It would have been Nancy Wilson‘s 83rd birthday today and I thought I’d use the opportunity and feature another album in our new category of albums that you won’t find on Spotify. “Take My Love” was released in 1980 and Nancy’s commercial success had been on the low side after her incredible streak in the 60s and some remarkable album in the 70s. But producers struggled with her taking her through the disco period and I think that Larry Farrow, who also worked with Gladys Knight, Deniece Williams, Kellee Patterson, and Randy Brown, among many others, did a great job. The album’s opening cut which gave the LP its title, is a veritable disco/soul number with great backing vocals by Lynn Davis.
Larry wrote most of the songs with Carolyn Johns, like the light and airy stepper “Someone Else” or the southern-styled ballad “Welcome Home”. I think Nancy was in her prime vocally, at 43, which can be witnessed by listening to the dramatic “The Sadness In My Eyes”, complete with her signature sighs. “Let’s Hold On To Love”, which opens side 2, is a fantastic midtempo groover, with scintillating strings. Nancy was backed by the best musicians, as usual. Lee Ritenour, Harvey Mason, James Gadson, “Wah Wah” Watson, Paulinho da Costa, Plas Johnson, Paul Jackson Jr., John Williams, etc. And the album was once again recorded, at least in parts, at Capitol Records Studios in Los Angeles.
My favorite cut clearly has to be the Leon Ware-penned “I Loved You All The Time”. There is this typical gentle seduction in all of Leon’s songs and Nancy caresses the lyrics and the melody like only she can. How great it would have been to have a Leon Ware-produced Nancy Wilson album, circa 1980. But here we get the best of all worlds, like the jazzy “Not Afraid To Love”, with on-point string and horn arrangement. And the disco/soul which opens the album, concludes in the shape of “I’m Coming Home”. It was her final album for Capitol Records and didn’t pop up on the charts. But it is really worth checking out.