Teena Marie R.I.P.

Teena Marie

Teena Marie

De Ja Vu

Someday We’ll All Be Free

It was a great shock whilst listening to Solar radio last week to discover that Teena Marie had died in her sleep on Boxing Day 26th Dec 2010 at the age of 54.

I bought her debut album ‘Wild & Peaceful’ as a US import on spec from a review in Blues & Soul way back in 1979 and on the strength of her debut single ‘I’m Just A Sucker For Your Love’.  Even to this day this album stands the test of time, not least for the classic De Ja Vu (I’ve Been Here Before) which was also released as the flip to ‘Sucker’.  By way of a tribute I’ve uploaded the 12:25 minute live version released on the CD issue of her 1981 ‘It Must be Magic album, which is preluded with her interpretation of Donny Hathaway’s ‘Someday We’ll All Be Free’.  I think this is a fitting tribute and a showcase for the indisputable talent of the world’s greatest white soul singer dubbed quite rightly as ‘The Ivory Queen Of Soul’.

The sad irony is that after taking a sabattical for most of the 90s to bring up her daughter, apart from her independent release of ‘Passion Play’ on her own Sarai label which unfortunately sunk without trace owing to limited distribution, her return in 2004 with La Dona, followed by Sapphire in 2006 and Conga Square in 2009 showed that she was back at her best with La Dona and Sapphire being her best sellers on Billboard and being nominated for a Grammy for ‘I Still love You’ from Conga Square.

In total Teena released 13 studio albums between 1979 and 2009.  Another album ‘Black Rain’ was scheduled for release in the early 2000s, and some copies were released on promo, but it was never officially released.  Many of the tracks have appeared on later albums.

Discography

The Motown Gordy Years 1979-81

01 1979 Wild & Peaceful (18 R&B 94 Billboard)

01. I’m A Sucker For Your Love
02. Turning Me On
03. Don’t Look Back
04. De Ja Vu (I’ve Been Here Before)
05. I’m Gonna Have My Cake (And Eat It Too)
06. I Can’t Love Anymore

02 1980 Lady T (18 R&B 45 Billboard)

01. Behind The Groove
02. Now That I Have You
03. Lonely Desire
04. Aladdin’s Lamp
05. You’re All The Boogie I Need
06. Can It Be Love
07. Young Girl In Love
08. Why Did I Have To Fall In Love With You
09. Too Many Colors
10. Why Can’t I Get Next To You
11. Co Pilot To Pilot

03 1980 Irons In The Fire (9 R&B 38 Billboard)

01. I Need Your Lovin’
02. Young Love
03. First Class Love
04. Irons In The Fire
05. Chains
06. You Make Love Like Springtime
07. Tune In Tomorrow
08. You Make Love Like Springtime (Reprise)

04 1981 It Must Be Magic (2 R&B 23 Billboard)

01. It Must Be Magic
02. Revolution
03. Where’s California
04. 365
05. Opus Iii (Does Anybody Care)
06. Square Biz
07. Ballad Of Cradle Rob & Me, The
08. Portuguese Love
09. Yes Indeed
10. Square Biz (Instrumental)
11. Someday We’ll All Be Free ( Live)
12. Deja Vu (We’ve Been Here Before) (Live)

The Epic Years 1983-1990

05 1983 Robbery (13 R&B 119 Billboard)

01. Robbery
02. Playboy
03. Shadow Boxing
04. Midnight Magnet
05. Fix It
06. Ask Your Momma
07. Dear Lover
08. Stop The World
09. Casanova Brown
10. Playboy (12In Remix)
11. Midnight Magnet (Instrumental)

06 1984 Starchild (9 R&B 31 Billboard)

01. Lovergirl
02. Help Youngblood Get to the Freaky Party
03. Out on a Limb
04. Alibi
05. Jammin’
06. Starchild
07. We’ve Got to Stop (Meeting Like This)
08. My Dear Mr. Gaye
09. Light

07 1986 Emerald City (20 R&B 81 Billboard)

01. Emerald City
02. Once Is Not Enough
03. Lips to Find You
04. You So Heavy
05. Shangri-La
06. Batucada Suite
07. Love Me Down Easy
08. Sunny Skies

08 1988 Naked To The World (15 R&B 65 Billboard)

01. Trick Bag
02. Call Me (I Got Yo Number)
03. Ooo La La La
04. Crocodile Tears
06. Surrealistic Pillow
08. Work It
09. The Ball
10. Naked To The World

09 1990 Ivory (27 R&B 132 Billboard)

01. Here’s Looking At You
02. The Sugar Shack Prelude
03. The Sugar Shack
04. If I Were A Bell
05. Just Us Two
06. Mr. Icecream
07. Ivory (Atone Poem)
08. Snap Your Fingers
09. Cupid Is A Real Straight Shooter
10. How Can You Resist It
11. Since Day One
12. Miracles Need Wings To Fly
13. The Red Zone

The Nineties & The Noughties

10 1994 Passion Play (Sarai)

01. Warm As Mommas Oven
02. Main Squeeze
03. Wild Horses
04. Smooth Tip
05. Hypnotized Prelude
06. Hypnotized
07. Parking Music
08. Sweet On You
09. Slow Grind
10. Climb The Walls
11. Breakfast In Bed
12. Passion Play
13. Pretty Man
14. The Air I Breathe

11 2004 La Dona (3 R&B 6 Billboard)

01. La Dona (Intro)
02. Still In Love
03. Honey Call
04. Baby I’m Your Fiend
05. My Body’s Hungry
06. A Rose By Any Other Name
07. Off The Chain
08. Makavelli Never Lied
09. Revelations 38 Introduction
10. Recycle Hate To Love
11. The Mackin’ Game

12 2006 Sapphire (3 R&B 24 Billboard)

01. God Has Created
02. Cruise Control
03. Baby Who’s Is It
04. Make It Hot
05. Ooh Wee
06. Sleeping With the Enemy
07. A.P.B
08. Love Is a Gangsta
09. Ladies Choice
10. Somebody Just Like You
11. You Blow Me Away
12. Simmer Down
13. Romantica
14. The Way You Love Me
15. Ecstasy
16. Resilient (Sapphire)

13 2009 Conga Square (4 R&B 20 Billboard)

01. The Pressure
02. Can’t Last a Day
03. Baby I Love You
04. Ear Candy 101
05. Lover’s Lane
06. Marry Me
07. You Baby
08. Milk N’ Honey
09. What U Got 4 Me
10. Rovleta’s Jass
11. Congo Square
12. Harlem Blues
13. Black Cool
14. Ms. Coretta
15. Soldier Boy
16. The Rose N’ Thorn

I am in the process of building compilations for the 3 periods above to post in the next week or so, simply because she has too much good material for a single compilation to do her justice she deserves.  Having said that, like many artists, some of her 80s uptempo material simply doesn’t hold up to the test of time.  Personally, I love her interpretation of ballads, her vocal range makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up!

I noticed that over at All Soul And Funk they have reuploaded most of her albums.  There is at least one killer on every single one.

She had a number one 45 on the R&B charts in 1988 with ‘Ooh La La La’ from ‘Naked From The World’.  My favourites tracks from each album include:

I’m Gonna Have My Cake (And Eat It Too) – Wild And Peaceful 1979

Aladdin’s Lamp – Lady T 1980

Irons In The Fire – Irons In The Fire 1980

Portuguese Love – It Must Be Magic 1981

Casanova Brown  – Robbery 1983

We’ve Got To Stop (Meeting Like This) – Starchild 1984

Sunny Skies – Emerald City 1986

Ooo La La La – Naked To The World 1988

If I Were A Bell – Ivory 1990

Hypnotized – Passion Play 1994

I’m Still In Love – La Doña 2004

You Blow Me Away – Sapphire 2006 (Tribute to Rick James)

Can’t Last A Day – Congo Square 2009

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