Review: “The Glow Of Love” by Change (Vinyl, 1980)

Today’s POP RESCUE from a fate unknown, is the 1980 debut album ‘The Glow Of Love‘ by Italian-American group Change. Does this album give you a warm Glow, or will you be Searching for a refund? Read on…

Change - The Glow Of Love (1980) album cover
Change – The Glow Of Love (1980) album

This 6 track album opens with lead single A Lover’s Holiday (A Jim Burgess Mix), This, together with it’s double-a side track The Glow Of Love (later on the album), gave the group a #14 UK hit single. The sound is slick, with a wonderful bass, brass hopping in at times, hand claps, and very Chic styled. A perfect post-disco start.

Next up is It’s A Girl’s Affair bursts in with racing bass drums, dramatic bursts from synth and electric guitars. This track has a more Sister Sledge sound to it, not least because it’s a female vocal taking the lead here it might be Jocelyn Brown (or Jocelyn Shaw as she’s credited as), although she has the big backing vocals covered at least. It has echoes of that We Are Family era, punctuated with the roaring guitars. Again, another really strong track.

Side One closes with Angel In My Pocket, which opens with beat, piano, and synth whistle effect. Again, it’s a full on Chic and Sister Sledge sound in the music and vocals. Again, the vocals really stand out, and I’m pretty sure Jocelyn is here again. It’s a slightly weirdly titled song, but the song is perfectly formed, joined by sweeping strings, and allowing the catchy chorus to keep appearing and steering it along.

Side Two opens with the titular The Glow Of Love, which was also released as the double A side with A Lover’s Holiday. This track sees soul singer Luther Vandross taking lead vocals, and with Jocelyn Shaw (aka Jocelyn Brown) on backing vocals. This track reminds me a lot of Sister Sledge’s I’m Thinking Of You.

Next is second single Searching, again giving Luther the lead vocals. This track gives Luther plenty of space to show off his vocals in this faster track, that’s punctuated by sweeping strings and saxophone. The song was their second UK single, and it gave them a #11 hit, although this album version is quite long.

The album aptly closes with instrumental The End, and it’s a full on synth-fest, although started off sounding like it was going into James Bond theme territory. Instead, it hangs loosely around the Jean-Michel Jarre zone, which is okay by me. It’s almost timeless, and a nice track, but a little off to be here on this album. Some vocals would have helped tie it back to the group,

Change – A Lover’s Holiday, their lead Double-A side single.

Verdict

This album is short but it is so damn funky. It is impossible to stay still whilst listening to the slick production, the funky bass, and the soulful vocals. You’ll want to dance, clap your hands, and sing along.

It is highly reminiscent of their label-mates Chic, and Sister Sledge, and at times it will be hard to differentiate between the two groups. Searching, and definitely The End are the two tracks that stray furthest from this sound, with the latter a strange choice to include, but a nice track in its own right.

The success of this album rightly delivered Luther Vandross to a worldwide solo career, as well as acting as a brilliant milestone in Jocelyn Brown’s career as a vocalist.

It really is an absolute gem.

Rated 5 stars - Essential listening.
  • POP RESCUE 2020 RATING: 5 / 5
  • 1980 UK ALBUM CHART PEAK: Did not chart.
  • POP RESCUE COST: £4.99 from a Discogs.com seller.

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