9 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ask Rufus was Rufus and Chaka Khan’s fifth album, an R&B Number One titled after the Popular Mechanics column that had previously given the band its name. The album witnessed the funk crew branching out, touching its slow jams with light jazz (“Everlasting Love”), offering a short, classically influenced interlude (“Slow Screw Against the Wall/A Flat Fry”), and ending on a striking orchestral ballad (“Egyptian Song”). Khan offers a cosmic spiritualist’s testimony with her lyrics for “Earth Song,” while “Hollywood” is a gentle yet biting evocation of the potential letdowns awaiting stardom-seeking hopefuls. The latter’s popwise chorus harmonies reveal one more trick up the outfit’s sleeve. Khan would soon be putting as much attention into her solo career as her Rufus work, but Ask Rufus is hardly a disengaged effort on anyone’s behalf.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ask Rufus was Rufus and Chaka Khan’s fifth album, an R&B Number One titled after the Popular Mechanics column that had previously given the band its name. The album witnessed the funk crew branching out, touching its slow jams with light jazz (“Everlasting Love”), offering a short, classically influenced interlude (“Slow Screw Against the Wall/A Flat Fry”), and ending on a striking orchestral ballad (“Egyptian Song”). Khan offers a cosmic spiritualist’s testimony with her lyrics for “Earth Song,” while “Hollywood” is a gentle yet biting evocation of the potential letdowns awaiting stardom-seeking hopefuls. The latter’s popwise chorus harmonies reveal one more trick up the outfit’s sleeve. Khan would soon be putting as much attention into her solo career as her Rufus work, but Ask Rufus is hardly a disengaged effort on anyone’s behalf.

TITLE TIME

More By Rufus