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EVELYN CHAMPAGNE KING: FLIRT (CAROLINE/ SMR)
This was such a surprise. I worked with this lady during the eighties and together did the whole nightclub promotional bit, as you did back then. And she was simply great! So, imagine my excitement at hearing her again on her 1988 debut album for EMI Manhattan, following nine years with RCA where her hits were many but “Shame” and “Love Come Down” spring to mind straight away. (We were promoting “Love Come Down” as I now remember). I didn’t recall this CD before, so it was like listening to a new release for me, which deflected none of my enjoyment. However, first off. There were delays in recording this album. Evelyn gave birth to Johnniea, her first daughter, but there were, sadly, ensuing health complications which tragically led to her death at 2 ½ years old. No parent should suffer the passing of a child. The third extracted single here, “Kisses Don’t Lie” is dedicated to her late daughter and is one of the tracks that eases down the tone of the whole CD to a much mellower level. Wistful and emotional, as you might expect.

The first single was, of course, the opening title track which indicates the party has begun. Stimulating funk vibrates out of the speakers as the lady sings, teases, and I imagine, gyrates around the studio. Heavy and infectious: it skips and jumps, while holding the rigid dance beat. The second single, “Hold On To What You’ve Got” holds all the hallmarks of the Evelyn King sound that suits her voice so well. On the other hand, I’m reminded of Teena Marie/Rick James with “You Can Turn Me On” as the funk relentlessly hits its mark, without let up. “Before The Date”, with the fuller support vocals, hits overdrive on the chorus, while “Whenever You Touch Me” is a mighty vocal powerhouse of sound. Evelyn’s voice soars, beckons and hits a soulful level not previously heard on this CD. What a massive song; what a CD highlight! And what a terrific journey I’ve had. Highly recommended of course.

Rating: 9


About the Writer
Sharon Davis ran the Four Tops fan club before spearheading Motown Ad Astra, catering for all the Motown acts, where she edited the in-house magazine TCB. Was publicist for Fantasy, Stax and Salsoul before joining Motown Records in London. Formed her own press/promotion company Eyes & Ears, worked for Blues & Soul magazine and website, and became a full time author and researcher. To date Sharon has written eleven books (her last A Girl Called Dusty published by Carlton Books) and she’s working on her next - Divas Of Motown. As a researcher, Sharon assisted Diana Ross with her autobiography Secrets Of A Sparrow, and is now in constant demand for her knowledge about Motown and its artists.
  
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