Vinyl Music Review: Peabo Bryson, Paradise

Peabo Bryson, Vinyl Culture

Nothing quite soothes the soul like early 80’s R&B.

As I find myself traversing my vinyl record collection (instead of buying more), I am finding many gems. One of these diamonds in the rough, as much of my collection, came from a thrift shop. A few years back I remember picking up this Peabo Bryson vinyl, Paradise, at a local Goodwill.

I always try to find exact words to describe the music I listen and write about. This album is baby-making, carefully curated, R&B disco. Let me explain.

First, this album is baby-making music. The grooves of this album are dangerous, especially on tracks like “Paradise” and “Love Has No Shame.” These songs include upbeat orchestral arrangements that include horns, funky bass, and addicting piano riffs.

Second, this album is carefully constructed. You find all the uptempo songs on Side A and the ballads on Side B.  A true highlight of the album is the piano driven “Life is a Child.” This song is stripped of all the “special effects” and shows off Bryson’s incredible vocal range and phrasing.

Lastly, this album is full of disco sentiments with R&B overtones. What can you expect from an album made in 1980, especially by the brilliant Peabo Bryson? He composed all but one song on the album and was a co-producer. The album went on to chart at number 13 on the Billboard Top Soul Albums, while producing the hit “Minute by Minute.”

This album shows a music business and style in transition. Paradise is a hybrid album.  It shows disco wearing off and soul music creating a new facade. All covered in the essence of Peabo Bryson’s smooth vocals.

Key Tracks: “Love Has No Shame,” “Paradise”

Deep Cuts: “Love is Every Season,” “Life is A Child”

About Gabe Crawford

Christian. Oklahoman. American. Vinyl enthusiast.

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