The Chi-Lites

(For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People

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Though they boasted one of the sweetest voices in soul music with Eugene Record, the Chi-Lites broke away from that format -- thankfully, only slightly -- for 1971's (For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People. Influenced by the growing social consciousness of soul music during the early '70s (especially Sly & the Family Stone and the solo debut of fellow Chicagoan Curtis Mayfield), Record wrote a pair of songs (the title track and "We Are Neighbors") evoking not only deep frustration but also a plea for hope and unity that challenging times demanded. It certainly didn't hurt that both were monster productions with raw, aggressive synthesizers, intense lead vocals, and some of the strongest, loudest harmonizing ever heard on a soul record. Doubly ironic and doubly fortunate too that (For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People also featured a pair of the Chi-Lites' sweetest soul ballads, "Have You Seen Her?" and "I Want to Pay You Back," plus the excellent strollers "Love Uprising" and "You Got Me Walkin'." The Chi-Lites weren't exactly album artists, but (For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People was a powerful example of early-'70s soul and the best record they ever released.

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