Philip Bailey – Continuation – 1983
Produced and arranged by George Duke

Review by RJM – Rating:

Perhaps Philip Bailey sensed Earth, Wind & Fire’s impending doom. In 1983, between his participation in the EW&F albums "Powerlight" and "Electric Universe", Philip got former jazz musician George Duke to produce his first solo album "Continuation".

At the time, Duke had been producing successful commercial Black artists like Deniece Williams and Jeffrey Osborne. Unfortunately, "Continuation" sounded like it could have been recorded by anyone in Duke’s stable, and underutilized Philip Bailey’s vast talent. Overall, "Continuation" is Duke-synthesized dance music at a time when this genre of music had almost completely faded. In spite of this, now that Maurice White’s dominating lead vocals weren’t around, many fans finally started to appreciate the enormous range of Philip’s voice, like when he’s stretching out a bit in "Trapped".

"Continuation" is comfortable and innocuous, but not exciting, even though artists like Sister Sledge ("Desire"), Deniece Williams (the squeaky duet "It’s Our Time") and Roland Bautista (guitar solo on "Your Boyfriend’s Back") appeared. The strongest single, "I Know", was released – along with a charming video which had Philip driving a cab and picking up a fare who turned out to be an old girlfriend – and ignored. Also appealing is "The Good Guy’s Supposed To Get The Girl", which sounds the most like EW&F on "Continuation". 

This is the only album in my review which hasn’t been reissued as a CD. You know how you sometimes come across a great LP and wish it would be reissued? Well this ain’t one of those.


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