Midnight Star – Midas Touch (Vocal Extended Remix) (SOLAR)
Lookin’ back then, I suppose it must have sort of been refreshing for SOLAR CEO Dick Griffey to know that his enterprise wasn’t relying on only one Midas touch. And by this, the one of producer, Leon F Sylvers III (Dynasty, Shalamar, The Whispers). With thanks to the brothers Calloway (Reggie and Vincent) who also crafted a bunch of gems for the label. Beginning with ‘Midas Touch’ among others for Middnight Star. But also the memorable ‘I Wanna Be Rich’ under their own guise.
Strangely enough, ‘Midas Touch’ isn’t that far from Sylvers’ productions. And, to that extend, pretty much embodies what the SOLAR sound happened to be about by the first half of the eighties. In other words, a serious (California-based) funky alternative to New York label Prelude Records.
Ironically, ‘Midas Touch’ would (also) mark the end of the collaboration between the group and the Calloway brothers. With the latter, from then on, runnin’ on their own.
Midnight Star saw the light back in 1976 at the Kentucky State University. From the reunion between fellow students Reggie Calloway, Belinda Lipscomb and Melvin Gentry. But also Kenneth Gant, Bill Simmons, Bo Watson and Jeff Cooper. Themselves soon after joined by Vincent Calloway then Bobby Lovelace in 1982. After their University days, they eventually relocated to Cincinatti, OH. This before landing a record deal with SOLAR.
Midnight Star dropped their debut-album – ‘The Beginning’ – back in 1980. With Harvey Mason responsible for most of its production. To the exception of ‘Make It Last’, left c/o Leon F Sylvers III. The latter producing its follow-up – ‘Standing Together’ – the year after, including the memorable ‘I’ve Been Watching You’. Meanwhile Reggie Calloway started handling the production duties on the 1982 ‘Victory’ album. Itself mostly remembered for the bumpin’ ‘Hot Spot’.
Bigger success though would come the year after along with the release of their ‘No Parking On The Dance Floor ‘ album. An effort which featured the firing ‘Wet My Whistle’ and the Electro/Funk fueled Freak-A-Zoid’. The group scoring another hit in the same vein – ‘Operator’ – from their 1984 ‘Planetary Invasion’ album. Meanwhile, ‘Headlines’, its follow-up back in 1986, would be their very last with the Calloway brothers. Itself featuring the memorable ‘Midas Touch’.
Two extra albums would come up on SOLAR, by the likes of ‘Midnight Star’ and ‘Work It Out’ respectively in 1988 and 1990. But none of them managed to have a comparable following. Midnight Star nevertheless makin’ a bit of extra noise in the charts with a couple of singles though. Beginning with ‘Don’t Rock The Boat’ and ‘Snake In The Grass’.
Goin’ for a long hiatus from then, although they never disbanded, Midnight Star would resurface some twelve years later. This with a new album by the likes of ’15th Avenue’.
As for Reggie and Vincent Calloway, they went on to release two albums under the Calloway guise. With their first effort – ‘All The Way’ – spanning the memorable ‘I Wanna Be Rich’. This in addition ‘Sir Lancelot’ and its title cut to a lesser extend back in 1989. Not to mention ‘Let’s Get Smooth’, from its follow-up of the likes in 1992. Meanwhile one can find the Calloway signature on the production of a bunch of significant gems. From The Deele‘s ‘Just My Luck’ in 1983 to The Whispers‘ ‘Contagious’ the year after. But also Gladys Knight And The Pips ‘Love Overboard’ and LeVert‘s ‘Casanova’ in 1987. Not to mention Teddy Pendergrass‘ ‘Joy’ and ‘Believe In Love’, respectively in 1988 and 1993 among others.