Friday, September 4, 2015

André Cymone - AC

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of AC, the third studio album from André Cymone. This 1985 record spent eight weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 121.

Side one begins with "Dance Electric", the first single from the album. It hit number 10 on the US Billboard R&B chart, the highest charting single of his career so far. If you think, as I did when I first heard back in the mid-80's, that this club scorcher has a very distinctive sound, it is likely because the song was written by Prince and sounds like his early 80's offerings. I am pretty sure the first place I heard this one was on a local Rochester R&B channel that was devoting a Saturday night to the music of Prince and his protégées (the Time, Sheila E., Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, Mazarati, and of course Cymone).

The second single was "Lipstick Lover", an mid-tempo groove that pays tribute to a lovely lady with luscious kisses. It climbed only to number 63 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

Things slow down a bit further with the slinky and steamy "Pretty Wild Girl". This one would be right at home played back to back with Prince's "Do Me, Baby"; they have a very similar synch-syncopation.

"Book of Love" bops along to close out the first half.

Side two starts with "Satisfaction", the album's third and final single. It, apparently, left listeners unfulfilled as it stalled at number 75 on the US
Billboard R&B chart. I like its blend of new-wave attitude with the then-distinctive Minneapolis sound.

The mid-tempo "Sweet Sensuality" has a bit of a reggae vibe to its base rhythm.

The B-side to the third single was "Vacation". I'd be rather surprised if deejays didn't flip the record on this one as, in my opinion, this track is much stronger than "Satisfaction". It is a funky dance groove with lots of energy. It is easily my second favorite track on the record (after "Dance Electric").

The album closes with "Neon Pussycat", a down-and-dirty dance number about a seductive woman.

While I knew about André Cymone and his association with Prince back in the 80's, I never owned a copy of AC myself. I first heard the original album many years back, thanks to a friend who was a fellow fan of all things Prince-related. Of course, as an 80's R&B/dance fanatic, I liked it quite well. In 2012, Funky Town Grooves released a two-disk CD version with a ton of unreleased tracks by Cymone as well as single versions, radio versions and club versions of the original 45's.

For more from André Cymone, click here.

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