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R&B/Soul - Released April 29, 2014 | Epic

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Wearing skintight pants, black leather and brandishing a Bowie knife on the LP cover, Nona Hendryx announces her intentions loudly and clearly on her debut record. At the time, this record was unpromotable (hell, it would be today), mainly because the record company and radio stations didn't know what to do with a huge-voiced African-American woman who was comfortable and capable of singing hard rock as well as soul music. So, as usual, they turned their backs on the record and it disappeared almost as quickly as it was released. Which is a shame, because it's a nasty, relentless chunk of hard-edged rock'n'soul that was just a bit ahead of its time. Long out of print, but worth searching for. ~ John Dougan

Disco - Released February 16, 2018 | Soul Clap Records

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Rock - Released November 10, 2017 | Knitting Factory

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R&B - Released January 1, 1987 | Capitol Records

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R&B - Released March 1, 1984 | Legacy Recordings

It is amazing how polarizing (for listeners) Bill Laswell's Material side projects can be. They are either fresh and inventive or stale and uninspired. Unfortunately, Nona Hendryx's 1984 Material-produced album The Art of Defense falls into the latter category -- another case of some very talented folks making a very bland record. Nona and the Material crew are obviously capable of great things, but despite the formidable pedigree of the artists involved, The Art of Defense falls short of expectations. There are few real songs here, lyrically, so (if the group were going for the Donna Summer disco diva over complex-studio-grooves kind of thing) it would have made sense to make the music more engaging. Lord knows Laswell is capable of that. Neither the music nor the vocal performances ever take center stage, and the result is simply a boring album. The songs with the least going on in them (and the least going for them) are, invariably, the longest songs on the album, and the two songs that are actually somewhat engaging and well realized ("Electricity" and "Ghost Love") are the record's shortest tracks -- there is a lesson in here somewhere. ~ J. Scott McClintock
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R&B - Released August 1, 1985 | Legacy Recordings

After Labelle's breakup in early 1977, Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx, and Sarah Dash took very different paths as solo artists. LaBelle became a middle of the road urban/adult contemporary superstar, Dash recorded the occasional R&B album with little commercial success, and Hendryx favored rock-minded albums that came the closest to Labelle's free-spirited wildness. Hendryx's solo career started out on a hard rock note with her self-titled debut album of 1977, but she took a more new wave-influenced turn in the '80s, and 1985's The Heat brings together rock and synth funk with memorable results. The Heat is quite a contrast to the solo albums that Patti LaBelle was offering in the mid-'80s; LaBelle and Hendryx both had crossover appeal, but while LaBelle was going after a combination of urban and adult contemporary fans, Hendryx was going after a combination of pop/rock, new wave/ and urban fans. The Heat, for all its funkiness, proved to be too rock-minded for R&B stations; regardless, Hendryx has a lot of fun on infectious offerings such as "A Girl Like That," "Rock This House," "I Need Love," and "Revolutionary Dance." Hendryx wrote or co-wrote everything on this album, including "If Looks Could Kill (D.O.A.)," which should not be confused with the song that both Heart and dance-pop singer Pamala Stanley recorded in the mid-'80s. The producers on The Heat include Hendryx, Arthur Baker, and the late Bernard Edwards, who co-led Chic with Nile Rodgers in the late '70s and early '80s. Edwards, like Rodgers, broadened his horizons considerably as a producer in the '80s; many of the albums Edwards worked on after Chic's breakup didn't sound anything like Chic, and that is certainly true of The Heat (which is a long way from Chic's influential disco-funk). Originally released on LP by RCA, The Heat was reissued as a 67-minute CD by Funky Town Grooves in 2011. And the Brooklyn-based label added three bonus tracks, including an extended version of "I Need Love" and a club mix of "If Looks Could Kill (D.O.A.)." The Heat is an exciting document of Hendryx in the mid-'80s. ~ Alex Henderson
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R&B - Released March 1, 1983 | Legacy Recordings

After a few years doing session work, Hendryx, with help from the band Material, came up with this winner that drops the hard rock of her debut for a more Talking Heads-tinged pop/funk. Although the songwriting could be a little sharper, Hendryx's powerful voice gives the record focus and always commands your attention. Extra musical emphasis provided by Sly Dunbar, Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Nile Rodgers. ~ John Dougan
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Pop/Rock - Released September 1, 1977 | Epic

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