Gladys Knight & the Pips

Knight Time

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In 1974, Gladys Knight & the Pips were no longer signed to Motown. The group had moved to Buddha, where they were enjoying their share of major hits. You can be sure that Berry Gordy wished that Motown, not Buddha, had put out "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me." But Motown still had some material in the can; released in 1974, Knight Time contains material that the group recorded before its departure from the label (probably around 1972-1973). The LP didn't do as well as the albums that Buddha was coming out with; it wasn't nearly as successful as 1973's Imagination, 1974's Claudine, or 1974's I Feel a Song. Nonetheless, Knight Time has a lot going for it. Knight has solid material to work with, including songs that were written or co-written by the likes of Johnny Bristol ("Somebody Stole the Sunshine," "Billy, Come on Back as Quick as You Can"), Jim Weatherly ("Between Her Goodbye and My Hello"), and Pam Sawyer ("How Can You Say That Ain't Love," "Master of My Mind"). Unfortunately, the label didn't promote the LP aggressively -- since Knight was among its former artists, Motown decided to throw the album against the wall and see if it would stick. And as a result, the only people who bought this album were the artist's most hardcore fans. Knight Time falls short of essential, but it's a pleasing record that didn't deserve to be ignored.

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