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R.C.R - 1980 Scandal



ARTIST: RCR
ALBUM: Scandal
LABEL: Radio/Good Sounds
SERIAL: GS-5001
YEAR: 1980

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Donna Rhodes - vocals * Charles Chalmers - vocals, sax * Sandra Rhodes - vocals, guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Scandal * 02 Give It To You * 03 Freedom Nights * 04 Don't Throw Love Away * 05 Love Is Gone * 06 Call Me * 07 Me And You * 08 Moments Of Magic * 09 When There's Love Around


Background
Looking positively dangerous on the front cover of this album are the trio RCR. Well you can guess how this outfit got their name right? The two Rhodes girls performed previously as a country act way back in the sixties, called (believe it or not) The Rhodes Sisters. Their family musical history goes way back into time. Added to the duo was long time friend and collaborator Charlie Chalmers, who in fact married Sandra. Chalmers had been a veteran in the Memphis scene for years as a mainly saxophone player and backup vocalist, and on an earlier session, both he and the Rhodes sisters were the backing vocalists on Al Green's mega-hit 'Let's Stay Together'. From there, the trio appeared on many singles and albums, before embarking on their own one-off album in 1980: 'Scandal'. It's a far cry from their prodigious country and blues roots, the album a concoction of mild hard rock fitting for the times. The music is not as dangerous, as the cover would suggest. It is a disco/rock crossover. Not as blatant as Paul Sabu in his heyday, but if you think along the lines of Teri De Sario, Desmond Child And Rouge and perhaps Tantrum then you're halfway to understanding what this trio were all about back in 1980.


The Songs
Things start out positively with the commercial rock of 'Scandal', complete with layered harmony vocals akin to the aforementioned Desmond Child And Rouge. The light disco boogie sound gets us early on 'Give It To You'. Put in the context of a 1980 recording, it is not out of place. First change-up comes with 'Freedom Nights' which sounds as if it has been lifted straight off Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' album! The beat accelerates for the entertaining 'Love Is Gone'. Still very light, but the sax and guitars give it an edge. The same goes for 'Call Me', though the slow intro tends to drag a bit. 'Moments Of Magic' is pretty tame all round but the song is saved by a brief melodic solo spot. The album finishes on a calmer note with the equally tame 'When There's Love Around'.


In Summary
Overall, a fairly smooth but lightweight piece of music which probably lacks the oomph to interest many of you hard rockers out there. The names of Rhodes, Chalmers and Rhodes appear on many artists albums as session vocalists, including Paul Anka, appearing on his hit 'You're Having My Baby', including a three year stint accompanying Anka during his run at Caesars Palace, sessions with the great Frank Sinatra, and even GDAZE favourites Firefall, and John Cougar Mellancamp and The Bee Gees. In their own right, the trio have continued on with sporadic performances but mainly in the country, blues, folk arena, Chalmers now running in studio in rural Missouri, the state being the rural homeland for the Rhodes family dynasty. One can assume that this effort has long since been confined to the dusty bargain bins of middle America, and probably not a contender for a CD reissue either.


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This article has been tagged
Tags: RCR 
 
Comments
#1 | richardb on June 13 2008 14:24:20
Ditched my copy a while back. Very bland even for a self confessed wimp lover like me!

Richard B
#2 | Eric on July 13 2008 13:30:39
I really like this record and wish it were reissued (not a chance I'm afraid). Games, Desmond Child & Rouge, De Sario's disco stuff and a little ABBA mixed in one fine platter!
#3 | super80boy on November 30 2014 17:16:23
I remember buying this many years ago thinking it was going to be full on hard rock from the looks of the front cover; boy was I in for a surprise. Although 'Give It To You' is full on disco, it's quite infectious and the rest of Side A is not too shabby in its lighter rock vibes. 'Love Is Gone' is the definition of a disco rock crossover. Both Donna and Sandra recorded solo albums, which were in pop soul vein.
 
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