Rose Royce – Stronger Than Ever (1982)
Rose Royce is an American soul and R&B group. The group began in the early 1970s, when members of several backup bands from the Watts and Inglewood areas of Los Angeles united under the name Total Concept Unlimited.
Artist: Rose Royce
Title: Stronger Than Ever
Label: Epic Records
Rose Royce was QUITE the R&B band in the 70’s with seemingly hit after hit after hit. Pigeonholed into the “Disco” category (and unfairly so,) they jammed the charts for weeks with the now CLASSIC, “Car Wash” and other strong R&B/Funk contenders such as “I Wanna Get Next to You,” “I’m Going Down,” the ever classic, “Wishing on A Star” and “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.”
Come the end of the 70’s, the hits began to taper off and after two failed albums on Warner Brothers (“Golden Touch” and “Jump Street,”) they were signed to Epic/CBS with “Stronger Than Ever,” which found them in peak form. Sadly, they were no longer the household name they once were and it, too, failed in returning them to R&B greatness.
“Stronger Than Ever” boasted a couple of excellent songs that SHOULD HAVE BEEN hits and that were NOT (except in the U.K.,) despite the fact that the vocals (Ricci Benson) as well as the arrangements were spot on. Also here are a couple of tender, melodic ballads that are reminiscent of say, Lionel Richie. My favorites include the first single, “Best Love” and the aMAZING, Still in Love” which features one of the most impressive piano solos ever heard in (then) contemporary R&B coupled with Benson’s fiery, Chaka Khan-ish vocal delivery.
Also noteworthy are “You Blew It,” a nice, tight little funk jam similar to what bands of the day were doing like Skyy or Con Funk Shun. The latter’s “Too Tight” comes to mind specifically. “Dance With Me” perks along nicely TOO.
1. Dance With Me (3:58)
2. Sometimesy Lady (2:24)
3. Best Love (3:54)
4. Still In Love (5:39)
1. You Blew It (4:14)
2. Somehow We Made It Through The Rain (4:39)
3. Fire In The Funk (5:37)
4. Talk To Me (4:32)