GWEN GUTHRIE / Just For You (1985) MP3/Flac

Gwen Guthrie got her start singing background vocals alongside Cissy Houston at an Aretha Franklin session that resulted in Aretha's hit "I'm In Love". Guthrie went on to write songs for other artists including Roberta Flack, Sister Sledge and Ben E. King. One of her best known compositions is "This Time I'll Be Sweeter", a bonafide quiet storm classic, memorably recorded by Flack and Angela Bofill. On her road to solo stardom Guthrie provided support vocals, and the occasional lead vocal, for Lonnie Liston Smith and Charme among others. Guthrie joined Luther Vandross for a rousing, gospelized version of the Doobie Brother's "Takin' It To The Streets" that appears on Quincy Jones 1978 masterpiece Sounds...and Stuff Like That! Guthrie then hooked up with the production team of Sly & Robbie to launch her solo career in 1982. The trio came up with a slew of funky, reggae-tinged barnstormers. Due to Larry Levan's patronage and his special remixes of "It Should Have Been You", "Seventh Heaven", "Peanut Butter" and "Padlock" -- tracks that could still cause a dance-floor panic today -- Guthrie was known as "the First Lady of the Paradise Garage." For 1984's Just For You Guthrie ditched Sly & Robbie in favor of Eumir Deodato. The result is a less rhythmic, more pop-oriented album that seems tailored for crossover attention. The single here is "Love In Moderation" which could have been a crossover radio hit if it were not so dull. Even so, it made the top 20 of the R&B charts and is one of her highest-charting hits. The ballads allow Guthrie to flex her golden pipes. The title track is somewhat jazzy and has nice background vocals. "Oh Donny No" is a breezy ballad with a lovely acoustic guitar. Just For You would be followed in 1986 by the biggest hit of Guthrie's career, "Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But The Rent".

Side One
Put Love In Control
Love In Moderation
Just For You
I Gotta Have You

Side Two
I Can't Feel It No More
On Donny No
Joy Rider
Thrill Me