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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lemon - s/t

Name: Lemon
Album: S/T
Year: 1978
Style: Disco, R&B
Similar Bands: Chic, Sister Sledge, Bee Gees
"One-Word" Review: Space-Disco-In-The-Round
Based Out Of: ?NYC?
Label: Prelude Records
Lemon - Cover & Record
Lemon - Back & Record
Lemon - S/T (1978)
  1. A-Freak-A 6:14
  2. Hot Bodies 4:30
  3. Freak On 4:03/
  4. Chance to Dance 6:12
  5. Inside My Heart 5:22
  6. Hot Hands 4:41
Album Rating (1-10): 6.0

Members & Other Bands:
Bass: Neil Jason, Bob Babbitt
Guitar: Elliot Randall, Lance Quinn, Cliff Morris
Keyboards: Paul Griffin
Drums: Alan Schwartzberg, Jimmy Young
Congas and Percussion: Jimmy Maelen, Sammy Figueroa, Joey Saulter
Banjo: Wayne Morrison
Trumpet: John Faddis, Alan Rubin
Trombone: Barry Rodgers, Sam Burtis
Tuba: Dave Bargeron
Sax: George Young
Bass Sax: Walter Kane
Flute : Kenny Lehman (Chic)
Strings: Emanuel Vardi, Charles McCracken, Kemit Moore, Marvin Morgenstern, Harold Kohon, W. Sanford Allen, Gene Orloff
Concert Master: Gene Orloff
Synthesizer: Rick Ulfik
Vibes: Dave Carey
Vocals: Gordon Grody, Diva Gray(Chic), Lani Groves, Kenny Lehman (Chic), Luther Vandross, David Lasley
Jeff Kawalek - Engineer
Clifford Hodsbon - Asst. Engineer
Julian Robertson - Asst. Engineer
Tony Bongiovi - Engineer
Don Burman - Engineer
Raymond Willhard - Asst. Engineer
Ancona Design Atelier - Design
Bernard Vidal - Photography
Tom M Jones - Associate Producer
Roger Bell - Exec Producer
Kenny Baum - Exec Producer
Wayne Morrison - Assoc. Arranger
Gordon Grody - Assoc. Arranger
Steve Boston - Assoc. Arranger
Mike Sergio - Assoc. Arranger
Warren Benbow - Assoc. Arranger
Joel Mofsenson - Assoc. Arranger

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of this band, and from the suggestive, provocative cover art, I really have no idea what music will be on this. But a simple guess thanks to the song titles, year, and track lengths would suggest that it will be some sort of disco album. I like the font for the band/album name Lemon, too. But it is clean, sexy artwork make its contents all the more intriguing.

Album review: “A-Freak-A” begins with a funky space-jam disco beat. The stings kick in adding the orchestral element, paralleled by syllable vocals. The song brings to my imagination a circle of dancers who, one at a time, come into the middle to show off their moves. There are minimal lyrics to the song, except for “Its Hot,” a standard disco expression.
“Hot Bodies” is bass heavy, and it feels like a funky Stevie Wonder song. The R&B vocals are hushed, jittery, and weak, like Michael Jackson’s nervous, quiet vocals. There is a chorus of female vocals backing up the front vox, basically saying the title in rhythm to the song.
“Freak On” has a steady drum beat, a fun progressive bass line and is keyboard strong. It features whistles in the background and over all, has a tropical feel to it. I do like this sort of bass line featured. Vocals are added in the middle of the song briefly, and are little annoying hooks of music rather than standard vocals.

“Chance to Dance” has another fun drum/bass line that feels like it is the reverse of “Freak On.” The vocals are laid over lightly like the Bee Gees disco songs. And the song’s lyrics and rhythm work together as a motivational song to dance. The music breaks down into a softer, but still driven dream-like section wishing for “the chance to dance with you.” It then goes back to the Gang of Four bass line-like disco song.“Inside My Heart” is a smooth, bold, yet sly female R&B disco track. The bass line is not as pronounced or fun, just coming in for a note or two, as most of the son’s momentum comes from the vocals and strings…and a bit of brass, too. In the instrumental section, it has a lot more in common with the Star Wars Cantina band and carnival music than R&B, but it still drive on with disco momentum.
“Hot Hands” feels like a gay-pride parade song, starting with a whistle and odd synth sound effects and following through with a basic jungle disco beat. It could be re-written as such now, with multiple meanings interpreted from the tempo.

Stand Out Track: Freak On

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