9 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A host of new collaborators renovated the sound of The S.O.S. Band for 1983’s III. Produced mainly by Ricky Sylvers and Gene Dozier—two soul veterans who counted among their credits hit productions for The Whispers, Shalamar, and The Sylvers—the album embraced the throbbing, bass-heavy grooves that would soon become synonymous with West Coast hip-hop. In this vein, “Can’t Get Enough,” “Good & Plenty,” “Looking for You,” and “You Shake Me Up” are all outstanding, each an example of the hard-hitting street funk that defined the era. The group also excelled at slow-burning ballads, as shown by “Have It Your Way,” which set a new standard for the kind of protracted and deliciously lascivious R&B ballad that would become trendy in the second half of the '80s. For all the talent of Sylvers and Dozier, the album’s undeniable centerpiece is “High Hopes,” the only song here produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, a pair of upstart session musicians from Minneapolis. Incredibly simple yet deeply hypnotic, the song was a huge leap forward not only for S.O.S. but for the sound of R&B in general.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A host of new collaborators renovated the sound of The S.O.S. Band for 1983’s III. Produced mainly by Ricky Sylvers and Gene Dozier—two soul veterans who counted among their credits hit productions for The Whispers, Shalamar, and The Sylvers—the album embraced the throbbing, bass-heavy grooves that would soon become synonymous with West Coast hip-hop. In this vein, “Can’t Get Enough,” “Good & Plenty,” “Looking for You,” and “You Shake Me Up” are all outstanding, each an example of the hard-hitting street funk that defined the era. The group also excelled at slow-burning ballads, as shown by “Have It Your Way,” which set a new standard for the kind of protracted and deliciously lascivious R&B ballad that would become trendy in the second half of the '80s. For all the talent of Sylvers and Dozier, the album’s undeniable centerpiece is “High Hopes,” the only song here produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, a pair of upstart session musicians from Minneapolis. Incredibly simple yet deeply hypnotic, the song was a huge leap forward not only for S.O.S. but for the sound of R&B in general.

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