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R&B - Released June 1, 2018 | Mr Bongo

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R&B - Released January 1, 2010 | Capitol Records

Next to Razor & Tie's 1995 collection Boogie Fever (which went out of print not long after its release), Capitol's 2002 collection Classic Masters is the best overview of the nine-piece disco band's career, containing all of their biggest hits on a snappy 12-track collection. Not everything is as good as "Boogie Fever," and some of these tunes now sound a little silly, but it still all sounds pretty fun, particularly for those that like the hits. They might not find hidden gems here, but they'll likely groove along with the record rather enjoyably. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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R&B - Released August 20, 1975 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

If the Jacksons could do it and the Osmonds could do it, then, by gosh, so could the Sylvers. By the mid-'70s, this multi-talented, nine-member family group was recording veterans. And having peppered the R&B charts with singles in the early part of the decade,the Sylvers would take the top spot with the seminal proto-disco "Boogie Fever" in 1975. Produced by Freddie Perren, who had already brought magic to the Jackson 5, "Boogie Fever" had all the right stuff. And while the song draws easy comparisons to Perren's work with the Jacksons, it also stands strong in its own right. It was catchy, hooky, well-harmonized, and would set the primary tone for 1976's Showcase. However, although Perren gave the band a bona fide hit, his style also firmly entrenched the band on the bubblegum road -- a path they would not truly depart from until later in the decade. That said, while both "The Roulette Wheel of Love" and "Ain't No Good in Goodbye" are firmly stamped with Perren's style, there is much more percolating across the album. Leon Sylvers, who would later find success with the famed Solar label, demonstrated a genuine flair for funk as he wielded his pen for "Clap Your Hands to the Music" and "Freestyle." The latter, which opens side two, is a particularly juicy, enthusiastically sung, and horn-heavy jam that allies itself more to the funk of Kool & the Gang than to Motown soul. Showcase mishmashes its sounds, and while the result is good, it really does feel at times like a revue -- a little bit funky, a little bit soul. But that's its only real failing. For the most part, the Sylvers have enough kick to keep the groove going all night long. © Amy Hanson /TiVo
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R&B - Released November 1, 1977 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Their last LP for Capitol before jumping to Casablanca and disco guru Giorgio Moroder, New Horizons found the Sylvers a silver-suited septet, jetting off into the sunset atop a Meconian spaceship bound for who knows where. Now self-produced, the Sylvers had their sound and style well in hand, able to present a cohesive and slick set of soft R&B with ease. New Horizons leapt onto the charts with softer, subtle songs this time around, including both the jazzy title track, which focused on the vocal harmonies, and "Another Day to Love," which used the same format but took the vibe way down with strings that cushioned the harmonies. And, of course, because everyone and their grandmother were enraptured with the disco monster, the band seemed to have more fun breaking a sweat across the light strains of "Star Fire" and the remarkably funky "Charisma," while the horn-laden "Dressed to Kill" emerges as one of the finest songs in sight. Divided between these two distinct styles, the Sylvers once again churned through a competent set that can't be faulted. However, there's nothing here that really stands out, either. It's fine R&B, but it's clear they had nearly overstayed their welcome. © Amy Hanson /TiVo
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R&B - Released November 9, 1976 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Something Special, released in late 1976 and featuring an interesting fold-over sleeve, proved to be the Sylvers' best-selling album, reaching number 13 R&B and remaining in the charts for nearly half a year, despite the fact that the band had already scored the previous year with their best-known song, "Boogie Fever." Still, this is a strong set, dominated by the smoothly arranged, wholesome R&B songs that this large family band was known for. Two songs peeled off the LP and onto the singles charts: "Hot Line" is an innocent, dirty-sweet crush of a song wrapped in strings with Motown overtones, while "High School Dance" keeps the traditional Sylvers sound but pulls a few funky tricks out of its bag as well, including a full-horn arrangement. But they're not done yet, as they move on to the well-intentioned (but weak) "Disco Showdown." Elsewhere, the storm is tempered by a handful of ballads as the boys take on "That's What Love Is Made Of" and the girls reciprocate with the very fine "Got to Have You (For My Very Own)." At the end of the day, Something Special emerges as a fine LP, albeit one with limited staying power. Is the band proficient? Yes, they are. Is the LP well done? Yes, it is. But, like the Jackson 5, the Osmonds, or even the Carpenters to some extent, family appeal is utterly charming in small doses, but wears out its welcome long before both sides play through. © Amy Hanson /TiVo
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R&B - Released July 21, 1974 | Polydor

In the period before the storm that came via "Boogie Fever," "Hot Line," "Cotton Candy," the Sylvers' first two records dropped on a subsidiary of MGM named Pride. Their third album, however, came out on MGM Records, and contains pleasant examples of the So Cal-based group from Memphis, TN, who initially relocated to Harlem to seek their fortune. This was a parting shot, and record companies are notorious for ignoring final entries by departing artists. Sylvers III was no exception, and it didn't receive much attention. If afforded some promotion and publicity, "Wish You Were Here (Next to Me)," "I Aim to Please," and "Could Be You" might have made some noise. © Andrew Hamilton /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 1981 | UNIDISC MUSIC INC.

A 1970s favorite, the family group the Sylvers had long burned through their star power by the release of 1981's Concept LP. With numbers that had at one time expanded to include nearly all ten children, the band now found themselves pared down to a, relatively speaking, small quintet. Solidly crafted, if eminently tired, R&B drives the slick set, swinging and balancing itself between sharp pop and smooth ballads. Both "I'm Getting' Over" and "Heart Repair Man" are fairly respectable urban grooves and are surpassed only by the surprisingly funky "Reach Out." "Taking Over," on the other hand, with its breaks of light rap, struggles for credibility. The miasmic ballads "Just When I Thought It Was Over (Here I Go Again)" and "The Unfinished Letter" round out the experience. There's a good reason that this album appeared and faded without a trace. By the time Concept reached the shelf, three years after the Sylvers' last hit single, they were so out of fashion that not even the moments of excellence found on this album could have saved the band from the backlash that relegated them to oblivion. Keep this remarkable band alive instead through their brighter and much earlier sonic masterpieces. © Amy Hanson /TiVo