning Point still in 1975. Of course, Tyrone's early hits for Dakar were back from the 60s, including two number 1 soul hits Can I Change My Mind and Turn Back the Hands of Time. Read the Tyrone Davis story from our printed issues No. 3/95 and issue 4/95. Full Tyrone Davis discography is also available online.

Reviewed by Ismo Tenkanen

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