Rick James, real name James Ambrose Johnson Jr., was an American singer-songwriter who started his artistic career at the age of 10. But he also got his foot in legal trouble since he was also involved in drugs at that age. It is also found in cases of theft, thefts that will make him go through the prison box.
He only escaped this by enlisting in the US Navy around the age of 14/15, while at the same time continuing a semblance of an artistic career in several groups.
He deserted in 1965 to form a group called The Mynah Birds and even managed to sign with Motown a year later in 1966. But the US military caught up with him, sentenced him for desertion with a penalty of 1 year in prison. A conviction that put a stop to his career, at least temporarily.
It will take him about 10 years to regain his place in the artistic world and it is only from 1977 that the sky finally clears when he forms the group The Stone City Band.
Group with which he released his first album “Come get it !" in 1978. And for a first album, it was particularly successful, to say the least. In particular thanks to the enormous single "You and I" which gives the singer his first global success.
The albums "Bustin' out of L seven", "Fire it up" and "Garden of love" which came out respectively in 1979 for the first two and in 1980 for the last confirm the certain rise of the artist towards the heights of Charts.
An irresistible rise that leads to supreme consecration with the album "Street songs" in 1981. An album that will remain as the highest ranked of all and which will also produce the artist's biggest hit single with the title "Super freak (Part 1)”.
Consecration also with other artists like Teena Marie, the groups Mary Jane Girls and Temptations. But also with Eddie Murphy and Smokey Robinson with whom he works either as a composer or as a producer.
New hit album "Throwin 'down" a year later in 1982, album that would primarily produce the very high-caliber single "Dance wit’ me (Part 1)". Then the album "Cold blooded" was released in 1983. Album with two flagship singles "Cold blooded" and "Ebony eyes".
No album to eat in 1984. It was therefore found in 1985 with the album "Glow", an album which added a new star to its charts. Album whose main single will be the single bearing the name of the album.
New success, but less success, in 1986 with the album "The flag". Ditto with the album "Wonderful" in 1988.
A great adventure that came to an end in the early 1990s when the singer's drug addiction took on uncontrollable proportions. And the adventure turns into a nightmare when he is sentenced to 3 years in prison in 1993 for 2 separate cases of kidnapping and torture of women while under the influence of crack cocaine.
An adventure that will come to an end in 2004 at the age of 56 when he suffered a heart attack, an attack which was unfortunately fatal.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
You and I 1978
Mary Jane 1978
High on you love suite 1979
Bustin' out 1979
Love gun 1979
Big time 1980
Give it to me baby 1981
Super freak (Part 1) 1981
Ghetto life 1981
Standing on the top (Part 1) 1982
Dance wit’ me (Part 1) 1982
Hard to get 1982
Cold blooded 1983
Ebony eyes 1983
You turn me on 1984
Can’t stop 1985
Spend the night with me 1985
Sweet and sexy thing 1986
Lossey's rap 1988
This magic moment 1989
In the ghetto 2006
1978 ... a first title which positions the singer as one of the big revelations of the moment. With the key to a first title classified on both sides of the Atlantic, just that !
1978 ... a sequel which will not know the same level of success as the previous title but which still allows the singer to confirm all the good that one could think of him ...
1979 ... the sound is trendy, certainly, but the quality level is no longer sufficient to keep him in contact with the best. He will have to recover and quickly ...
1979 ... it is not this title that will allow him to return to the leading pack, it is clear. After a startling career to say the least, the rest promises to be a little more complicated than expected to manage ...
1979 ... a year 1979 saved by this title. For now, nothing alarming but it is clear that the singer will have to raise his level of play if he wants to exist again at the highest level !
1980 ... it is the passage to the 80s which will see him return in a spectacular way to the race. The singer finally finds the inspiration of his beginnings and it can be heard !
1981 .... let's go for the big show ! The singer is now in full possession of his means and will perform in an impressive way in the years to come !
1981 ... then THIS title comes ! An enormous title which will undoubtedly remain like his Mona Lisa and which offers him his direct ticket to posterity. Here he signs one of the biggest Dance titles of the decade and the end of the twentieth period. MAS-TER-FUL !
1981 ... of course, this title will be the 'small' hit of the year but will experience a level of success largely sufficient to keep the singer in the leading pack. We will therefore be satisfied with it greatly !
1982 ... a nice association which sees a sum of talents more than certain to come together for the time of a piece. With the result inevitably up to par !
1982 ... massive return of success on this title. The singer literally walks on water and delivers heavy gauge track after heavy gauge track. A real war machine !
1982 ... an almost cut and paste of 'Super freak'. The singer plays it a little easy on this one and the public is not fooled. Race result : free fall in the Charts ...
1983 ... a title full of finesse, a style that is not really the singer's business. Anyway, on this one, he is doing pretty well ...
1983 ... decidedly, 1983 will be an Intimist year for the singer. Especially since the association with Smokey Robinson works like hell and allows the 2 protagonists to produce a title of more than certain quality. MA-GIC !
1984 ... chase the natural, it comes back at a gallop ! After the gentle parenthesis, here he is back to his dance fundamentals. This title will not remain as its best but largely holds up, it is clear !
1984 ... a year 1984 which will not necessarily remain as its best vintage. There is quality, sure, but not enough to keep him in the Elite. Attention danger...
1985 ... fortunately he has the resources that allow him to bounce back each time in a spectacular fashion. The year 1985 will not have much to do with the year 1984, that's clear !
1985 ... a comeback which is confirmed with this title, a title which gives him a new star to its prize list, one more ! Not sure it will last like that for years to come, but what is taken is no longer to be taken !
1985 ... a title which will meet only a low level of success while it is far from unworthy. Sometimes you don't have to try to understand ...
1986 ... its first single-title year, not necessarily a good sign as they say. After several years where the production of titles was bloated, here he is in full deceleration. What should we deduce from it, good question ...?
1988 ... after an empty year 1987, here he is back in an average shape in this year 1988. Sufficient shape anyway and which above all allows him to stay afloat. But for how much longer ...
1989 ... when you start doing covers, it's not necessarily a good sign. Even if this cover of the title of the Drifters dating from 1960 works rather well, it is clear that the adventure is drawing to an end for the singer ...
2006 ... the Phoenix will rise again from its ashes in a spectacular fashion and especially posthumously almost 17 years after its last success. All thanks to young people who will just want to pay tribute to him. Like what, the music makes eternal, the proof !
Official Website :
http://www.rickjames.com/ Greatest Hits :