Today we honor Evelyn King’s iconic record “Get Loose.”
Over 30 years singer-songwriter Evelyn “Champagne” King released 12 albums, today we give her roses and show love for her 1982 album Get Loose. In terms of album sales, Get Loose is one of three Gold records she achieved between her debut in 1977 and 1982 – however the lasting impact of Get Loose is far more significant than record sales.
King grew up between Philadelphia and New York, as the member of an entertainment oriented family. She was discovered while cleaning the offices of Philadelphia International Records, where she and her mother worked. After being overheard singing, King got a deal, adopted the name “Champagne” to appeal more to younger audiences, and went on to change music forever.
This project is concise, in the sense that there are only eight tracks on the record – but unlike albums of the modern day every song is longer than 4 minutes. Originally released for sale on vinyl – Side A featured two songs that topped American R&B charts at positions one and two; Love Comes Down and Betcha She Don’t Love You.
Side B on the other hand, didn’t get the same love as Side A despite being extremely similar in sound. The intro and tempo of the first track on Side B – Back to Love sounds almost the exact same as Betcha She Don’t Love You, which was a top 50 Billboard pop song. The standout track on Side B is I’m Just Warmin’ Up, which is the last record on the album and a slow jam to cool things down.
Love Comes Down is one of the most recognizable and classic sounding singles to remain from its era. The sheer relevance and staying power of the record cannot be overstated – it has been sampled more than 40 times by legendary artists like Capone-N-Norega and Ghostface Killah. Whether you’re at a wedding, barbeque, party, or listening to WBLS – you’ll hear Love Comes Down.
Evelyn King was a part of a class of vocalists who emerged successful in the post-disco era of pop music and dance music which gave birth to modern R&B. Much of what we refer to as “traditional R&B” was spearheaded by careers like Evelyn King’s and by songs like Love Comes Down.
“Get Loose” is a quintessential 1980’s R&B record, consistent in sound and theme. The issue with records of this time period is that they were made with a radio audience in mind with the goal of making hits, so albums are often repetitive and rarely strike gold – but Evelyn King struck gold twice on Get Loose. So today we give Evelyn King her roses for her amazing album and career.