Loleatta Holloway ‘Love Sensation’ (BBR) 4/5

Loleatta_HollowayThe 1980s opened with a plethora of quality dance music even if in the pop charts the death nail of disco had been sown with the infamous Chicago burning of vinyl. However, for Loleatta Holloway this would be the beginning of a period of relative obscurity and listening to this excellent album one wonders why. The title track was a dance floor smash, yet it was misleading in that the album as a whole was extremely soulful and could easily stand side by side with the likes of Anita, Luther Vandross and Bobby Womack, all of whom had successful careers during the new decade. There is a very 1980s feel to the soul stepper that is ‘Short end of the stick’ and it was co-produced by Patrick Moten (of Chapter Eight/Anita Baker ‘The Songstress’ fame) and Bobby Womack. Classic Philly strings and even harp predominate on ‘Two became a crowd’ while the uptempo ‘I’ll be standing there’ may just be the second strongest cut on the album after the title track. And what an explosive dance hit ‘Love Sensation’ was and remains with no less than five version here including the revered Shepp Pettibone 12″ mix and two mixes by the great Tom Moulton. For quality ballads ‘My way’ is a precursor to the Anita Baker phenomenon and a superior quality production and little wonder when production duties were shared between Sigma and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Tim Stenhouse