Hues Corporation

Freedom for the Stallion

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Although this band is perhaps best remembered for laying the groundwork for some of the earliest disco with "Rock the Boat," their genesis is much more in tune with the soul sounds of the late '60s than the all-out disco-ball '70s. But it wasn't until this RCA debut that Hues Corporation was on the receiving end of mainstream recognition. The songs across this LP are sweet, smooth numbers that capture the trio's vocal harmonies within their boundaries. But that's certainly not to say these songs are bland -- just more "of an era." From the gospel-tinged "The Salvation Lady (1-3-5)," which does pack some horns, to the sweet ballad "Bound on a Reason," Hues Corporation produces some decent material. "Live a Lie," meanwhile, is an overly dramatic down-tempo song which hovers somewhere between an off-Broadway ballad and modern hymn. But, of course, the band stretched their legs to deviate from form to record what has become an iconographic song. "Rock the Boat" was Freedom for the Stallion's odd track out, and remained largely forgotten until its release as a single in 1974. Packed with an energy that begged to be danced to and a construction that highlighted the strings, horns, and guitars that would fire 100 disco hits after it, "Rock the Boat" rampaged its way up both the pop and R&B charts, taking the top two spots, respectively. It was a huge success -- and helped to kick-start the next musical wave.

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