Larry Graham / Larry Graham & Graham Central Station

Star Walk

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By the late '70s, Sly Stone wasn't nearly as popular or as visible as he had been in the late '60s and early '70s. But his former bassist Larry Graham was still going strong. Released in 1979, Star Walk was the last album that Graham would record with Graham Central Station for quite some time; in 1980, the influential singer/electric bassist officially became a full-time solo artist and soared to the top of the R&B charts with his debut solo single, "One in a Million You." And not until 1998's GCS 2000 would Graham use the GCS name on another album. If the name GCS had to be put to rest for a long time, at least the band went out with a bang on Star Walk. This excellent LP, which Graham produced himself, is full of sweaty, aggressive funk treasures; anyone who appreciates gutbucket funk would have a hard time not loving "Scream," "The Entertainer," and the single "(You're A) Foxy Lady." But not everything on this record is hardcore funk. "Tonight" is a lush Northern soul ballad, and the unexpected title song finds Graham getting into a synthesizer-driven Eurodisco groove -- if you didn't know better, you would think that Graham traveled to Munich, Germany, and hired Giorgio Moroder to produce the tune.

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