Love, Togetherness & Devotion

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Major labels aren't always big on artist development -- if your first album isn't a hit, you can expect to be dropped. But back in the 1960s and 1970s, they were more patient. If a major label seriously believed in an act, they were, in many cases, willing to give it several albums to develop. Take L.T.D., for example. Although L.T.D. evolved into one of the finest, most successful soul/funk outfits of the late '70s, it was hardly an overnight sensation -- in fact, the band didn't enjoy a major commercial breakthrough until its third album, Love to the World, came out in 1976. And if A&M had been impatient, it would have missed out. Released in 1974, L.T.D.'s debut album, Love, Togetherness & Devotion, was hardly a major hit. This LP received very little attention, and it isn't in a class with gems like Love to the World, 1977's Something to Love, and 1978's Togetherness. Overall, the material is decent but not great. In 1974, L.T.D. had a recognizable sound and a charismatic, expressive lead vocalist in Jeffrey Osborne, but it still had some growing and developing to do. And thankfully, A&M was willing to stick around long enough for L.T.D. to make the transition from good to excellent. Although Love, Togetherness & Devotion is far from L.T.D.'s best or most essential album, it is interesting to listen to if you're a serious R&B historian.

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