Sylvester

Sylvester

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With his more rock-based work with the Hot Band laid to rest (no more Neil Young or Procol Harum covers), Sylvester headed down the soul and disco route with this self-titled album and never looked back. It didn't take long at all for him to hit his stride, evidenced by Ashford & Simpson's dynamic "Over and Over" -- a disco single full of memorable blips of horns that went over better in the U.K. than the U.S. -- but the album has its growing pains. The remainder moves through smooth and up-tempo soul, with resonating moments equaled by those that pass by without much notice. Longtime Sylvester associates Martha Wash and Izora Rhodes are in tow, providing complementary background vocals that would lead to their Two Tons and Weather Girls projects. Regardless of its shortcomings, Sylvester left plenty of evidence with this record that a major talent was about to crack. [Fantasy combined this album with 1981's Too Hot to Sleep in 1999; somewhat confusingly, Fantasy simply titled the disc Too Hot to Sleep.]

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