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Tease - 1983 (Expanded Edition)
Nº of Discs:
2. Boys And Girls
3. Part Of Me
5. Put The Brakes On Baby
6. What Should I Do
7. I Found In You
8. Saturday Night
9. Pretty Little Lady
10. Flash (12" Version)
11. Flash (Instrumental)
First Time Ever on CD for Tease's 1983 Self-Titled debut album.
Expanded with 2 Bonus Tracks
Liner Notes by Alex Henderson
The Los Angeles R&B scene of the 1980’s was a place known for slick studio work and Ray Parker Jr., a Detroit import, had made a name for himself on the Sunset strip, writing and producing for a plethora of artists including his own act, Raydio. Somehow, he and his cohorts in Raydio, namely one Ollie Brown, found their way around the R&B scene in this era, rather deftly.
Tease, first assembled in 1979 in LA, changing its members with each album; the group in this 1983 debut was perhaps their strongest incarnation. Obviously inspired by Prince associates, The Time, Tease was a sextet gathered around the lead vocals of Kevin “Kipper” Jones, with an interesting twist on the rhythm section. Instead of dual keyboardists, Tease employed dual guitarists in Thomas Organ and Josef Parson; Derek Organ, younger brother to Thomas, played drums and percussion, Rex Salas handled all keyboards, and Cornelius Mims, who left Tease to do more session work after their debut, commanded the bass guitar with a ferocity required of the job.
In this introductory set, the roles of the band are clearly defined — Kipper does not seek to imitate Morris Day’s inimitable character, but adds humour in songs like “Boys and Girls”, playing the role of a teacher trying to keep an unruly class in line. The rest of the band goes to work on grooves, which seem more inspired by the more “live sound” of The Time’s earlier records and their concerts — less on the drum machines, more on the heart. In this regard, Tease’s debut resembles What Time Is It?, particularly songs like “The Walk” and “Wild And Loose” — the latter, which seems to be the basis of “Boys and Girls”, the most crucial song in this set.
While Kipper’s falsetto on the opener, “Flash” certainly brings Prince to mind, thankfully he lets his real voice shine for the remainder of the album. Songs like “I Found In You” and “Part Of Me” step outside their influences in that they are conventional ballads, without the kind of humour that keeps you from taking the songs completely seriously. Both “What Should I Do” and “Saturday Night” tread a new wave/pop/rock territory that shows the Prince influence, as they both venture out of comfortable R&B and Funk lands — but at the same time, do not sound completely out of place or uncomfortable for the band. “Bite” and “Pretty Little Lady” bring that What Time Is It? brand of ’80s hard funk in heavy doses, while “Put The Brakes On Baby” goes left with an interesting bridge that shows the most originality of their grooves on the record, but goes a little more obviously risque toward the end, almost to their detriment.
While this title does a very good job of wearing that influence and Tease are a band looking to be heard, and they’ve earned their listen.