Title - 'No Parking On The Dancefloor + 2' [2CD]
Artist - Midnight Star
For those not in the know, Midnight Star is an American group that had a string of hits in the 1980's.
Midnight Star hit the U.S. R&B chart with early singles "Hot Spot" and "I've Been Watching You" with drummer Bobby Lovelace joining the group in late 1982, freeing guitarist/drummer/vocalist Melvin Gentry to sing and play guitar exclusively.
Their fourth album, No Parking on the Dance Floor, was released in 1983, and its first single, "Freak-A-Zoid", went to number two on the U.S. Black Singles chart. Other singles from the album included "Wet My Whistle", and the title track.
These singles, along with the hit album tracks "Slow Jam" (co-written by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds) and "Electricity" led the album to double platinum status.
Their next album, Planetary Invasion also went platinum and made the pop Top 20 and the number one spot on the R&B chart with its first single, "Operator". This song remains the band's only Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hit to date.
Then in 1986 the band released their sixth album, Headlines, which was their third album to sell at least gold, but it was also to be their last with the Calloway brothers.
Due to irreconcilable differences with the other members, Reggie was out of the group and Vincent left shortly thereafter. However, they achieved their biggest success in the UK with "Midas Touch", which made #8, and "Headlines", a #16 hit earlier the same year.
Released June 29th, 2018 via Robinsongs /Cherry Red Records, Midnight Star now have those three aforementioned albums all brought together on a deluxe 2CD set.
These three fantastic Midnight Star albums on a double CD release, No Parking On The Dance Floor / Planetary Invasion / Headlines all now come complete with four (4) bonus tracks (all be they just 7” Versions of some tracks, sadly).
NO PARKING ON THE DANCEFLOOR
2. "NIGHT RIDER"
3. "FEELS SO GOOD"
4. "WET MY WHISTLE"
5. "NO PARKING (ON THE DANCEFLOOR)"
7. "SLOW JAM"
9. BODY SNATCHERS"
10. SCIENTIFIC LOVE"
11. LET’S CELEBRATE"
13. PLANETARY INVASION"
PLANETARY INVASION (Ctd.)
2. "TODAY MY LOVE"
3. "CAN YOU STAY WITH ME"
5. "MIDAS TOUCH"
6. "STAY HERE BY MY SIDE"
7. "CLOSE TO MIDNIGHT"
8. "GET DRESSED"
9. "ENGINE NO. 9"
10. "CLOSE ENCOUNTER"
11. "DEAD END"
12. "SEARCHING FOR LOVE"
13. "WET MY WHISTLE" (7” Version)
14. "FREAK-A-ZOID" (7” Version)
15. "BODY SNATCHERS" (7” Version)
16. "OPERATOR" (7” Version)
Released in 1983, No Parking On The Dance Floor features the two Smash R&B Hits "Freak-A-Zoid" and "Wet My Whistle" and the single "No Parking (On The Dancefloor)." Certified double platinum in America, this fourth release was also their successful album.
Aside from the aforementioned hit singles, lead track "Electricity" was also released as a single and sets the tone perfectly for what's to come here. Hard funk grooves entirely based on the synthesizer along with all of the instrumental elements, that's backed by the infectious bass line hooks within "Night Rider," but a shout out should also go to the seminal quiet storm anthem, "Slow Jam".
It should also be mentioned that "Wet My Whistle" has a melodic and percussive pop/funk sound very much out of the Reggie Lucus/Mtume/Madonna sound of that time and is one of my personal favorite songs here.
As for "No Parking (On The Dancefloor)," the song has been sampled by several artists since its 1983 release, including Sugar Ray's song from 2003, "Mr. Bartender (It's So Easy)". Indeed, the basic melody was also sampled by the Bar-Kays in their 1984 hit "Freakshow on the Dance Floor" and in Popula Demand's 1988 song "Don't Clock Me".
Originally released in 1984, Planetary Invasion includes the #1 R&B single "Operator" which topped the chart for an amazing five weeks along with the single "Body Snatchers."
On their fifth album, produced by group member Reggie Calloway, Midnight Star peaked at number seven on the R&B albums chart. In truth, Calloway's imprint is all over this album. From co-writing all the songs (save for "Curious") and producing it, the sound remains the same.
Indeed, both "Operator" and "Body Snatchers" have the same type of stripped down, bass synth heavy electronic / Vocorder-based funk production as the big hits from their previous album had. It's almost as if they were continuing right where they'd left off musically.
"Scientific Love", with witty lyrics like "If Einstein were still around, he'd be showing us how to love scientifically", and "Can You Stay With Me" combines electronics used more to orchestrate with heavy rhythm guitars for a more melodic pop/dance-funk approach.
Whereas, "Let's Celebrate" is a highly melodic jazz/pop style romantic ballad sung with male falsetto and "Today My Love" is a slow string and piano ballad sung triumphantly by Belinda Lipscomb.
Finally, we include the album Headlines, again packed with R&B Hits such as "Midas Touch" and the title track "Headlines" (both Top 10 records). Also included is "Engine No.9" which just failed to crack the Top 10, stalling at No. 11.
Their sixth album, Midas Touch, also made the Top Ten in the U.K. and deservedly so, for as much as it only just managed to creep over the line of being registered (via sales) as a Gold Record), it's two lead singles were truly dancefloor go-to's for everyone of that time.
It also includes the ballad "Searching For Love," with amazing vocals by Belinda and Bo. This kind of music, which in my opinion, is the best there will ever be, is just so hard to come by in today's market.
This wonderful 2CD package also contains sleeve notes by Christian John Wikane, a New York based writer and music essayist and contributing Editor for PopMatters.
Official CD Purchase Link