The Glow of Love

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To Change's detractors, the studio group was nothing more than a poor man's Chic. But knowledgeable disco and R&B enthusiasts knew better; Change wasn't a carbon copy of Chic any more than jazz great Chet Baker was a clone of Miles Davis. Without question, Change was heavily influenced by the Nile Rodgers/Bernard Edwards sound; nonetheless, Change had an energy of its own, and anyone who seriously listened to its first album, The Glow of Love, could easily tell the difference between Chic and Change (just as serious jazz fans can tell the difference between Baker's trumpet playing and Davis'). Produced by Jacques Fred Petrus and arranged by David Romani and Paolo Gianolio, this 1980 debut is a disco/R&B masterpiece. The playful opener "A Lover's Holiday" is Change's best-known song, but the group is just as captivating on the sassy "It's a Girl's Affair" and the passionate "Angel in My Pocket." Meanwhile, Luther Vandross is featured on "Searching" and the dreamy, laid-back title song, which became a quiet storm favorite and demonstrates that not everything Change recorded was aimed at the dancefloor. In 1980, Vandross had yet to provide his first solo album, although many of the people who heard his performances on those two gems agreed that a solo career was inevitable; and sure enough, his first big solo hit, "Never Too Much," came out the following year. Excellent from start to finish, The Glow of Love is Change's most essential album.

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