Galactic Grooves: The Best of Lakeside

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Many urban contemporary acts of the 1980s and 1990s were so enslaved by studio technology that they had a hard time delivering the goods on-stage. With Lakeside, it was just the opposite -- the Ohio funksters were ferocious live, but they never recorded a studio album that was as consistently exciting as their live show. Typically, a Lakeside album would contain a few gems and a lot of songs that were merely decent. Since Solar never put out a live Lakeside album (although Lakeside did have a few live performances on a double album by the Solar Galaxy of Stars), the best Lakeside purchase a casual listener could make would be Galactic Grooves: The Best of Lakeside. Released in 1998, this 17-song CD spans 1978-1987 and boasts all of Lakeside's essential hits, including "It's All the Way Live," "Fantastic Voyage," "Raid," "Something About That Woman," "Pull My Strings," and "Your Love Is on the One." Although Lakeside was best known for hard, aggressive funk, the Dayton natives could also be quite convincing on ballads. "Say Yes," "Given into Love," and an unforgettable interpretation of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" serve as appealing examples of the band's romantic side. While that Lennon/McCartney classic was originally uptempo, Lakeside successfully transforms it into a slow ballad. It would be great if The Right Stuff unearthed a live Lakeside recording from the late '70s or early '80s and put it out on CD, but since that's unlikely to happen, Galactic Grooves is the best place to turn for a lesson in Introductory Lakeside 101.

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