David Ruffin – 1976 – Everything’s Comming Up Love
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David Ruffin teams with Van McCoy for this sweet little set – and the result is a great batch of grooves that swell with Ruffin’s soulful sound of the 70s, but sway with the warm McCoy dancefloor modes of the time! Van wrote nearly all the tracks in the set – and handled all arrangements and production – but the record’s far less disco than you’d guess, thanks to cracklingly earnest vocals from Ruffin, who’s still given plenty of space to shine center stage on the record. The balance is essential, and is carried off here in a manner similar to the best Philly soul albums of its type.
As he had done on Who I Am (1975), David Ruffin (vocals) teamed up with the multi-talented composer, arranger and producer Van McCoy for the follow-up Everything’s Coming Up Love (1976). While certainly not a landmark in terms of Ruffin’s artistic progression, the eight cuts definitely sound in sync with the concurrent plethora of danceable records spinning in the discotheques. McCoy again called on the finest instrumental support that the Big Apple had to offer with recording session stalwartsRichard Tee (keyboards), Eric Gale (guitar), Hugh McCracken (guitar), Steve Gadd (drums), andRalph McDonald (percussion). Plus, Diane Destry (vocals), Brenda Hillard and Albert Bailey – better known as Faith, Hope & Charity. It is their angelic intonations that listeners are treated to during the opening of “Discover Me“. McCoy’s string and horn charts are ostensibly influenced by the Philly soul stylings of Leon Huff and Kenny Gamble. “First Round Knock Out” was a tune McCoy had initially written for two-time heavyweight champion, Smokin’ Joe Frazier, which Motown put out in the fall of 1975. Ruffin’s reading is clearly aimed for the dancefloor as the slinky, pulsating rhythm drives solidly for nearly nine minutes. Faith, Hope & Charity lend their breezy blend to the optimistic and reflective midtempo ballad “Good, Good Times“. “On and Off” hearkens to the classic Motown sound with an easier, slightly syncopated beat that isn’t as heavy as the typical fare on this project.
“Ready Willing and Able” is a return to form for Ruffin as he unleashes his world-weary and soul-stirring wailing. The title song “Everything’s Coming Up Love” is a rather blatant homage to Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra bearing more than a few similarities to the LUO’s “Love’s Theme“. Although there are no slow, romantic numbers, the closer “Until We Say Goodbye” – one of two selections to have been penned by someone other than McCoy – adopts a sweet sentiment behind yet another disco-fied drone. The 45s “On and Off” b/w “No Matter Where” and “Everything’s Coming Up Love” b/w “Statue of a Fool” – were issued as singles. Oddly, the flipsides came from earlier Ruffin LPs.