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Frederick Knight – 1977 – Knight Kap

Read Reviews, Buy the Album or Download the Album for free

Frederick Knight has the thankless pop monicker of being a ‘one-hit wonder’, scoring huge in 1973 with the catchy “I’ve Been Lonely for So Long”. Soul buffs like myself, however, know that Knight was more than that. Much more. A prolific writer, musician, producer and arranger, Knight belongs to the cream of Southern Soul craftsmen. 

‘Knight Kap’, released on his own label in 1977, probably demonstrates why Knight’s flirtations with the pop charts in the latter half of the ’70s were skimpy: Frederick refused to go either disco or pop in a time when real soul music was fast becoming an extinct species. 

Tracks
A1 Betcha Didn’t Know That 4:26
A2 River Flowing 4:31
A3 Wrapped in Your Love 4:55
A4 Staying Power 3:38
B1 I Love the Way You Love 5:48
B2 You Make My Life Complete 4:23

B3 When It Ain’t Right With My Baby 4:51
B4 Uphill Peace of Mind 4:36

Betcha Didn’t Know That” – a superior remake of the Truth single that charted in 1975 – evidently has some typical late ’70s strings, but the vocal, riding a haunting, descending riff, is pure Southern. The gently rollicking mid-tempo pacer “River Flowing” – a personal fav – should’ve been huge: fingerpoppin’ beat, swirling strings, xylophones on the upbeat and a sassy sax throughout. 

Equally smoldering is the mid-paced ballad “Wrapped In Your Love“, with its almost classical piano opening and muted horn riffs. The A-side closes with the most commercial track on the disc, the swooshing uptempo romp “Staying Power“. 

Knight starts off the flipside with a bona fide reggae-thon, belting out the tropical “I Love the Way You Love“. Check out that bass and organ! 

Vicious wah wah guitars and a sturdy beat propel the melodic strut “You Make My Life Complete“, and this is the sole track on the LP that features the slightest hint of synthesizer, without ever ruining it. And the breezy “When It Ain’t Right With My Baby” could have been written for Barry White: lush orchestration, still with a meaty, funky groove underneath. 

Capping off the album is the sweaty gospel/soul/rock blow-out “Uphill Peace of Mind“. 

This LP is an unknown gem by one of the genre’s finest representatives. Seriously, those first three songs are 5 stars each easily…