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Sylvia – 1976 – Sylvia

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sylvia front

Perhaps it was the release of “Je t’aime (moi non plus)” in early 1969 that truly launched an era of erotic and sexualmusic. Using the word ‘sexual’, I don’t mean ‘sexy.’ What is sexy is completely in one’s head – know this, if someone sells you something as ‘sexy’ that is only his (or her, if that happens) point of view, not yours. But “Pillow Talk” (1973), the breakthrough hit of Sylvia, was evidently sexual. It led to Donna Summer borrowing its tricks to her own breakthrough hit “Love to Love You Baby” (1975) and, of course, Sylvia’s own follow-up album, called simply Sylvia(1976).

A1 L.A. Sunshine 3:40
A2 You Sure Love to Ball 5:49
A3 He Don’t Ever Lose His Groove 5:05
A4 Next Time That I See You 4:53
B1 Sweet Stuff 4:24
B2 Taxi 4:07
B3 Mr. Bartender 4:02
B4 Standing at the End 3:45

sylvia back

On the other hand, this was also the age of Marvin Gaye’s sexual records, Let’s Get It On was released in 1973 and I Want You in 1976. The original ’73 recording of “You Sure Love to Ball” is very nice, but I guess Sylvia’s version may well be the ultimate example of what the 1970s sexual music was about. Beside the ahh’s, ooh’s and revisioned lyrics that literally tell the story of a woman seducing a male friend, taking her clothes off and having sex with him, it is the feel that really matters. It is breathtaking. Nope, I am not getting aroused, but in some other way I am very impressed.

The rest of the album? Despite “You Sure Love to Ball” being located on Side A, I prefer the flipside. Especially “Taxi“, the disco-flavoured “Mr. Bartender“, and the stylish closing ballad “Standing at the End” sound very nice. I can’t consider Sylvia a classic, while about half of the album is relatively average night club soul of the era, but if you are interested in this era of sexual music from ’69 to about ’78, I recommend you this.

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