Blue Magic (album)

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Blue Magic
Studio album by Blue Magic
Released January 1974
Recorded Sigma Sound Studios
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Genre Philadelphia soul
Length 43:35 (original version)
56:25 (expanded reissue)
Label Atco
7038
Producer Norman Harris, Alan Rubens, Steven Bernstein
Blue Magic chronology
Blue Magic
(1974)
The Magic of the Blue
(1974)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau B+ [2]

Blue Magic is the self-titled debut album by American soul group Blue Magic, produced by Norman Harris and released in 1974 on the Atco label.

History[edit]

Blue Magic's debut single "Spell" was released in November 1972 and work on the album began in early 1973. Two more singles, "Look Me Up" and "Stop to Start" were released during 1973; all performed respectably on the R&B chart with "Stop to Start" also crossing over into the lower reaches of the pop chart. The album was released on January 9, 1974, followed shortly thereafter by a fourth single, "Sideshow", the lush, dreamy and loss-filled atmosphere of which immediately caught on and became a major hit, topping the R&B chart and reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Another track on the album was the lengthy "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely", which Ronnie Dyson had taken into the R&B top 30 in July 1973, then became a bigger hit for New York group The Main Ingredient, whose version reached both the R&B and pop top 10 at around the same time Blue Magic was released. Blue Magic peaked at #4 on the R&B album chart and #45 on the pop chart.

Music for the album was provided by Sigma Sound Studios' legendary house band MFSB. Bobby Eli, co-composer of "Sideshow" and "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely", who worked as a guitarist on the album, stated in the liner notes of the 2007 reissue of the album that he believed that Harris was equally at home with uptempo material as with ballads and, citing the tracks "Look Me Up" and "Welcome to the Club" as classic examples of the proto-disco sound of 1973-74, expressed his opinion that Harris' expertise in this field gave Blue Magic the ability to deliver convincing uptempo tracks in a way which largely eluded other Philadelphia soul groups with whom they are usually bracketed, notably The Stylistics and The Delfonics.

Blue Magic was reissued by Rhino Records in 2007, including two B-sides previously unavailable on CD and a remix of "Look Me Up"

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Sideshow"   Bobby Eli, Vinny Barrett 4:06
2. "Look Me Up"   Norman Harris, Al Felder 5:54
3. "What's Come Over Me"   Ted Mills 4:09
4. "Just Don't Want to be Lonely"   Eli, Barrett, John Freeman 7:00
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Stop to Start"   Jimmy Grant, Felder 3:18
6. "Welcome to the Club"   Harris, Felder 5:05
7. "Spell"   Mills 4:15
8. "Answer to My Prayer"   Harris, Felder 3:15
9. "Tear It Down"   Mills, Felder 5:27

Personnel[edit]

  • Vernon Sawyer, Richard Pratt, Wendell Sawyer, Keith Beaton, Ted Mills – vocals
  • Bobby Eli, Norman Harris, Ted Cohen, Roland Chambers – guitars
  • Ted Mills, Ron Kersey, Cotton Kent – pianos
  • Ronnie Baker, Jimmy Grant, Lee Smith, Jimmy DeJulio – bass
  • Earl Young, Larry James – drums
  • Larry Washington – percussion
  • Vince Montana – vibes
  • Don Renaldo and his Strings and Horns – strings accompaniment, horns accompaniment

Production[edit]

  • Norman Harris – producer, remixing, arrangement
  • Alan Rubens, Steven Bernstein – producers, executive producers
  • Bruce Gable – executive producer
  • Joe Tarsia, Kenny Present, Don Murray, Jay Mark, Carl Paruolo – recording engineers
  • Vince Montana – arrangement
  • Carl Helm – vocal arrangement

Charts[edit]

Album

Year Album Chart positions[3]
US US
R&B
1974 Blue Magic 45 4

Singles

Year Single Chart positions[4]
US US
R&B
US
A/C
1973 "Spell" 30
"Look Me Up" 36
"Stop to Start" 74 14
1974 "Sideshow" 8 1 35

References[edit]

  1. ^ Henderson, Alex. Blue Magic review at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Blue Magic review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  3. ^ "US Albums Charts > Blue Magic". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  4. ^ "US Singles Charts > Blue Magic". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 

External links[edit]