For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to visit the Buckeye State and pay homage to The Rude Boys. The Cleveland-based quartet consisted of Larry Marcus, Melvin Sephus, Edward Lee “Buddy” Banks, and Joe Little III. Initially breaking onto the scene in 1990 with the hits “Written All Over Your Face” and “Are You Lonely For Me” from their debut, they wasted no time returning to the studio.
Slow Jam Saturday : Janet Jackson, 70s Love Groove
Tonight will be one for the record books, as I finally see Janet “Ms. Jackson if you’re Nasty” live. Before that, though, I must show some love to one of my favorite Janet slow cuts for Slow Jam Saturday.
The year was 1995, and Janet was still basking in the success of her 14 million worldwide-selling fifth album, Janet. As we all know, that album validated Janet as an icon and a sex symbol. That said, the song I chose to go with was “70’s Love Groove”.
The song was recorded during the Janet sessions and was initially released as the B-side to “You Want This.” However, it gained more attention when featured on the soundtrack of the 1994 fashion comedy film, Ready to Wear. In the spring of 1995, I first heard the song on the Quiet Storm on my local radio station.
The DJ mentioned that it was an exclusive from the album Janet Remixed, which unfortunately wouldn’t get a commercial release in the United States. Thankfully I recorded the song and had it on tape for years. I finally got a physical copy of the song when I traveled to Korea five years later and picked it up at a record store overseas.
Collaborating with her longtime producers, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Janet crafted a seductive bop. A sensual and sultry slow jam, “70’s Love Groove” explores love and passion in a 70s-inspired environment. The song sets the mood by mentioning afros, incense, black lights, and mood rings – all symbols of the 70s counterculture promoting peace, love, and sexual liberation. Janet Jackson sings about exploring each other’s bodies, taking time, and enjoying the moment.
The song’s message is about getting lost in the moment and being in touch with one’s sensual side. The repetition of the “70’s kinda love” lyric shows that this love-making is reminiscent of that era, where free love and sexual exploration were the norms. Overall, the song highlights the sensual nature of the 70s and encourages the listeners to give in to their desires and embrace the moment.
While I doubt Janet even sings a snippet of this song tonight, I still hold it in high regard and keep it rotation.
Final Grade: A
“70’s Love Groove” from Janet, Remixed is available on all streaming platforms.
More reviews to explorer
Valentine’s Day 2024 may have come and gone, but I still plan to use highlight songs with the V-word for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. The artist I chose is a southern gentleman by the name of Lloyd. Initially breaking onto the scene as a member of the preteen-boy band N-Toon, Lloyd’s solo career kicked off in 2004 with the hit “Southside.”
One of the most talented men in indie music, Eric Roberson, kicked off his 30th-anniversary tour last night in Pittsburgh, so for this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to revisit Mr. Roberson’s third album, The Vault 1.5, which hit record stores in 2003. As Erro fans know, Roberson initially hit the scene with the lovely ballad “The Moon” while studying at Howard University. Roberson’s first record deal didn’t go as planned, but not one to just lay down, Roberson continued to build a name for himself by writing for the likes of 112 and Will Smith. Additionally, Roberson collaborated with Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Cam’ron.