Rick James Street Songs Review

Released 1981.  

BBC Review

It showed that the king of punk-funk was back on top form.

David O'Donnell 2008

Following on from the poorly received Garden of Love album, Rick James released the seminal Street Songs in 1981 to both critical acclaim and commercial success, showing that the king of punk-funk was back on top.

What made Street Songs such a success was the defiant and passionate performances given by James, together with the innovative and exciting songwriting throughout. The singles Superfreak, Ghetto Life and Give It To Me Baby all topped the dance charts in the US, and the album managed to breathe new life into a Motown label, which at the time was struggling to release hit albums. Street Songs became the biggest R&B album of that year, staying at the top of the charts for 20 consecutive weeks and since then the album has gone multi-platinum.

Although the album was released close to three decades ago, the influence of James as a performer and Street Songs as an album remains strong, with his tracks being sampled by hip hop artists including Busta Rhymes and Jay Z as well as being featured in numerous film and computer game soundtracks.

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