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Change

European-American collaborations were not uncommon during the disco and post-disco eras. Donna Summer's work with Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte was most prominent and groundbreaking, while Change was among the most noteworthy -- yet somewhat overlooked -- international acts to spring up during the early ‘80s. Driven by Guadeloupian producer Jacques Fred Petrus and Italian partner Mario Malavasi, Change is most commonly associated with “The Glow of Love,” a 1980 single featuring Luther Vandross over a wistful Chic-like production. Through a series of minor transformations -- a shifting array of vocalists and behind-the-scenes associates -- the group released 11 other charting singles from 1980 through 1985, as well as six charting albums, two of which peaked in the Top Ten of Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.

When Petrus and Malavasi conceptualized Change, they had several projects under their belts, including Macho, Midnight Band, Revanche, and Peter Jacques Band. They brought in guitarist Paolo Gianolio and bassist Davide Romani, composed instrumentals, then looked to the U.S. for an impressive crop of lyricists and vocalists -- Wayne Garfield (Roy Ayers, Candi Staton), Tanyayette Willoughby (Twennynine), Jocelyn Brown (Musique, Inner Life), and Luther Vandross (Chic, Gregg Diamond Bionic Boogie). The result, Glow of Love, reached number ten on the R&B chart, driven by “Glow of Love” and “Searching” (with Vandross as lead vocalist, just prior to his solo breakthrough), “Angel in My Pocket” (a fusion of electronic Italo disco and Chic-style elegance led by Brown), and “A Lover’s Holiday” (boasting the type of snappy, upbeat group vocal that became a Petrus trademark through productions for High Fashion, the B.B. & Q. Band, and the Ritchie Family).

Some of the material for the group’s second album was written with Vandross in mind, but the singer and Petrus could not agree on contract issues, allowing James “Crab” Robinson -- who had recorded with Lonnie Liston Smith, Norman Connors, and Michal Urbaniak -- to enter the fold as a lead vocalist. While Vandross was still present in the background, Robinson was showcased, as was an assortment of females that included Brown (then credited as Jocelyn Shaw), Diva Gray, and Ullanda McCullough. That album, Miracles, was released in 1981 and repeated Glow of Love's feat, managing to top out at number nine with a relatively unique sound -- remarkably sleek, yet rhythmically robust -- highlighted by the number one club-chart triad “Paradise,” “Hold Tight,” and “Heaven of My Life.”

Compared to the group’s first two albums, Sharing Your Love (1982) and This Is Your Time (1983) were holding-pattern releases without a great deal of progression, though minor hits were spun off from both sets. Malavasi, Romani, and Robinson departed. Petrus responded in a shrewd way by hiring ex-Time members Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who were just starting to hit their stride with the S.O.S. Band and Cheryl Lynn, to produce 1984’s Change of Heart. The title song, featuring Deborah Cooper, reached number seven on the R&B chart, while newer fellow member Rick Brennan was used to best effect on “You Are My Melody,” a midtempo song that didn’t chart in the U.S. but stands among the group’s best output.

Timmy Allen, who also had a hand in the writing and production of Change of Heart, wrote three-fourths of 1985’s Turn on Your Radio and co-produced the album with Petrus. Its singles did not perform well, though there was some solid material, such as “Mutual Attraction” -- a song that could have held its own beside some of the year’s most advanced R&B, from Maze’s “Twilight” to Loose Ends' “Magic Touch.” Other songs, like the ballad “You’ll Always Be Part of Me,” resembled Jam and Lewis/S.O.S. Band outtakes. It would be the group’s last recording under the guidance of Petrus; the producer was murdered in 1987 at his Guadeloupe villa by a disgruntled tourist who, earlier that evening, had been denied entrance into Petrus’ night club. A few years later, Romani and a handful of fellow producers and musicians made another Change album -- a set of adequate, sophisticated, turn-of-the-‘90s R&B with some club grooves -- but it was shelved and didn’t see release until 2009 as Change Your Mind. The group’s 1980-1985 releases were reissued in a number of forms throughout the ‘90s and 2000s via labels like Rhino, Wounded Bird, and BBR. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Something so comforting and affirming about this music.
Thank GOD for the classics...t h i s music will NEVER die!!!!!!
jadehsiu
They don't make music like this anymore...su r e do miss it.
One of the greats
Man... that song Heaven of My Life was awesome and that bass line was unbelievable , still trying to figure out what the bass line today.
Great disco music to skate to
change is cool
I love this song, group and era of music. It was before I was born but I really think the late 70's early 80's had the best music!!! So much better than the artists that are out today.
Dis iz gud music..dis iz gud funk music..kinda remind me of loose ends..
silvatribe
Great memories when I was overseas in the Air Force. The 80's Rocked!
Loved Luther Vandross on this album which caught my attention for Change. Great project! Too bad it had to end so soon.
luv, luv. mmmm...jammi n
Good music, what more can we say?
I am a huge fan of Change, the cut I really like is " Sharing your love", but I can't find it. It was a nice album....... . . . . . . . . . . . .
tishalj2
love, love, loved this music!!!!!!! ! 1
This was one of my favorite bands, of the 70's & 80's as well as the BB&Q band.
tammy_reaves
I agree with you all. I was between the ages of 10-12 when I fell for Change, Odyssey, BBQ and many others like them. Talented, and actual instruments were played!!! I miss this time of great R&B and club classics!
amurray87
i am truly in agreement with all comments...t h e generation has change and music has also.. but back inthe day of our time this was our music to listen and dance to... tis music group change was great... when you think of groups like .. T.S. monk -- Tom Brown and to many to mention all i can say --those were the years of our music... the club days of bentleys -- copa-cabana -- silver shadow is whher you would hear this dance music.... great music - great years....
scottsontheb e a c h
I used to love this song which was not a big hit but had a great beat and groove. I used to hang out with Chuck Leonard from 98.7Kiss FM. I was back stage every weekend at the Copa Cabana and right in it. My limos used to do the ground travel for Motown and Salsoul as well as others.I had a blast with Peaches and Herb - Ray, Goodman, and Brown - Odyssey - Kleer - Evelyn King and her father Eric, and so many more. Those were the days when recording artists had talent. Great Memories !!!!!!!!!!!!
Word! Back when groups were populated by musicians. Chic, BBQ, Change, Slave, Cameo, Con Funk Shun...that was music!
I'm 34, but I love this music. Luther was genius, love to listen his great voice, The Glow of Love. Please put it on Pandora!
le's go to the club.....oh when music was good.....BBQ was the bomb
I hadn't heard this jam in years. I used to LOVE this song. The Band sounds great! I hope my Pandora plays it daily.
@ David: I agree with you..BB&Q is the closest "sound" to Change!
Yes lawdddddddd. . . t h i s album was toughhhhhhh. In The Glow of Love.... Luther at his best. This was a summer time play it the park album that got everyone up. Even if you were on the court you had to shoot a jumper to this beat...lol
never heard of them. What a pleasure.
nightskyisme
Cleanest, clearest recordings ever, and what songs! Timeless!
I agree that this group never got the credit they deserve. Also check out the BBQ (Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens) for a similar style (I believe both groups shared some of the same members).
dlw766
change didn't get they damn props who are the people playing the music ( names )it ain't the producer s**t you know we know "LUTHER".
This is my dad!
dj_grays
The greatest hits album is nothing but hits. I promise you some of the beats are before their time, I would like to use some of those rtyhms.
robgraciano
long live club-house- music
cbwasher
THIS TRUE CLASSIC WE WATCH AND LISTEN TO LUTHER GROW I REALLY MISS HIS VOICE.
THANK GOODNESS FOR MUSIC IT FOREVER WILL LIVE.
I first really heard the genius of Luther on this album and
was and always will be a Luther fanatic. First heard him in
the Budweiser jingles.
mildreddpett y j o h n
I remember hearing this album when I was in college in 1980, Luther Vandross started out on this album.
When I heard The Glow Of Love I couldn't get enough of it! It was such a soulful and refreshing song. Ditto for Searching. I became a Luther Fan then and NOW!
way cool and minimal
this group had tremendous talent it takes me back in time.
an amazing group! "Holiday" takes me back to Studio 54; the anthem! Get yawself "The Glow of Love" and relive a very special time in disco history. cya ;)
jksangel
MOSTLY OLD SCHOOL KNOW ABOUT THIS ONE. PEOPLE FORGET ABOUT THAT GREAT SONG "SEARCHING" THIS ONE HAS LUTHER AS THE LEAD SINGER

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