Rick James — Come Get It (1978)

I had to pick up this slab o’ righteous late-’70s funk after reading the Rick James autobiography. Although the legendary Street Songs album would eclipse everything when it dropped in 1981, I was very happily surprised at just how well Come Get It matches up. By the time 1977 had rolled around, James finally got his act together enough to record, and you can tell he put his all into this one.

The set is bookended by an inspired band workout that encapsulates the history of funk up until that point—from the Hardest Working Man in Show Business to the rock-tinged madness of Funkadelic. By the second track, however, James has plotted his own course with the classic bass-driven workout of You and I.

Add some slow jams and a love song to marijuana, his drug of choice (at that time), and you have yourself a party. The first of, regrettably, way too many celebrations for Rick James.

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