Rick James had a huge following in the early '80s, but the vast majority of his fans didn't acquire any of the three albums that he produced for the Stone City Band. One can speculate on the reasons why; some would argue that they simply aren't as strong as James' own albums, which is true. But then, a recording that is merely competent instead of excellent can easily become a big hit if a major label like Motown promotes it aggressively. So perhaps the albums' lack of commercial success can be attributed to inadequate promotion on Motown's part. Whatever the case, the SCB's third album, Meet the Stone City Band: Out From the Shadow, wasn't the commercial breakthrough it was hoping for. The LP's front cover was meant to be ironic; its art work was obviously based on Meet the Beatles! except that most of the faces are black. But the music itself isn't as interesting or as memorable as the cover. The opener, "Bad Lady," is a killer funk gem, but the rest of the album is merely decent rather than excellent. While "Ladies Choice," "Shake (Make Your Body Move)," and other funk items are competent, they aren't among the more essential songs that James produced in the early '80s. Out From the Shadow, like In 'n' Out and The Boys Are Back, would only be of interest to a James completist.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson