If you like “Super Freak” by Rick James, get ready for one of the killer lost in the shuffle songs, “Hard To Get” that could easily be described as “Super Freak, The Sequel”. James’ career skyrocketed into superstar mode with the release of “Street Songs” in 1981. “Give It To Me Baby”, “Super Freak”, and a bedroom duet, “Fire And Desire” with Teena Marie became definitive funk songs of the 1980s. Not only did Rick James earn his highest charting album in the U.S., he was jumping music genres. He coined the phrase “punk funk” and elements of Quiet Storm R&B, Rock, Funk, and even New Wave traces were on “Street Songs”. Rick even earned a Grammy nomination for Best ROCK Male Vocal Performance! This was the first time an African American artist was nominated in the male rock category!
“SUPER FREAK” – Rick James
So how do you follow up a smash like “Super Freak”? Rick James quickly released his sixth album, “Throwing Down”. The studio expecting another mega-smash and enlisted The Temptations, Grace Slick of Jefferson Starship, and Teena Marie to guest star on the record. Unfortunately, Prince and Michael Jackson decided to release a couple of obscure albums called 1999 and Thriller and Rick James’ luster diminished in their spotlights. But “Throwing Down” has some great songs including “Standing On The Top” with Motown label mates, The Temptations. The album’s greatest track is “Hard To Get”, a funky party starter with Tower of Power horns and James bringing back all of the charm of “Super Freak”. But album sales lagged and many fans have never heard “Hard To Get” unless you’re a diehard Rick James fan! Do yourself a favor and turn this up to maximum volume and make some room to bust your best dance moves when you experience this lost Rick James classic!
“HARD TO GET” – Rick James