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Rick James

In the late '70s, when the fortunes of Motown Records seemed to be flagging, Rick James came along and rescued the company, providing funky hits that updated the label's style and saw it through into the mid-'80s. Actually, James had been with Motown earlier, though nothing had come of it. After growing up in Buffalo and running away to join the Naval Reserves, he ran away from the Navy to Toronto, where he was in a band with future Buffalo Springfield members Neil Young and Bruce Palmer, and with Goldy McJohn, later of Steppenwolf. As the Mynah Birds, they signed to Motown and recorded, though no record was ever released.

James had a journeyman's career playing bass in various groups before signing again to Motown as an artist, songwriter, and producer. His first single, "You and I" (May 1978), topped the R&B charts and reached the pop Top 40. "Mary Jane" (September 1978) was another hit. Both were on James' debut album, Come Get It! (June 1978), which went gold. Subsequent efforts were not as successful, though Bustin' Out of L Seven (January 1979) featured the R&B hit "Bustin' Out" (April 1979). James returned to form with the number one R&B hit "Give It to Me Baby" (March 1981), featured on the million-selling Street Songs (April 1981), which also featured the hit "Super Freak."

James turned his production attention to resuscitating the career of the Temptations, recently returned to Motown, and "Standing on the Top" (April 1982), credited to the Temptations featuring Rick James, was an R&B Top Ten. (He also produced recordings by Teena Marie and the Mary Jane Girls.) James' follow-up to Street Songs was the gold-selling Throwin' Down (May 1982), which featured the hit "Dance Wit' Me." The title song of Cold Blooded (August 1983) became James' third R&B number one, and the album also featured his hit duet with Smokey Robinson, "Ebony Eyes." James' greatest-hits album Reflections (August 1984) featured the new track "17" (June 1984), which also became a hit. Glow (April 1985) contained Top Ten R&B singles in the title track and "Can't Stop," which was featured in the summer movie blockbuster Beverly Hills Cop. The Flag (June 1986) featured the hit "Sweet and Sexy Thing" (May 1986).

James left Motown for the Reprise division of Warner Bros. Records as of the album Wonderful (July 1988), which featured his number one R&B hit "Loosey's Rap," on which he was accompanied by rapper Roxanne Shante. Nevertheless, his "punk funk" didn't seem to rest comfortably with the trend toward rap/hip-hop. In 1989, James charted briefly with a medley of the Drifters hits "This Magic Moment" and "Dance With Me." In 1990, MC Hammer scored a massive hit with "U Can't Touch This," which consisted of his rap over the instrumental track of "Super Freak." That should have made for a career rebirth, but James was plagued by drug and legal problems that found him more frequently in court and in jail rather than in the recording studio. The majority of his legal woes behind him, James returned in 1997 with Urban Rapsody, which didn't yield any hits but was well accepted by critics. Rick James died of a heart attack on August 6, 2004, at his Los Angeles home. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Slick rick"""" my man
rickserr
Great music. Remember my high school days.
Bad a** jam ;)
They tell me I am freaking some times
I'm such a Super Freak, RIP Rick James
Rrkc,j ses
RIP MR JAMES!
It was a trip meeting you at Folsom Prison while I was visiting! You were a BAD A**!
Love all Rick James songs ;) #1
Mr. James was way ahead of his time. He took funk to a whole new level. Parliament/F u n k a d e l i c were good but much of their songs were of the comical variety. Rick told stories and made songs relevant. Ghetto life is a good example. playing tag with winos or experiencing your first sexual encounter. Rick James has been missed.
My favorite Rick James was Mary Jane
DAM THOSE DAYS WERE SO MUCH FUN!!
framework for bonding, he says. They also generate anticipation for this fun and meaningful time together. 祖父母
Art projects, movies, and walks around the neighborhood are great. It is the special, original, and even offbeat activities that bring the Grandparent and Grandchild closer together. Personal traditions offer benefits that can help the connection prosper, according to Stephan J. Quentzel, M.D., JD. Dr. Quentzel is a psychiatrist and medical director for the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Ongoing traditions provide structure and a
GRANDPARENTS DAY IS THIS SUNDAY

National Grandparents ' Day is a secular holiday celebrated in the United States since 1978 and officially recognized in a number of countries on various days of the year, either as one holiday or sometimes as a separate Grandmothers ' Day and Grandfathers ' Day. 
Paaaaaiiiiii i i i i i i i n n n n n n n n n n and plllllllllle a s u r e . . . . . .
LLLLOOOOVVVE E E E TTHHHEEEEEMM M M M AAANNDDDDDD LLLLLEEEEEEA A A V V V E E TTTHHHHHHHHE E E E E M . . . . . . . T T T T H H H H A A A A A T T T T S S S S WWWHHHAAAAAT T T T IIIIIIIII UUUUUSSSSEED D D TTOOOOOO DDDOOOOOOOOO O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W h o o o
STARCHILD HERE!!!
Great Hits!!!! Timeless
Biggest "Pimp" of all time! Jam on Rick!
Ha butterbean I bet u hav ebony eyes
We'll always .miss u Mr. RICK!
We luv and miss u RICK
IM RICK JAMES B**CH
Friday!!
WOW THIS MY S!!! R.I.P RICK JAMES
THIS WILL ROCK ANY OLE SCHOOL PARTY!!
mgottlieb5
Rick was the snitz.... He put it out there what you saw was what you got... He's from my hometown. Him and Tina put out a masterpiece. . . Fire & Desire
I'm Rick James b**ch.
I love this song!!! whooooo..... .
Let's go!!! RIGHT NOW.
paulrussell8
Cocaine is a helluva drug
Bad azz jams right here. Keep bumping all day every day in rhe 805
Rick James, Gerald Levert and then Tina. It follows a pattern if you know what I mean.
Give it to me!!
Mary Jane!!! Yep!
I'm still in love with MaryJane to this day... And I'm not the only one
1578194268
Nevah mind same beat
1578194268
Can't touch this!!!
Love.
Desire....th e n FIRE all night
Love Rick James
Hot Dam Yuppp Sure Remember This Cut Here Use To Love Dancing Off Of This In Club Lets Go Pandora Work It Out RIP Rick James I Really Miss You !!!!!!!!
Meaning job on, job off. Etc. Ridiculous.
Planet Fitness cancelled my membership for I have no clue why. That was just idiotic on their part. I just barely started and they cancelled me. At least they waited until I got my full month in. What is a woman supposed to do to get into a gym that was the ONLY gym that was close to where I live. The rest of the gyms are 3 hours by bus. Which I ride. Busses. I am trying to save for a car. I am almost there. It is just taking more time here in Nebraska than I like. Three years is a long time.
One of my most favorite music artists. Rick James, Teena Marie, Prince, Morris Day and the Time, and all the good old school hits like that. I used to win dancing contests at the Disco's in the 80s. Those were the day’s baby. It is funny though because when I was country western line dancing. I would win dance contests then too. Dancing is the BEST exercise you can do. I used to have a body like Marilyn Monroe when I was dancing. I have to get back out and start dancing again or something. Plane
They were my day marvin and Tammy. ..they belong together. ..MOTOWN AT ITS BEST BABY
marlinbrown6 5
I wish go go stations play all go go brando Robinwood maryland
kushina337
Rip rick and Lady T
I love Rick James
mbugado0
I love you Rick!!!!
Ain't no better!!! This IS MUSIC, forget all this other bullshyt in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011...u get the point.
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