Rudy Love and the Love Family


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1978)

- Larry Faucette -- percussion

- Ace Love -- vocals, percussion

- Bob "Butter" Love -- vocals, percussion

- Denise Love -- vocals

- Gerald "The Fuzz" Love -- drums

- Peggy Love -- vocals, percussion

- Robert Love -- vocals

- Rudy Love -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Shirley Love --  vocals, percussion

- Tyree Judie -- lead guitar, backing vocals

- Avery "Young Man" RIchardson -- bass, backing vocals

 

  supporting musicians: (1978)

- Blood -- guitar

- Carlos -- percussion

- Larry Dunn - keyboards

- Clayton Ivey -- keyboards

- Melvin "Tank" Jernigan -- sax

- Tony Matthews -- guitar

- Nate Morgan -- keyboards

- Robert Popwell -- bass

- Jerome Smith -- bass

- E. Van Treece -- keyboards

- Willie Weeks -- bass

- Bob Wray -- bass

 

 

 

- Rudy Love (solo efforts)

- Rudy Love and 

 

 

 


 

Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  This Song Is for You

Company: Calla

Catalog: JZ 35012
Year:
 1978

Country/State: Wichita, Kansas

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: timing strip on front cover; white label promo copy

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2185

Price: $

 

And you though you knew all the family groups - The Jackson Five, The Osmonds, The Partridge Family (who weren't a biological family), Sister Sledge  ...   What about The Loves?

 

Living in Wichita, Kansas, The Love family encompassed 15 kids; most of them seemingly with a musical inclination.   As a member of the R&B group Don and Bob, their father Robert Love enjoyed a hit with a cover of the blues classic 'Good Morning Little School Girl' and went on to tour throughout the '60s and '70s as a member of various Gospel and R&B groups.  Rudy seems to have had the most musical ambition of the kids, forming his first group in grade school.  Rudy's initial break came when he was offered an opportunity to join cousin/guitarist Tony Matthews supporting Little Richard.

 

In California, credited to Rudy Love and the Common Soul,  he made his recording debut with a pair of 1970 singles for Wally Roker's L.A.-based Canyon label:

- 1970's 'Suffering Wrath' b/w 'Life Ain't So Bad' (Canyon catalog number # 24)

- 1970's 'Happiness' b/w 'I'll Take You All The Way There' (Canyon catalog number # 37)

 

Adopting the Rudy Love and the Family Love nameplate, the group made their recording debut with a rare 1971 single for the small Earthquake label:

 

- 1971's 'Hungry Children' b/w 'Then I Found You' (Earthquake catalog number EQ-3)

 

In 1975 the group found themselves signed to Nate McCalla's CBS Records affiliated Calla label.

 

Produced by Rudy, 1978's "This Song Is For You" was kind of a marketing mystery.  In terms of material it served to regurgitate half of the group's 1976 Calla debut "Rudy Love and the Family".   the instrumental section of 'Disco Queen' (the superior vocal segment wasn't included), 'My Imagination', 'Love Electricity', and 'Come Back Home' were all repeats - as far as my ears could tell, these were the same mixes, etc.   I know Calla had links to Morris Levy and the tax scam world, but why this odd collection?   

 

With Rudy responsible for writing, or co-writing most of the material (cousin Matthews was credited with two tunes), the album was quite diverse.  The eight tracks showcased the group taking stabs at everything from old school soul ballads ('This Song Is for You'), disco ('Disco Queen'), to hardcore George Clinton-styled funk ('Love Electricity'). In fact, the set was so diverse it was hard to get a grip on these guys.  The good news was that with the exception of the throwaway disco tunes ('Disco Queen' and 'All I Can Say'), the performances were consistently entertaining.  Rudy had a great voice that was capable of handling all of these genres, while the rest of the family turned out some charming harmony vocals (check out 'My Imagination').  Not quite as good as the earlier Calla album, but still enjoyable and worth tracking down.

 

"This Song Is For You" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) This Song Is For You   (Tony Matthews) - 5:32

Imagine a cross between Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder and you'd get a feel for this big, old school ballad.  Musically it wasn't anything you hadn't heard before, but there was something engrossing in Rudy's heartfelt delivery and when the rest of the clan chimed in on harmonies ...  great slow grind tune.  Do people still slow dance?

- 1978's 'This Song Is For You'  b/w 'Take Nothing for Granted (Calla catalog number ZS8 3008)  rating: **** stars

2.) Disco Queen (instrumental)   (Rudy Love - Tony Matthews) - 4:27

So remember this was recorded in 1978; a time when every recording contract included a clause that every album had to include at least one disco tune ...   just kidding, though it sure sounded like that.   Yeah, The Loves fall victim to the dreaded disco virus.  The 'Disco Queen' instrumental on the album was nothing more than throwaway fluff so you'd want to track down the single which included the vocal performance, but for some reason was not included on the album.   Calla tapped it as the leadoff single, releasing it as a 12" dance 45:

- 1978's 'Disco Queen' (vocal) b/w 'Disco Queen' (Instrumental) (Cala catalog number CASD 601)  vocal side:  rating **** stars / instrumental side:   rating: ** stars

3.) My Imagination   (Rudy Love) - 6:30

Another big ballad that initially didn't sound all that different from the opener.  I remember thinking it was a good thing Rudy had such an amazing voice since the tune sounded kind of ...  bland.  And just as it was beginning to fade into the back of my mind (around the 2:30 mark), the rest of the family became more prominent in the mix and the song jumped to a new level, ultimately becoming one of my favorite performances.   One of the few six minute ballads that doesn't outstay it's invitation.    rating: **** stars

4.) All I Can Say   (Rudy Love) - 4:35

Back to amphetamine-speed disco.  Add in punchy horns, pulsing disco bass, and all the usual disco effects and the results were ... not a good thing.  rating: ** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Take Nothing for Granted
   (Rudy Love) - 6:00

Nice, almost Latin-flavored mid-tempo funk number.  Great framework for Rudy to show off his voice in a more ragged format.   Great tune.   rating; **** stars

2.) Love Electricity   (Rudy Love) - 3:24

Who put on the George Clinton and Parliament album?   Seriously, 'Love electricity' found Love and company get their funk thang down !!!  Interesting change of pace, though it ultimately sounded like a knockoff.   rating: *** stars

3.) Come Back Home   (Tony Matthews) - 5:43

One of my favorite performances, the up-tempo 'Come Back Home' found Rudy sharing lead vocals with one of his sisters - not sure if it was Denise Love, Peggy, or Shirley.  Opening up with some nice  bass lines, it was the hardest edged performance on the album with kind of a Curtis Mayfield sound.  rating: **** stars

4.) World Citizen   (Rudy Love) - 5:21

Rudy and company end the album on another funky tune.   They go for a smiley, upbeat, optimistic slice of funk that sounded like a mash-up of Bobby Whitlock, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Stevie Wonder.  The amazing lyrics garnered the tune and extra star.  An album highlight.   rating: ***** stars

 

 

With Calla collapsing, Rudy turned his attention to songwriting, demo work (including a stint working for Motown),  and touring in support of other groups.    He then hooked up with Sly Stone serving a decade as Stone's bandleader and manager.

 

 

 

 




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