Ruby Andrews – 1977 – Genuine Ruby
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A surprisingly successful attempt to reinvent Ruby Andrews for the disco era, Genuine Ruby works because it never sacrifices soulfulness for slickness. Arrangers David VanDepitt and McKinley Jackson maintain total control of the groove, employing experienced hands like keyboardist Earl Van Dyke to guarantee authenticity at every turn.
The opening “Queen of the Disco” is the record’s most unabashedly commercial cut as well as its least satisfying, but from there the classicist soul melodies find a common ground with the club-oriented production. The buoyant “Merry Go Round” is a minor classic, and Andrews’ potent vocals never disappoint, boasting an empowerment and sexiness very much in the spirit of the times.