Rick James

Bustin' Out of L Seven

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Rick James' second album, Bustin' Out of L Seven, maintained his status among R&B fans, almost topping the LP chart and spawning hits in the title track, "High on Your Love Suite," and "Fool on the Street," though none of them matched the popularity of the debut album's "You and I" or "Mary Jane." James managed an effective amalgam of recent R&B big-band styles, from Sly & the Family Stone to Earth, Wind & Fire and Funkadelic, overlaying the result with his jeeringly rendered sex-and-drugs philosophy. What was missing this time was a real pop crossover -- if Come Get It! had suggested he could have the pop success of Earth, Wind & Fire, Bustin' Out of L Seven threatened that his work would find as restricted an audience as Funkadelic, and without the critical cachet.

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