|Studio album by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan|
|Released||April 4, 1977|
|Recorded||1976 Kendun Recorders June, August, September and November 1976
|Rufus featuring Chaka Khan chronology|
|Singles from Ask Rufus|
|Robert Christgau||C+ |
Ask Rufus is the platinum-selling fifth studio album by funk band Rufus (billed as Rufus featuring Chaka Khan), released on the ABC Records label in 1977. "Ask Rufus" was the 2nd best selling R&B album of 1977 according to the Billboard Year End Charts.
By 1977, Rufus and Chaka Khan, now a fragile yet still tight unit, were starting to drift in different directions. Recording sessions for this album were troublesome due to tensions between Khan and drummer Andre Fischer. Khan's recent marriage to businessman Richard Holland had drawn a wedge between Khan and Fischer. Khan would later report that during a session, with Holland present, Fischer and Holland had an altercation over a song that led into a fight at the bathroom. Upon hearing the struggle, Khan fought Fischer and band mates reportedly had to carry her away from Fischer.
As a result the recording of Ask Rufus was longer than other albums. Ask Rufus would turn out to be the final album to feature Fischer, who was a member of the group for five years. Despite his departure, Ask Rufus continued the group's success as they headed to the late 1970s. On the plus side, they gained another band member via this sessions. Keyboardist David "Hawk" Wolinski joined up with the band after a stint with Madura, thus complimenting founding member Kevin Murphy's playing as well. Also former member Dennis Belfield returned to co-write "Everlasting Love" with Wolinski and Murphy.
Ask Rufus was the band's second album to top Billboard's R&B Albums chart and also reached #14 on Pop. The album includes the singles "At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)", their third #1 hit on the R&B Singles chart and also #37 on Dance and #30 on Pop, "Hollywood" (US R&B #3, US Pop #32) and "Everlasting Love" (US R&B #17). In 1978 the Ask Rufus album earned the band their second Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The track "Hollywood" was later covered by Erykah Badu on the soundtrack to Spike Lee's 2000 movie Bamboozled, as well as being interpolated in India.Arie's song "Little Things" on her second album, Voyage to India; "Everlasting Love" was covered by Mary J. Blige on the 1996 Olympic Games album Rhythm of The Games. The late musician J. Spencer covered the song on his debut album, Chimera in 1993.
|1.||"At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)"||Tony Maiden, Lalomie Washburn||4:20|
|2.||"Close the Door"||David Wolinski, Bobby Watson, Chaka Khan, André Fischer||3:25|
|3.||"Slow Screw Against the Wall / A Flat Fry" (Medley: Instrumental Interlude)||Wolinski / Watson||2:35|
|4.||"Earth Song"||Maiden, Traude Sapik, Khan||5:05|
|5.||"Everlasting Love"||Kevin Murphy, Wolinski, Dennis Belfield||4:46|
|7.||"Magic in Your Eyes"||Khan, Maiden||3:51|
|8.||"Better Days"||Richard Holland, Khan||4:14|
|9.||"Egyptian Song"||Wolinski, Khan||5:10|
- Chaka Khan – lead vocals, background vocals
- Tony Maiden – guitar, background vocals
- Kevin Murphy – keyboards, background vocals
- Bobby Watson – bass, background vocals
- André Fischer – drums, background vocals
- David "Hawk" Wolinski – keyboards, background vocals
- Milt Holland – percussion
- Ron Wood – guitar on "A Flat Fry"
- Rufus – producers
- Gary Starr – engineer
- Michael Schuman – assistant engineer
- Clare Fischer – string arrangements and conductor
- Charles Garnett, Tony Maiden – horn arrangements on "At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)"
|U.S. Billboard Top LPs||12|
|U.S. Billboard Top Soul LPs||1|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions|
|1977||"At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)"||30||1||37|
- "Close the Door"
- "Who's Crew" by Tracey Lee from the album Many Facez