12 Songs, 1 Hour 6 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With It Must Be Magic, Teena Marie shattered musical barriers while remaining true to her idiosyncratic vision as a singer/songwriter. Her final Motown album is an eclectic affair, embracing both smoldering ballads and freewheeling dance floor jams. Marie secures her place in music history by spicing up the ultra-catchy “Square Biz” with a rap interlude, a rare feat for a R&B/pop artist in 1981. Beyond its signature hit, the album delivers everything from socially conscious tunes like “Revolution” (written in response to John Lennon’s murder) to Latin-inflected numbers like “Portuguese Love” and playfully risqué doo-wop tunes (“The Ballad of Cradle Rob & Me”). The swirling string orchestrations of “Where’s California” and “Yes Indeed” show off her emotional resonance as a singer. It Must Be Magic is one of Maria’s landmark works, expressing the full range of what this remarkable artist was capable of. (This 2002 reissue of the album offers some worthy bonus tracks, including an instrumental version of “Square Biz” and selections from a July 1981 show in Long Beach, CA.)

EDITORS’ NOTES

With It Must Be Magic, Teena Marie shattered musical barriers while remaining true to her idiosyncratic vision as a singer/songwriter. Her final Motown album is an eclectic affair, embracing both smoldering ballads and freewheeling dance floor jams. Marie secures her place in music history by spicing up the ultra-catchy “Square Biz” with a rap interlude, a rare feat for a R&B/pop artist in 1981. Beyond its signature hit, the album delivers everything from socially conscious tunes like “Revolution” (written in response to John Lennon’s murder) to Latin-inflected numbers like “Portuguese Love” and playfully risqué doo-wop tunes (“The Ballad of Cradle Rob & Me”). The swirling string orchestrations of “Where’s California” and “Yes Indeed” show off her emotional resonance as a singer. It Must Be Magic is one of Maria’s landmark works, expressing the full range of what this remarkable artist was capable of. (This 2002 reissue of the album offers some worthy bonus tracks, including an instrumental version of “Square Biz” and selections from a July 1981 show in Long Beach, CA.)

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