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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Parker, Ray (Jnr) - 1982 The Other Woman
 
Parker, Ray (Jnr) - 1982 The Other Woman



ARTIST: Parker, Ray (Jnr)
ALBUM: The Other Woman
LABEL: Arista
SERIAL: AL 9590
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2012, Funky Town Grooves, FTG-290

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Ray Parker Jr. - vocals, guitar, bass, drums, synthesizer, piano * Larry Tolber - drums * Charles Green- saxophone, flute

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Other Woman * 02 Streetlove * 03 Stay The Night * 04 It's Our Own Affair * 05 Let Me Go * 06 Let's Get Off * 07 Stop, Look Before You Love * 08 Just Havin' Fun

WEBLINKS: www.rayparkerjr.com


Background
Smooth operator Parker Jr. will always be known for 'Ghostbusters', but his work prior to that plagiarized pop classic was immersed in 70's funk and rock, which passed over to his solo debut 'The Other Woman'. After spending the majority of the 70's as a session player, Parker Jr. formed Raydio, who notched up a slew of hits which stretched into the early 80's, including the staples 'Jack And Jill' and 'A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)'. Parker Jr. broke loose to embark on a solo career and was paid instant dividends, with this album going gold and conjuring numerous hit singles, all of which were well deserved.


The Songs
This album follows the path of efforts by Lionel Richie, Jeffrey Osborne and George Benson in the 1982 time-frame, with an appetizing mixture of soulful AOR blending with the natural funk and R&B elements which made those artists so memorable. Parker is almost a one man show throughout however, writing every track alone and playing every instrument singlehandedly. That's what you call talent. The title track reached as high as number four on the singles charts and is more hard rock than soul, with Billy Dee Williams lookalike Parker Jr. playing up the undercover lover angle to the hilt. 'Street Love' is similar, with sax and funky guitar work working to create a near Rolling Stones vibe or even 'Dynasty' era Kiss too. 'Stay The Night' moves into ballad mode, identical to Lionel Richie vocally, with a smooth West Coast melody throughout. Early 80's George Benson is hard to ignore on the excellent 'It's Our Own Affair' while there's time for Parker Jr. to provide some sultry spoken word vocals on easy listening ballad 'Let Me Go'. The subject matter on 'Let's Get Off' is fairly self-explanatory, decisive X rated funk, with lashings of synths working overtime in the background. The West Coast flutes are to the fore on 'Stop, Look Before You Love' before the hard hitting funk instrumental 'Just Havin' Fun' closes the album, showcasing Parker Jr's seemingly never ending instrumental prowess. Not included on the actual album but instead on later reissues is the b-side to the title track 'Bad Boy' which is actually the most AOR tinged track. The melodic guitar work and synths are on fire here, everything you want to hear on an album from 1982.


In Summary
Parker Jr. continued to release albums through the rest of the decade, but of course his massive hit with 'Ghostbusters' ensured that's what he would be primarily remembered for, regardless of his vast back catalogue. This album fits in perfectly with the aforementioned artists Parker Jr. is compared to here, but this is edgier and it shows with the lyrics and music. That's what sets Parker Jr. apart and makes this an essential product of one of the greatest years in melodic rock history.


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Comments
#1 | gerard on November 07 2013 11:11:53
Very nice to see this interesting artist included here! Have a few of his albums, but not this one. Will be checking it out! As a session guitarist Parker plays on a bunch of westcoast albums (Airplay, Bill Champlin, Boz Scaggs, Bill LaBounty etc.). Thanks!
#2 | Eric on November 07 2013 17:07:24
I'll second that! Very cool we are covering more of the classic late 70's- 80's pop/AOR/ soul stuff. Nice review Alun.
#3 | saj on November 13 2013 00:49:42
That album was interesting since it came out immediately after Raydio broke up in 1981. It was getting major play all over the place.
#4 | fenton on April 30 2014 16:46:14
Don't know if I can get behind Ray's 'don't tell your friends what I do to you' lyrics on It's Our Affair, other than to laugh at them. There's sort of a prevalent theme on this whole album, Ray's a bit of a dog, huh?
 
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