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Rick James

In the late '70s, when the fortunes of Motown Records seemed to be flagging, Rick James came along and rescued the company, providing funky hits that updated the label's style and saw it through into the mid-'80s. Actually, James had been with Motown earlier, though nothing had come of it. After growing up in Buffalo and running away to join the Naval Reserves, he ran away from the Navy to Toronto, where he was in a band with future Buffalo Springfield members Neil Young and Bruce Palmer, and with Goldy McJohn, later of Steppenwolf. As the Mynah Birds, they signed to Motown and recorded, though no record was ever released.

James had a journeyman's career playing bass in various groups before signing again to Motown as an artist, songwriter, and producer. His first single, "You and I" (May 1978), topped the R&B charts and reached the pop Top 40. "Mary Jane" (September 1978) was another hit. Both were on James' debut album, Come Get It! (June 1978), which went gold. Subsequent efforts were not as successful, though Bustin' Out of L Seven (January 1979) featured the R&B hit "Bustin' Out" (April 1979). James returned to form with the number one R&B hit "Give It to Me Baby" (March 1981), featured on the million-selling Street Songs (April 1981), which also featured the hit "Super Freak."

James turned his production attention to resuscitating the career of the Temptations, recently returned to Motown, and "Standing on the Top" (April 1982), credited to the Temptations featuring Rick James, was an R&B Top Ten. (He also produced recordings by Teena Marie and the Mary Jane Girls.) James' follow-up to Street Songs was the gold-selling Throwin' Down (May 1982), which featured the hit "Dance Wit' Me." The title song of Cold Blooded (August 1983) became James' third R&B number one, and the album also featured his hit duet with Smokey Robinson, "Ebony Eyes." James' greatest-hits album Reflections (August 1984) featured the new track "17" (June 1984), which also became a hit. Glow (April 1985) contained Top Ten R&B singles in the title track and "Can't Stop," which was featured in the summer movie blockbuster Beverly Hills Cop. The Flag (June 1986) featured the hit "Sweet and Sexy Thing" (May 1986).

James left Motown for the Reprise division of Warner Bros. Records as of the album Wonderful (July 1988), which featured his number one R&B hit "Loosey's Rap," on which he was accompanied by rapper Roxanne Shante. Nevertheless, his "punk funk" didn't seem to rest comfortably with the trend toward rap/hip-hop. In 1989, James charted briefly with a medley of the Drifters hits "This Magic Moment" and "Dance With Me." In 1990, MC Hammer scored a massive hit with "U Can't Touch This," which consisted of his rap over the instrumental track of "Super Freak." That should have made for a career rebirth, but James was plagued by drug and legal problems that found him more frequently in court and in jail rather than in the recording studio. The majority of his legal woes behind him, James returned in 1997 with Urban Rapsody, which didn't yield any hits but was well accepted by critics. Rick James died of a heart attack on August 6, 2004, at his Los Angeles home. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Omg miss hearing this at home though. I forgot about this one.
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I flippin love this song .-.
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Great memories! !
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carrielinare s
Ohhh, its to bad hes dead, but his music will stay forever. Me im 10 please get your kids to listen to stuf like this, because pop...... Theres nothing wers in music history! Go 80s,90s,and 50s!
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I love your songs ya super freak baby wooo
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In the late seventies I was eighteen and in the military when I first heard of Rick James. Been hooked ever since.
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Puro break dance with this super freak :)...
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smc.clay05
Love some Rick James
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Hard To Get : I LOVE RICK JAMES' MUSIC.
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Great entertainer.
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cocaine is a hell of a drug....
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julessanchez 9 7
Nice song
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Can you find I got you
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Can you find still in love
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Uptown funk stole this
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you Turn Me On: Great song, great song. :-)
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Dance wit me. Happy feet
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https://db.t t / o u h x m G M 2

This is our album Henn & Goo$e.. check us out coach city boyz on you tube.!!!

Please post it to your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You will be a believer after you listen to the album!
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rdb2610
Talent...... . . . . W o w
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Roy ayes
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Im rick james b**ch….
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Gotta say love me some oldies it brings back Olde school ISH I may in my 30's but it was my older family generation who passed on and love this music......
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That's right bring back the 80s
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Rick was the greatest
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I love this song.
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julessanchez 9 7
Bring back the 80s
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blueyedmom00 7
Give It To Me...baby!!! What a song. Oh yeah!!! I miss the 70's.
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this is real love music
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Great song of my youth
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Rip lil bro yo bday on feb 1st an r james on feb 2 love yall
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wilkinsonsha r o n 9 1
Love Rick James
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godfather of Funk!!!
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I'll. MissU Rick U Are The KiNG Of FUNK!!! Baby!!!!!!!
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Great song ....
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I'm a very kinky girl, that u take home to mother
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Lol I don't even know how I remember this song
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RICK U R THE MAN
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annvaughn79
When???
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annvaughn79
My medicine
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annvaughn79
Biggest smile straight jammin
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Gone way to early, great talent. Loved him some 'Mary Jane", two tokes to you. Rick, RIP
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In Your Song Super Fracek,You Copied McHammers Song Cant Touch This Also Is It A Parody? Well It MIGHT Be
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Rick was the man back in day
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Two thumb way up...give it to me baby...lol you already know...
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Love. The. Time. And. Place. Rip. 4ever
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Pass the joint... the place where I was born.... rip rick....
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Ebony eyes was the jam
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You and I ♥ Rick James
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Super freck song I love slot
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shabnaj50
The jam!!
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