11 Songs, 1 Hour 6 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Teena Marie was much more than one of the great female pop stars of the '80s. In terms of her authority as a vocalist, her only peer was Chaka Khan. The artistic control she exerted on her albums put her in a class with Rick James and Prince, and she was in a league of her own in terms of her authenticity and integrity. Teena Marie called herself “a black singer with white skin,” and it’s certainly arguable that no other white artist has established a more personal relationship with the African-American listening public. She was beloved not only because she made brilliantly sassy dance classics like “Behind the Groove,” “Square Biz,” and “I’m a Sucker for Your Love” but because she bared her soul in “Irons in the Fire,” “Now That I Have You,” and “Déjà Vu.” Far from a product of the record industry’s cookie-cutter system, Teena Marie was an individualized woman in every way, unafraid to display a range of deep and often-conflicting feelings. Because of that, she became a legend. And because she acted as her own songwriter and producer for most of her career, she deserves full credit for the magic contained on 20th Century Masters.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Teena Marie was much more than one of the great female pop stars of the '80s. In terms of her authority as a vocalist, her only peer was Chaka Khan. The artistic control she exerted on her albums put her in a class with Rick James and Prince, and she was in a league of her own in terms of her authenticity and integrity. Teena Marie called herself “a black singer with white skin,” and it’s certainly arguable that no other white artist has established a more personal relationship with the African-American listening public. She was beloved not only because she made brilliantly sassy dance classics like “Behind the Groove,” “Square Biz,” and “I’m a Sucker for Your Love” but because she bared her soul in “Irons in the Fire,” “Now That I Have You,” and “Déjà Vu.” Far from a product of the record industry’s cookie-cutter system, Teena Marie was an individualized woman in every way, unafraid to display a range of deep and often-conflicting feelings. Because of that, she became a legend. And because she acted as her own songwriter and producer for most of her career, she deserves full credit for the magic contained on 20th Century Masters.

TITLE TIME

More By Teena Marie