Kendricks’ People…Hold On (1972) is a masterpiece. Boogie Down!, released just two years later and produced by the same team, isn’t quite in that league, but still maintains high adult standards. The difference has everything to do with timing. People‘s “Girl You Need a Change of Mind” sounded like proto-disco with enough sixeventies grit and social consciousness to counterbalance the genre’s twin bug bears, over-slickness and dancehall frivolity. While not entirely succumbing to these, Boogie Down! simply lacks the absolutely killer tunes and surprising arrangements of that remarkable previous Lp. The hit title track is a case in point: Stretched out over seven minutes, “Boogie Down” neither builds to sustained fever pitch or shuddering climax…it just kind of keeps going and peters out. Nonetheless, the ex-Tempts’ falsetto remains a compelling instrument throughout. I’ll take it for <£1.
Best dated mid-70s lyric: “Let my love flood your Watergate”.