(4 / 5)
Oh yes please…..A box set bursting with soul, funk and disco goodness from New York’s Kleeer – and no less than eight discs here delivering a stonking 70 choice cuts.
The Robinsongs label have excelled here, bringing us the complete Atlantic Records output, plus a bonus disc of 12” and 7” versions of the band’s key tracks.
The Albums here are: “I Love To Dance”, “Winners”, “License To Dream”, “Taste The Music”, “Get Ready”, “Intimate Connection”, “Seeekret” – and then the bonus disc of tracks from 1979 through to 1985.
The biggies are all featured, such as the John Wayne influenced “Get Tough”, “Winners”, “Tonight’s The Night (Good Time)”, “Keep Your Body Workin’ “, “De Ting Continues” and the smooth “Intimate Connection” produced by Deodato.
Kleeer formed in New York City in 1972 with the name The Jam band, backing up various disco singers. After a name change to Pipeline in 1975, they switched from disco to rock and had labels lining up to sign them. They landed at Columbia and their debut single made no impact.
In ’76 they formed The Universal Robot Band with two disco producers and had some success with a single and album, with singer Leroy Burgess. They toured until 1978, before yet another name change. Kleeer was born.
After they decided on the name Kleeer, they signed to the mighty Atlantic Records and released seven albums and had several hit singles, between ’79 and ’85, focused on ‘80s-style funk and heavy use of vocoders and synthesizers.
Kleeer were Paul Crutchfield (Percussion & Vocals), Richard Lee (Guitar), Norman Durham (Bass Guitar) – who passed away in 2011 – and “Woody” Cunningham (Drums) – who died in 2010. The band was active from 1972 to 1985. They did re-form for a few select dates in the 90s.
Some of the band’s tracks have been heavily sampled over the years, most notably by Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Lil John and Jay Z.
Check out the informative sleeve notes with this set, penned by music journalist Charles Waring.
Most of all…turn it up loud and get out your dancin’ shoes. It’s party tiiiiimmmmeeee….Perfect soundtrack to that balmy summer evening barbecue.
By Sally Fox
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’