Switch, Switch
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Second Listen Sunday : Switch, Switch

Earlier this week, Tommy DeBarge of R&B Band Switch, and the famous musical family, DeBarge, was laid to rest. I wanted to look back at Tommy’s Motown debut with his group Switch.  The group was not a stranger to the industry, having previously recorded as White Heat and Hot Ice. Switch arrived in record stores on June 17th, 1978.  The group members were Greg Williams, Philip Ingram, Jody Sims, Eddie Fluellen, and the DeBarge Brothers, Bobby, and Tommy.


One of the great things about Switch was that everyone’s talent was evident and vital to the band’s overall sound. Bobby DeBarge and Philip Ingram primarily handled lead vocals, while the remaining members played instruments and backing vocals. 


Switch opens with the lush “I Wanna Be with You” before moving into the legendary “There’ll Never Be.” From the song’s opening harmony to Tommy’s cold bass line rift, the song is pure R&B heaven. Furthermore, the song’s message can be either a Gospel song or an R&B track.


One of my all-time favorite songs, “I Wanna Be Closer,” is up next.  A perfect blend of voices of Philip and Bobby, and comes from the pen of Jermaine Jackson. Then, of course, the band in the background with Gregory Williams on keys, Jody Sims on the drums, and Tommy on guitar. The song is better than some people’s entire catalogs. “It’s So Real” is another excellent ballad and a strong album track.


Switch was not just about the ballads, as the group also knew how to party. There is an excellent trilogy of dance floor tracks in “We Like to Party…Come On”, “Fever,” and “You Pulled a Switch.” 

Clocking in at only thirty-two minutes and featuring just eight songs, Switch is one album that all aspiring musicians and singers should study.


Final Grade: A-

Switch is available on all streaming platforms.

Movie Clappers

More reviews to explorer

Dennis Edwards, Don’t Look Any

Second Listen Sunday: Dennis Edwards, Don’t Look Any Further

While The Temptations miniseries is a classic, one of my most significant issues with the film was the lack of attention given to Dennis Edwards, who was the voice of one of the group’s biggest hits in the seventies. That said, I decided to give Mr. Edwards his flowers this week.

Ruff Endz, Someone To Love You

Slow Jam Saturday: Ruff Endz, Someone To Love You

R&B duo Ruff Endz burst onto the scene in the summer of 2000 with back-to-back hits in the form of “No More” and “Where Does Love Go.” from their debut album, Love Crimes. The group followed those singles up with the smash hit “Someone To Love You,” which made an appearance on the soundtrack to Chris Rock’s film Down To Earth.

Marcus Canty, This…Is Marcus Canty

Second Listen Sunday: Marcus Canty, This…Is Marcus Canty

In the year 2023, if you were to count the number of singing competitions that emerged after the success of American Idol in 2002, you might run out of fingers. One constant from all of the shows is that they rarely produce a male R&B singer who becomes a force in the genre.