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Take It Off

Atlantic 1981

CD 7567-80421-2

Billboard: Pop#124, Black#36

Alfa Anderson
Luci Martin
Bernard Edwards
Nile Rodgers
Jocelyn Brown
Fonzi Thornton
Michelle Cobbs
Bass: Bernard Edwards
Guitar: Nile Rodgers
Drums: Tony Thompson
Keyboards: Raymond Jones, Rob Sabino
Percussion: Sammy Figueroa, Manolo Badreña, Roger Squitero
Trumpet & Flügelhorn: Ray Maldonado, Randy Brecker
Tenor Sax: Lenny Pickett, Vinny Della Rocca, Michael Brecker
Baritone Sax: Ronnie Cuber, Lenny Pickett
Recorded & Mixed by W.G. Scheniman
2nd Engineer: Jason Corsaro
Recorded & mixed at Power Station, NYC
Mastered by Dennis King at Atlantic Studios
1. Stage fright (Black#34)
2. Burn hard
3. So fine
4. Flash back
5. Telling lies
6. Your love is cancelled
7. Would you be my baby
8. Take it off
9. Just out of reach
10. Baby doll
All song samples in Real Audio
P O C A T'S ... R E V I E W
By Soeren from Denmark (rated 4 stars of 5) 030415
There was no "third time lucky" for Nile'n Nard in the horrendous year of 1981. First they had an entire album with Johnny Matthis scrapped, second their Debbie Harry project was taken to pieces by critics. Their third production that year was CHIC's fifth studio album - they'd skipped their commercial CHIC sound entirely and opted for a more complex stripped-bare funk sound, removing the strings entirely in favour of more brass. And it was a major failure - if only commercially. If "Real People" had been a disappointment, reaching only #30 in the US, "Take It Off" stalled at an abysmal #124. Musically, the album did mark a departure, and the music was as solid as ever. Only the single "Stage Fright" was an attempt of bridging the old CHIC sound with the new. A good song and recording, this was at least a minor R&B hit. The minimalistic "Burn Hard" was a great cutting-edge funk dance record, followed by the mid-tempo "So Fine", built around a jazzy guitar solo by Nile. The new bare low-key sound was very evident on Bernard's resigned "Flashback" and side 1's robotic "Telling Lies". Nile had his first solo performance as a singer on the Rick James-influenced "Your Love Is Cancelled", also musically venturing into new directions. "Would You Be My Baby" with Alfa on lead was a sweet, more melodic song before the title track kicked off. A duet between Luci and Bernard, this tight piece of funk is a great recording. "Just Out Of Reach" was also one of only few songs that were based on an actual melody line rather than a groove. The last track "Baby Doll" is a great instrumental featuring . It is understandable why "Take It Off" didn't appeal to a major audience but it had deserved far more recognition.