Chaka Khan

Naughty

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By the early '80s Chaka Khan and producer Arif Mardin had a great working relationship that was responsible for her hit solo debut, 1979's Chaka. Despite having the hit single "I'm Every Woman," Chaka was often a stilted and unfocused affair. Naughty presents the two in a more centered working relationship. The big hit here, "Papillion (aka Hot Butterfly)," projects an effortlessness that didn't come as easy during Khan's concurrent run with Rufus. The tough, Latinized rock/funk of "Too Much Love" has one of Khan's most visceral performances. For Naughty Khan also does one of the better versions of Aaron Schroeder and Jerry Ragovoy's "Move Me No Mountain" that's made even better by Anthony Jackson's steady bass and Steve Ferrone's tough drumming. Despite the high points, other songs like "What You Did," "Our Love's in Danger," and even Ashford & Simpson's "Clouds" come off underdone. Recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York, most of Naughty represents Khan in a holding pattern, without much material to accommodate her widening range. That being said, Naughty is only a few songs away from being a bona fide classic.

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