Saturday, August 16, 2014

S.O.S. Band - Just the Way You Like It

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Just the Way You Like It, the fifth studio album from the S.O.S. Band. As with their previous album, this one also was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. This 1984 release hit number 60 on the US Billboard Album chart, with a twenty-seven week total stay, number 44 in Germany, number 33 in the Netherlands, number 29 in the UK and number 6 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

Side one opens with the revelation of “No One’s Gonna Love You”. As the second single, the mid-tempo groove stalled at number 102 on the US Billboard Hot 200 but climbed all the way to number 15 on the US Billboard R&B chart. The album cut runs a full smooth seven minutes.

The third single was the slow-jam “Weekend Girl”; it went to number 51 in the UK and number 40 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

“Just the Way You Like It” was released as the first single. It reached number 64 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 50 in New Zealand, number 42 in the Netherlands, number 32 in the UK, number 26 on the US Billboard Dance chart and number 6 on the US Billboard R&B chart. Again, for the album cut, we get an extended version that clocks in at over eight and a half minutes. I am pretty sure I heard this one out at the dance clubs back during my sophomore year of college when it was on the charts; it has a very familiar rhythm and chorus. Easily my favorite track so far.

Side two begins with “Break Up”, the fourth single which failed to chart in 1985. It has a strong and solid percussion that gets me into a good, mid-tempo groove. It is the type of tune that I would have used back in the 80’s to “warm up” at home before a night out dancing.

“Feeling” keeps the beat going. The bass hook really pops on this track.

The B-side to the second single was the ballad “I Don’t Want Nobody Else”. I will admit that this one does not do a lot for me.

The closing track is “Body Break”; it is also the shortest track on the record at less than four minutes in length. This groove is about a dance move, so an extended mix would easily have fit. I suspect they just ran out of space on the album.

To the best of my recollection, this is my first exposure to most of Just the Way You Like It; I am glad that I found it over on Spotify to review. Had I known about this one by the S.O.S. Band back in 1984, I would have certainly snapped it up. It falls right in line with my club music at that time. It also helps that many of the tracks are longer cuts, giving plenty of room to work that groove.

For more of the S.O.S. Band on the blog, click here.

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