Tue. Sep. 28, 2021

Carl Carlton – Swing That Sexy Thang

Lost but not least: Carl Carlton – Swing That Sexy Thang (RCA)

Another illustration of his fruitful collaboration work with Preston Glass and Randy Jackson… ‘Swing That Sexy Thang’ has that typical sound one could find on in-demand producer Narada Michael Walden‘s works. In other words, a blowin’ flow with sparkling rhythmic elements over a bouncing bassline. As many elements, one would get on Walden‘s own ‘I Want You’. If not Wanda Walden‘s ‘Don’t You Want My Lovin” for instance.

Despite its undeniable appeal and potential, ‘Swing That Sexy Thang’ didn’t make it the way it should have though. Only landin’ at some #50 something position in the U.S. R&B charts back then. With the possible reason of this failure being his switch to a new label after his departure from 20th Century Fox. Unless being the nature itself of his album (‘The Bad C.C.’). With its components going all over the place as opposed to be running in a certain direction…

What’s the value of your vinyl record?

– Detroit, MI native Carl Carlton started his career in the mid-60’s as Little Carl Carlton. He first came to recognition back in 1968 with ‘Competition Ain’t Nothing’. A cut which turned into a Northern Soul Hit after its release on UK label Action. His biggest success being his cover version of Robert Knight‘s ‘Everlasting Love’. Not to mention the groovy ‘She’s A Bad Mama Jama’. A jam which Leon Haywood, who brought him to 20th Century Fox, penned and produced for him in 1981. It eventually earned Carlton a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male in 1982.
Another of his stand out cuts being ‘Swing Tha Sexy Thang’ with production work by the likes of Narada Michael Walden a year after on RCA…

“All the roads lead to Rome…” is the first expression coming to mind when thinking of Narada Michael Walden‘s career. Nothing could predict – and probably not the man neither himself – his transformation… From his early musical leanings, geared towards Rock, to his repertoire, one of the richest in the history of Disco/Funk.

Playing in a Rock group (the New McGuire Sisters) in Miami, he discovered the music of Mahavishnu Orchestra before meeting their leader, John McLaughlin. A group which he would join a few months later, replacing famous drummer Billy Cobham who was a major influence to him. He recorded two albums with them, then joined Beck as a producer and musician on his ‘Wired’ album in 1975.

Walden delivered his first LP – ‘Garden Of Love Light’ the year after on Atlantic. He would nevertheless have to wait until 1978 to score his first significant success with ‘I Don’t Want Nobody Else (To Dance With You)’. A success amplified the year after with the release of ‘I Shoulda Loved Ya’ and ‘Tonight I’m Alright’ from his ‘The Dance Of Life’ album. Extra gems followed such as ‘I Want You’ (1980), ‘Summer Lady’ (1982) and ‘Reach Out’. The man resurfacing by the end of the 80’s as Narada with the memorable ‘Divine Emotions’

Last but not least, his name is associated to a myriad of artists, as a writer or producer. From Stacy Lattisaw (‘Jump To The Beat’, ‘Dynamite’, ‘Sixteen’, ‘Block Party’. These in addition to ‘Don’t You Want To Feel It’). To Sister Sledge (‘All American Girls’) and Angela Bofill (‘Something About You’). But also Aretha Franklin (‘Who’s Zooming Who?’, ‘Freeway Of Love’) and Whitney Houston (‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, ‘So Emotional’). And we can add too Wanda Walden (‘Don’t You Want My Lovin”, ‘I Must Be Dreamin”), George Benson and Clarence Clemons among others. Not to mention Carl Carlton (‘Swing That Sexy Thang’) and Shanice‘s memorable ‘I Love Your Smile’

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