Sunday, March 6, 2016

Ray Parker, Jr. and Raydio - A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)

Ray Parker, Jr. formed Raydio in 1977 with with Vincent Bohnam, Jerry Knight, and Arnell Carmichael.  The group's smooth pop/funk quickly led to success, with "Jack and Jill" and "You Can't Change That" as strong examples of their style.

First among equals bands, where there is one dominant member, often have trouble staying intact and Raydio was no exception.  By 1980, the group was called Ray Parker, Jr. and Raydio; this only lasted around a year before Parker left Raydio to go out on his own.

"A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)" was off the last Raydio LP of the same name, and the success of the song and album likely encouraged Ray Parker, Jr. to go solo.  The single reached #4 on the charts, while the album peaked at #13 and went gold.

While the song picked up a significant amount of airplay on pop and adult contemporary radio, I don't recall ever seeing it on MTV.  The combination of the soft pop sound and MTV's initial positioning as a new wave/rock video channel probably account for this.  However, the vid is an awesome timepiece -- from the time Parker gets out of his Porsche, I was hooked.  Smooth, relaxed love advice never sounded so good (at least in 1981).

As regular readers will know, Parker's solo career go off the a strong start, with "The Other Woman," featured in our All Hallows Even celebration of 2014.  However, his career was inconsistent from there, though he did score a #1 hit in 1984 with "Ghostbusters."

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