Get Fresh

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In 1977, Fresh seemingly had reason for optimism. The rock-minded soul/funk band had a contract with MCA and was an opening act for Rufus and Chaka Khan, who were huge at the time. Plus, its debut LP, Get Fresh, is excellent. So why did this album bomb commercially? Inadequate promotion probably had a lot to do with it, and it's quite possible that smokers like "Ain't Got No Money," "Lookout," "In the Morning," and "Sweet Music" were simply too black for rock stations and too rockin' for R&B stations. Of course, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Labelle, George Clinton, Graham Central Station, the Isley Brothers, and Rick James all had rock influences in the 1970s -- and none of them were obscure. So it's also quite possible that Fresh would have been big with the right marketing. At any rate, this LP should have done a lot better. From the up-tempo material to passionate ballads like "She Was a Lady" and "I'm Ready to Love You," Get Fresh is the band's most essential album.