Sunday, April 13, 2014

Barry White - The Message Is Love

Welcome to another edition of Seventies Sunday.

This month marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of Message of Love, the tenth studio album from R&B singer Barry White. This 1979 release spent nine weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 67. It also went to number 14 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

Side one begins with the convincing argument that "It Ain't Love, Babe (Until You Give It)". As the second single, it reached at number 58 on the US Billboard R&B chart. The song features an energetic, up-tempo beat and a strong horn section.

"Hung Up In Your Love" tells the tale of love at first sight.

White takes it down a bit with the smooth and sexy "You're the One I Need". A full string arrangement supports him on the song.

The first single "Any Fool Could See (You Were Meant for Me)" went to number 37 on the US Billboard R&B chart. I like the bounce of the beat here.

Side two opens with the mid-tempo "Love Ain't Easy". This third single stalled at number 75 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

The similar tempo continues with "I'm on Fire". I am not sure it works for me though; it seems like the passion that such a song should have is just lukewarm at best.

The album closes with "I Found Love". It features some of White's signature deep-voiced "rap" through out.

I was not familiar with the tracks on The Message Is Love, most likely because at age fourteen when it was released I was still listening to Top 40 radio. The lack of a crossover hit from the R&B chart kept it completely off my radar. I am sure a few of the tracks found a home on the more urban radio stations.

While I liked the record well enough, there was not enough here that screamed "must have" for my music library. For now, I think I will stick with Barry White's bigger hits from earlier in the 70's.

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