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R&B - Released January 1, 1982 | UNIDISC MUSIC INC.

Some of the most memorable and fresh-sounding R&B of the early to mid-'80s came from D Train, a group that had one foot in soul music and the other in urban contemporary. Blessed with a big, booming voice, lead vocalist James "D-Train" Williams was, in many respects, the epitome of the classic soul belter. Williams, like so many of the great soulsters of the 1960s and 1970s, brought a strong gospel influence to secular lyrics and wasn't afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. But in terms of production, Williams' partner, Hubert Eaves III, was very urban contemporary. When Eaves produced the duo's self-titled debut album in 1981 and 1982, he made sure that his distinctive keyboards were quite prominent. Horns and strings are employed, but keyboards are really the main instrument on funk gems like "You're the One for Me" (a major hit), "Keep on," and "Love Vibration." And keyboards are equally important on the ballads, which include the Philadelphia soul-influenced "Lucky Day" and an inspired remake of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David favorite "Walk on By" (which had previously been recorded by Isaac Hayes, Dionne Warwick, and Gloria Gaynor). Many 1970s funk bands thought of horn sections as part of the main course and keyboards as a mere side dish -- on this superb LP, it's just the opposite. Not that Eaves was alone in pushing R&B in a more keyboards-minded direction; anyone who listened to urban radio in 1982 realized that R&B producers in general were using more and more keyboards and synthesizers. From Eaves' attractive production to Williams' inspired singing and the duo's first-rate songwriting, D Train is a stunning debut all around. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 2006 | UNIDISC MUSIC INC.

The most irritating thing about D Train's best-of is that it favors a remix of "You're the One for Me" over the superior, original album version. Most people have that exact song pop immediately into her or his head whenever the name D Train is brought up, so it's a shame to not have its definitive version available on something designed as a first-stop. Otherwise, The Best of D Train covers all the bases, including "Keep Giving Me Love," "Keep On," "Music," "Something's on Your Mind," and five others. This duo was one of the first and only to combine funk, soul, and gospel with electronic elements, and much of what they left behind remains powerful and fresh. They are one of the most exemplary post-disco/pre-house groups, and have remained influential within dance music for over two decades. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 1984 | UNIDISC MUSIC INC.

Released in 1984, Something's on Your Mind was the last of three albums that singer/composer James "D-Train" Williams and producer/keyboardist/composer Hubert Eaves III -- together known as D Train -- recorded for Prelude. In 1985, Williams and Eaves left the small New York-based label (which subsequently went out of business) and, although they continued to work together, Williams signed with Columbia as a solo artist in 1986. Something's on Your Mind isn't quite as essential as D Train's self-titled debut album of 1982, but it's still impressive. The moody yet funky title song became a major hit, and the duo is equally captivating on funk/dance offerings like "I'll Do Anything" and "Hustle and Bustle of the City" (which should have been released as a single). To its credit, the duo isn't afraid to try different things -- "Thank You" finds Williams and Eaves detouring into reggae, while a brief performance of Carole King's "So Far Away" combines R&B with adult contemporary/soft rock elements. Eaves' keyboards played a prominent role on most of the duo's Prelude recordings, but on "So Far Away" Williams accompanies himself on acoustic guitar. Again, 1982's D Train is the group's most essential album, but this LP is also rewarding and is well worth having. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 1982 | UNIDISC MUSIC INC.

The Best of the 12" Mixes compiles ten extended remixes from James "D Train" Williams and Hubert Eaves III's body of work as D Train. If you were partial to a particular mix of any of the duo's singles that wasn't made available on their three proper albums, it might behoove you to seek this out. But even then, you're not exactly guaranteed to find what you're looking for, and it's not as if radio DJs and club DJs informed listeners and dancers of what particular version of each song was played -- so, unfortunately, some gambling might be involved. Another issue to consider is that a number of the tracks here appear as bonus tracks on Unidisc's CD reissues of the studio albums. Although this contains mixes of some of D Train's best moments, it doesn't work as a suitable best-of, either. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 1983 | UNIDISC MUSIC INC.

D Train's second album for Prelude isn't on the level of their debut, as the amount of filler lessens the impact of the standouts, and none of the standouts match "You're the One for Me" or "Keep On." Both the title track and "Keep Giving Me Love" featured familiar sounds, but were different enough to keep the attention of fans of the duo's initial singles. James "D Train" Williams' rich, booming baritone and Hubert Eaves III's bold production are just as unique as ever -- when you hear a D Train song, there's no mistaking who it is. Like its predecessor, Music is loaded with upbeat numbers and throws in a ballad to show that Eaves is much better at crafting energetic material for dancefloors. When Unidisc issued the album on CD in the early '90s, they did everyone a favor by including an assortment of alternate mixes and radio edits. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1982 | UNIDISC MUSIC INC.

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R&B - Released January 1, 1981 | UNIDISC MUSIC INC.

Some of the most memorable and fresh-sounding R&B of the early to mid-'80s came from D Train, a group that had one foot in soul music and the other in urban contemporary. Blessed with a big, booming voice, lead vocalist James "D-Train" Williams was, in many respects, the epitome of the classic soul belter. Williams, like so many of the great soulsters of the 1960s and 1970s, brought a strong gospel influence to secular lyrics and wasn't afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. But in terms of production, Williams' partner, Hubert Eaves III, was very urban contemporary. When Eaves produced the duo's self-titled debut album in 1981 and 1982, he made sure that his distinctive keyboards were quite prominent. Horns and strings are employed, but keyboards are really the main instrument on funk gems like "You're the One for Me" (a major hit), "Keep on," and "Love Vibration." And keyboards are equally important on the ballads, which include the Philadelphia soul-influenced "Lucky Day" and an inspired remake of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David favorite "Walk on By" (which had previously been recorded by Isaac Hayes, Dionne Warwick, and Gloria Gaynor). Many 1970s funk bands thought of horn sections as part of the main course and keyboards as a mere side dish -- on this superb LP, it's just the opposite. Not that Eaves was alone in pushing R&B in a more keyboards-minded direction; anyone who listened to urban radio in 1982 realized that R&B producers in general were using more and more keyboards and synthesizers. From Eaves' attractive production to Williams' inspired singing and the duo's first-rate songwriting, D Train is a stunning debut all around. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 13, 2018 | Follow The Eagle