Dazz Band

Rock the Room

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Long past their early-'80s prime, the Dazz Band hoped to recapture some glories with 1988's Rock the Room. With a new lineup that featured Dave O and Juan Lively replacing the departing Kenny Pettus and Skip Martin (who joined Kool & the Gang), the band itself jumped ship, leaving Geffen for RCA -- a leap that would mark the band's third label change in as many years. Retaining Brazilian electro wizard Eumir Deodato as producer, the group hoped to record a hot seller, but, by this time, even Deodato's stamp couldn't pull them back into the spotlight. Both "Anticipation" and "Single Girls" managed to chart, but they lacked the spark and fire of the band's earlier output. The rest of the album quickly tumbled downhill from there, divided between the flat contemporary urban dance of "Huff and Puff" and the balladeering of the very-not-Kool & the Gang "Open Sesame" and on to the vaguely interesting mixed tempo "Body Drum." There would be no genie of funk here. Even the fairly strong effort of the title track didn't make much of an impact to the overall package. Best left to any completists out there, Rock the Room marked the end of an era for the Dazz Band as they slipped under the radar and out of memory, not to reappear for another six years.

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