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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » DeBarge - 1985 Rhythm Of The Night
 
DeBarge - 1985 Rhythm Of The Night



ARTIST: DeBarge
ALBUM: Rhythm Of The Night
LABEL: Gordy
SERIAL: 6123GL
YEAR: 1985

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: El DeBarge - vocals, synth programming, keyboards, drums, percussion, rhythm arrangement * Mark DeBarge - vocals, percussion * Tommy DeBarge - vocals, bass * Bunny DeBarge - vocals * James DeBarge - vocals * Randy Debarge - vocals

Additional Musicians: Jay Graydon, Jesse Johnson, Paul M Jackson, Dann Huff - guitars * David Foster - piano * David Foster, Jay Graydon, Clif Magness, Glen Ballard, Steve George, Marcus Ryles, Michael Omartian, Steve Porcaro, Robbie Buchanan, Paul Fox, Michael Hightower, Jeff Lorber, Howie Rice, Steve Mitchell - synthesizers (playing, arranging, sequencing) * Abe Laboriel, Nathan East, James Jamerson - bass * Andy Narell - steel drum * John Keane, Mike Baird, Paulinho DaCosta - percussion * Dave Boruff - sax * Tyrone B Feedback, Carlos Vega, Ricky Lawson, John Robinson - drums * Benjamin Wright - string arrangement * Richard Page, Steve George, Bill Champlin, Vennette Gloud, Bunny Hull, Jim Gilstrap - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Prime Time * 02 The Heart Is Not So Smart * 03 Who's Holding Donna Now * 04 Give It Up * 05 Single Heart * 06 You Wear It Well * 07 The Walls (Came Tumbling Down) * 08 Share My World * 09 Rhythm Of The Night


Background
Some of you might remember this bunch of brothers (and one sister) who took the U.S billboard charts by storm during 1985. The DeBarge family are probably better remembered as propagators of R&B, smooth soul, funk and dance oriented pop, coming from an era of fellow black artists such as The Pointer Sisters, Lionel Richie, Jeffrey Osborne and the like. Originally from Detroit, the DeBarge family moved to Grand Rapids and eventually found their feet in the late 70's, and eventually became one of Motown's most successful acts during the years 1979 to 1985. The album in question here is the 1985 hit album 'Rhythm Of The Night' which featured two hit singles, which were huge worldwide.


The Songs
The title-track 'Rhythm Of The Night' is very 80's feel-good and fun-time, and was a happy sunny ray of sunshine back in 1985. The best track by far is the gorgeous ballad 'Who's Holding Donna Now', which also featured the Mr Mister backing vocal pairing of Richard Page and Steve George. The song went high into the charts and was mostly responsible for sending the album into platinum territory on the Billboard charts. I quite liked a handful of other tracks too including 'The Heart Is Not So Smart' and the very bouncy 'Give It Up'. Opener 'Prime Time' is very hi-tech, with loads of percussion and rhythmic parts. The same could be said for 'You Wear It Well', while 'Single Heart' and 'Share My World' are the two slo-mo moments on the album.


In Summary
As mentioned, 1985 made mince-meat of this album, sending it high into the charts. For mine, 'Who's Holding Donna Now' was a primo single, and still sounds great today. With El DeBarge and Bunny DeBarge both offered solo deals, the DeBarge family enterprise came to a grinding halt in 1986. Motown moved on, so the remaining DeBarge's moved to a new label, the independent Striped Horse Records. One album in 1987 was all they had to show for it, before finally giving up the ghost in 1989. Soon after the family's cursed allegiance to drugs took over, with a couple of the siblings entering the prison system thanks to their addiction to various illegal substances. The DeBarge name is still out there, and a couple of reunion gigs eventuated, but it's probably best to leave the 'D' family way back in the 80's where they did their best work.


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Tags: DeBarge 
 
Comments
#1 | Carl Noonan on November 14 2015 11:43:50
I've been coming here for a long time as it's a great site but once in a while I wonder if I've clicked on the wrong link. Nothing wrong with diversity but this is a stretch. I read the review thinking this may be one of those great undiscovered rock gems in the wrong cover that might be worth investigating (I hate the big hit but would not let that put me off if there was something else of interest). However, the review gives no indication that could be the case so I guess it's just a curve ball thrown to mix things up a bit. Still love the site though ;-)
#2 | gdazegod on November 14 2015 13:27:46
That is a strange comment.. You write this as if you have no idea who DeBarge were..
#3 | Carl Noonan on November 14 2015 16:23:06
Why is it strange? I know Debarge from the MTV era and would put them with the likes of Shalamar, Heatwave and the like. Not rock music but when I saw the review listed I thought maybe they had made an album that had some rock elements and might be worth checking out. However, the only link I picked up was the Mr Mister backing vocals. I thought Glorydaze was a rock music site so when I see something like this reviewed I find that strange. As I said still love the site. No offence intended.
#4 | Nick C on November 14 2015 19:58:44
Grin I have to agree with Carl here mate....not taking anything away from DeBarge but I was surprised to see the album review here. I know the site does go out on a limb occasionally but this is something akin to the Kerrang Prince cover. o_O
#5 | jefflynnefan on November 14 2015 20:54:43
Was this a risky review for this site? Probably so, but I'm willing to read any review that a reviewer here feels is relevant enough to post here at Glorydaze. I have a love for soul/RandB music so I don't mind the review but I can see where others here might feel it doesn't belong.
#6 | gdazegod on November 14 2015 21:24:14
There are more 'risque' articles here than this lot. Alun has written a lot of what would be considered offbeat artists over the years, so too Eric and Jeff Duran.

Prince, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers, ABBA, Bee Gees, Armin Van Buuren, Tangerine Dream.. the list is fairly lengthy. The last thing I want is for GDM to appear being snobbish. Let's leave that to the Prog sites shall we?
#7 | dangerzone on November 14 2015 23:02:19
I took some heat from Carl Noonan some years back for a Jeffrey Osborne album if I recall rightly, which to me fell perfectly into the melodic rock scene. George Benson too I believe. The only time I questioned a review here was an Elvis Costello one some time ago, but having included my fair share of oddities I'm not one to question any artist here.
#8 | gerard on November 14 2015 23:44:27
Good to see this one included! Still like the title track, 'Who's holding Donna now' and a few others. Mr. Mister isn't the only link to AOR/rock (and westcoast). David Foster, Jay Graydon, Dianne Warren, Abraham Laboriel, Carlos Vega etc. are included as well. However, just listing names doesn't make it 'good' music (whatever that might be), of course, and liking the music on this album or not is a matter of personal taste. IMO this one isn't that far removed from AOR/westcoast music and it suits fine here. Please consider including El DeBarge's 1986 solo album as well?
#9 | Explorer on November 15 2015 01:22:56
As I see it guys, music and in particular Glorydaze is a broad church. My 'Glorydaze' are from the mid to late 60`s up to the end of the 70`s, but that doesn't mean I stopped listening to music then. One of my ALL TIME favourite songs is Dollar`s 'Give me back my Heart', on the surface a piece of pop fluff, but in the hands of a genius like Trevor Horn...crikey, a work of real beauty, and what`s that expression 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' to my mind this song is as good as anything that`s been written in the last 50 years. I suppose what I'm getting at is opinions. I joined Glorydaze because I saw people who were like and open minded and willing to listen to others. If DeBarge floats your boat... then fine, if not ...so what. 'The Dollar Album' review to follow...hard hat at the ready...LOL.
#10 | Carl Noonan on November 15 2015 01:41:32
Dangerzone, I commented on the Jefferey Osbourne album being very poor. I don't think I gave you heat ;-)
#11 | gdazegod on November 15 2015 02:22:27
Fair enough everyone.. all good points and feedback too. It took us nearly 6000 previously written articles to get to DeBarge.. i give up
#12 | Explorer on November 15 2015 03:31:03
The reason in the first place why I joined Glorydaze is that the open mindedness of its members appealed to me. A Debarge review will not change my mind. Rather a disciplined rational debate than the juvenile bitchfest that is perpertrated on other sites....the old hippie ideals run deep...peace and love.
#13 | gdazegod on November 15 2015 03:35:49
Thank you Malcolm.. Thumbs Up
#14 | Explorer on November 15 2015 03:45:41
...and there will be a 'Dollar album' review coming up,anything that involves Trevor Horn is always worthy of people's time and words.
#15 | jeffrey343 on November 15 2015 04:00:15
Looks like this one hit a nerve for some of y'all. As for me - I did buy this album back in the day. I had just started dating my future wife - named Donna - so 'Who's Holding Donna Now' is a special song for me. A real killer that I always enjoy when it comes up on the SiriusXM 80s station. This kind of music is definitely a guilty pleasure for me. I think it's cool to see this get a review, even if it's outside the norm for this site.
#16 | Nick C on November 15 2015 07:44:57
I realise GDaze is a broad church as such and yes that's what I like about it, I was just surprised (as Carl was) to see Debarge - as I would be if I went over to Soul Tracks and found an article on Rough Cutt, heck they don't even list Dan Reed Network, Mother's Finest, Noir or Hanson all of which have their roots in soul/randb.
Dollar ... Dollar??? .... Just because of the Trevor Horn connection? Might be surprising me again then Grin Get Bucks Fizz and Brotherhood of Man in!
But the key here is surprised, that's not a bad thing, it challenges and opens up dialogue as this has. As Malc says just because a review doesn't fit my perception of what I would expect to read about at GDaze doesn't change my mind about anything here.
#17 | Explorer on November 15 2015 09:43:15
Which is exactly why GDaze is the site it is. More fool Soul Tracks for not including the artists you list Nick, it is they that are being blinkered and more than likely missing out on some great music. With regards to Dollar, yes the Trevor Horn connection, sure why not. The Sheila 'Little Darlin' album springs to mind here. A 'Pop' artist who made a pretty decent rock album, but some people's preconceptions of her would probably have stopped them listening to it.What I'm trying to say, rather badly may I add, it that my ears are always open to pretty much everything. My advancing years have seen me 'maturing' into certain artists and forms of music that I would in my younger days have avoided like the plague.
#18 | code4 on November 15 2015 10:22:10
What did the vinyl inlay read? 'Dear lord, help us survive each vixen plague' or something along those lines. I had the record cover in the bin before i had got past the first song. That said i like Debarge. I have owned the first two solo of El and the debarge greatest hits cd for about 15 years now and probably as long since i've listened to them but still i can count myself as a fan. Never bothered going after this one on cd as it cost a bomb back in the day
#19 | code4 on November 15 2015 10:28:14
As for the 'AOR connection' drawn to this band it's hardly a surprise when Jay Graydon, David Foster and Clif Magness?, Glen Ballard? (if i recall right) were largely involved in it.
I suppose it comes down to what the term AOR means to you. To me it has always meant a term applied to indicate technically good quality music (for want of a better word as i don't believe high technical talent is always necessary to make good music) with a wide range towards style. I think this is the way it has been used in Japan when printed upon obi strips. They say music is subjective but some people don't quite agree and gratefully look out for the term AOR. I would be one. Though i can not understand all music with most types I am confident enough to judge to a certain degree. You can't always judge but you can in many cases as opposed to reverting to a shallow theory that 'what is good is subjective'. For example there are lots of songs i don't like one bit but consider of good quality. It gets hard when you get to Jazz and noise rock and some other types of music but i never feel that 'what is good music is subjective'. Taste is subjective and that to me is the only truth in such a statement.
The site ACM japan has a page explaining that in Europe AOR has traditionally more so been meant as a description of melodic rock or what Japan would call melodic rock.
#20 | gdazegod on November 15 2015 11:14:41
The musician lineup has been added to the review. Taken from the liner notes of the original CD which I have in my collection. Dann Huff even makes an appearance!
#21 | gdazegod on November 15 2015 11:18:27
I could probably sell this CD for a truckload of cash then Code4. Is that what you're saying? lol!
#22 | code4 on November 15 2015 11:23:59
Nice work. I look forward to listen again hopefully on youtube since i don't have the cd nor an lp player at the moment if i still even have the lp as i'm not sure i do. For many years this definitely used to sell time and time again on cd for near to three figures back in the pre-recession AOR cd boom days. I'm sure it still does (unless there has been a re-issue though even then originals tend to hold some value thanks to 'remastering' that graces most reissues
#23 | code4 on November 15 2015 11:29:16
yes! lol. case it in gold wrapper! A rare treasure for sure. I guess there were very few made unlike my Debarge 'Greatest Hits' cd : (
#24 | reyno-roxx on November 15 2015 11:41:50
It can be picked up relatively cheaply (well under £20) on amazon, with a 2015 reissue going for less than £6.
#25 | gdazegod on November 15 2015 11:44:27
Bummer..! lol!
#26 | Carl Noonan on November 15 2015 12:14:57
Code 4 I believe the term 'AOR' has two popular interpretations. Adult Orientated Rock and Album Orientated Rock. These are what a lot of people think of when in reference to those 3 letters. I agree with you that taste is subjective and good music is good music if it suits your tastes. I like all sorts but rock (AOR, pomp, prog, metal etc) is my favourite and whilst this site does veer off at tangents at times it is primarily a rock site which is what draws me to it. There have been a number of albums reviewed that have been out of the norm and I generally don't comment on them but the Debarge one must have caught me on an off day ;-)
Some of the musicians on these albums are credited on albums in all sorts of genres eg the Toto guys, Graydon, Pierce, John Rogers et al bu t it doesn't mean if your'e a Toto fan you are going to like Randy Crawford.
Now who's doing that Dollar review? Brace yourself:-)
#27 | Eric on November 15 2015 17:54:30
Actually the Randy Crawford album with The Crusaders 'Streetlife' would fit here. Too bad I missed all the above, but Debarge has its place here. Love the comment George made on snobbery left to the Prog sites which are some of the most close-minded operations I've ever encountered and why I don't write for any of them anymore. Looking forward to the Dollar review and I am currently working on one that might split some hairs here as well....
#28 | richardb on November 15 2015 19:38:50
Keep up the good work George, the willingness to be open minded about music is what makes this such a great site!

Personally I've found my taste in music has got more eclectic as I've got older. However I may have to draw the line at some of my eldest son's taste in music... lol!
Thumbs Up
#29 | Nick C on November 15 2015 19:59:44
Heheheh! Looks like there's gonna be some tasty reviews coming up.... I love it when something gets tongues a wagging here Smile
#30 | mickey on November 17 2015 20:50:40
Some of the songs on this album would fit as West Coast music, so i think the review totally fits on this site, where i love to read/learn about bands that are not strictly AOR or melodic hard rock. Keep on the good work, Mr. George.
#31 | code4 on November 19 2015 13:48:40
Thanks Carl. You know i still find it hard to believe that the wiki for AOR has no mention of the 'other meaning' that AOR has taken on post the days when it was a term to describe a 'radio format' as they put it. You can even go to the David Foster wiki and it will say 'Airplay has since become an important album among westcoast AOR music' and when you click the word AOR from the sentence you are led straight to the said wiki that explains nothing.
I guess the only way you can learn what AOR means is by taking the time to listen yourself to some of the albums that AOR sites talk about. While I think the term can feel a bit silly to cult-like when AOR sites start talking about such a wide range of music as being AOR i nevertheless find it extremely helpful as an indicator of quality. While i agree to a degree what is good music is subjective i think the fact that so many people who will listen to such a wide range of music yet still find the term AOR so helpful and guiding in doing so is proof that 'what is good music is subjective' is not quite as true as is made out. Anyway, ramble over sorry, but i still reckon somebody should really edit that out of date wiki to include a passage about the 'other' meaning that AOR has taken on.
#32 | imprimateur on December 04 2015 21:40:21
Hilarious debate!
 
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