Thursday, April 2, 2015

The System - The Pleasure Seekers

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of The Pleasure Seekers, the third studio album from the American R&B duo of Mic Murphy (vocals and guitar) and David Frank (keyboards) better known as the System. This one peaking at number 40 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

Additional musicians on the record included Paul Pesco on electric guitar and Jimmy Maelen on percussion. All songs were written and arranged by Frank and Murphy.

Side one begins with the title track; as the second single it topped out at number 22 on the US Billboard Dance chart and number 21 on the US Billboard R&B chart. It contains guest vocals from Audrey Wheeler of the New York City based pop-disco group Unlimited Touch. The song was featured on the second season premiere episode of Miami Vice in the Fall of 1985. I like how the percussion pops on this one.

The dance party continues with the next track. "It Takes 2" points out that two active participants are required to make a relationship thrive.

"Big City Beat" delivers a bold, steady beat and some sci-fi infused synthesizers.

"Love Won't Wait For Lovin'", the B-side to the lead single, rounds out the first half. Just looking at this side, this one falls into my least favorite category.

Side two starts with "This Is For You", another mid-tempo groove. Released as the lead single, it reached number 78 in the UK, number 43 on the US Billboard Dance chart, and number 8 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

"My Radio Rocks" recommends turning to music when you need something to fill the void. It'll help clear your head and give you a fresh perspective. I have always subscribed to this model.

"Did In By a Friend" is a tale of betrayal.

"I Don't Run From Danger" was the third single; this closing track failed to make much noise on the charts.

I knew the System primarily from their track "Rock 'n Roll Me Again" on the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack. The first time I actually heard this album was late in 2014, almost thirty years after its release. While their music was right in line with the type of dance music I listened to in the mid-to-late 80's, The Pleasure Seekers did not cross my radar. I suspect that was due to the singles not crossing over to the Billboard Hot 100. If the clubs I frequented back in the day played any of these tracks, I was not consciously aware of who had performed them.

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