Pleasure

Accept No Substitutes

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Back in the '70s, AOR radio and soul radio were two very different formats -- and not just because one played rock and the other played R&B. "AOR" stood for album-oriented rock, which was an accurate name because that format was, in fact, album-oriented; at AOR, album tracks that were never released as singles could be candidates for heavy rotation. Soul radio, however, was much more singles-oriented -- an established soul radio DJ could play some album tracks here and there, but singles were the primary focus. And that wasn't good news for Pleasure, who were more of an album act than a singles act. Pleasure recorded great albums, but for the most part, they didn't have the type of singles that drove program directors wild. Accept No Substitutes, Pleasure's second album, is a perfect example of a record that is excellent but, as a rule, didn't blow program directors away. The funk gem "Let's Dance" had the makings of a radio hit, although radio didn't really take notice until the West Street Mob covered it in 1981. At any rate, Pleasure's relatively small group of hardcore fans loved this record. They loved the jazz-tinged funk of "Pleasure for Your Pleasure" and "I'm Mad"; they loved the mellow, laid-back quiet storm outlook of "The Love of My Life." Accept No Substitutes did contain one charting single: the hypnotic "Ghettoes of the Mind," which wasn't a huge smash but did become a minor hit and was a favorite at Pleasure's live gigs. Had '70s soul radio been as album-minded a medium as AOR radio, this Wayne Henderson-produced LP might have enjoyed heavy rotation. But in a medium that worshipped singles, Accept No Substitutes was fighting an uphill battle. Regardless, most Pleasure fans think of this LP as a highly respectable sophomore outing.

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