Sunday, 23 June 2013

Wayne Henderson's Pleasure's Accept No Substitutes (Fantasy Records, 1976)


The original eight members of Pleasure were:
Marlon McClain: Electric and acoustic guitar and background vocals.
Sherman Davis: Lead and background vocals.
Bruce Carter: Drums.
Donald Hepburn: Keyboards and background vocals.
Nathaniel Phillips: Electric bass and background vocals.
Bruce Smith: Percussion and background vocals.
Dennis Springer: Soprano and tenor sax.
Dan Brewster: Trombone and background vocals.
They were all born in Portland, Oregon, and had known each other since they were kids. The band had been playing together since early 1972 and were discovered at a club in Portland by Wayne Henderson (Trombonist, writer and producer of Crusaders, The) who brought them to Fantasy Records in 1974. This was the beginning of a six year relationship with the label and a four year relationship with Wayne Henderson who, through his own production company "At Home Productions", was the band's producer and mentor.
Pleasure were a very versatile band. Their music can best be described as a fusion of jazz and rock, soul, funk and R&B. Very distinctive, funky and definitely danceable.
The group disbanded in the early 1980's.
From Discogs

''Accept No Substitutes''

( LP Fantasy Records, 1976 )
Catalog # F-9506

Tracklisting & Hide Credits:
A1 Let's Dance
Written-By – Augie Johnson, Jerry Peters, Pleasure, Wayne Henderson 5:01
A2 I'm Mad
Written-By – Dan Brewster, Pleasure 3:10
A3 Pleasure For Your Pleasure
Written-By – Marlon "The Magician", Pleasure 3:47
A4 We Have So Much
Written-By – Dan Brewster, Pleasure 3:29
A5 Jammin' With Pleasure
Written-By – Michael Hepburn, Pleasure 2:26
B1 Ghettos Of The Mind
Written-By – Donald Hepburn, Pleasure 5:05
B2 The Love Of My Life
Written-By – Marlon "The Magician", Pleasure 4:05
B3 Theme For The Moonchild
Written-By – Donald Hepburn, Michael Hepburn, Pleasure 5:25
B4 2 For 1
Written-By – Donald Hepburn, Pleasure 4:22

Personnel & Credits:
Art Direction – Phil Carroll
Backing Vocals – Augie Johnson (tracks: A1 to B2, B4), Sylvia Nabors (tracks: A2, A3, B1)
Bass, Backing Vocals – Nathaniel Phillips
Congas, Bell Tree, Drums [Flexitone], Cabasa, Bells [Bell Hoop], Tambourine, Backing Vocals, Effects [Bird Call] – Bruce Smith
Design – Jamie Putnam
Drums – Bruce Carter
Electric Piano, Clavinet – Jerry Peters (tracks: A1, A3)
Electric Piano, Ensemble [String Ensemble] – Michael Hepburn (tracks: A4, A5, B3, B4)
Engineer [Recording] – Eddie Bill Harris, Frank Byron Clark
Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Marlon The Magician
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Donald Hepburn
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Sherman Davis
Mastered By [Mastering] – Rick Collins
Photography By – Phil Bray
Producer – Wayne Henderson
Remix – Frank Byron Clark
Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Dennis Springer
Trombone, Arranged By [Horns] – Dan Brewster
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Oscar Brashear

Format:Vinyl, LP, Album
Produced for At-Home Productions, Inc.
Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley; and the Record Plant, Sausalito, Ca.
Remix at The Total Experience, Los Angeles
Mastering at Kendun Recorders, Burbank, Ca.
All selections published by Funky P.O. Music/At-Home Music (ASCAP).
1976, Fantasy® Records
© Fantasy Records, 1976
Printed in U.S.A.

Barcode and Other Identifiers:
Matrix / Runout (Side 1 Label): F-9506-A
Matrix / Runout (Side 2 Label): F-9506-B
Matrix / Runout (Side 1 Run-out): F-9506-A KENDUN
Matrix / Runout (Side 2 Run-out): F-9506-B KENDUN


''Let's Dance''

Back in the '70s, AOR radio and soul radio were two very different formats -- and not just because one played rock and the other played R&B. "AOR" stood for album-oriented rock, which was an accurate name because that format was, in fact, album-oriented; at AOR, album tracks that were never released as singles could be candidates for heavy rotation. Soul radio, however, was much more singles-oriented -- an established soul radio DJ could play some album tracks here and there, but singles were the primary focus. And that wasn't good news for Pleasure, who were more of an album act than a singles act. Pleasure recorded great albums, but for the most part, they didn't have the type of singles that drove program directors wild. Accept No Substitutes, Pleasure's second album, is a perfect example of a record that is excellent but, as a rule, didn't blow program directors away. The funk gem "Let's Dance" had the makings of a radio hit, although radio didn't really take notice until the West Street Mob covered it in 1981. At any rate, Pleasure's relatively small group of hardcore fans loved this record. They loved the jazz-tinged funk of "Pleasure for Your Pleasure" and "I'm Mad"; they loved the mellow, laid-back quiet storm outlook of "The Love of My Life." Accept No Substitutes did contain one charting single: the hypnotic "Ghettoes of the Mind," which wasn't a huge smash but did become a minor hit and was a favorite at Pleasure's live gigs. Had '70s soul radio been as album-minded a medium as AOR radio, this Wayne Henderson-produced LP might have enjoyed heavy rotation. But in a medium that worshipped singles, Accept No Substitutes was fighting an uphill battle. Regardless, most Pleasure fans think of this LP as a highly respectable sophomore outing.
By Alex Henderson (AMG)

Quite possibly the funkiest album ever from Pleasure – and that's saying a heck of a lot! The album grooves from the very first note – and moves through some of the group's tightest, most rock-solid numbers – all of which use their trademark blend of funky and soul, but which somehow seem to hit even more perfect territory than previous albums! And yes, those records are great, but usually have a few standout cuts – while this one works together perfectly – leading us in right away, then holding us rapt through some wonderful cuts that never let up – massive energy that few other funky combos could match, produced to perfection by the legendary Wayne Henderson. Titles include the wicked sample cut "I'm Mad", the bouncy "Pleasure For Your Pleasure", the spacey "Ghettos Of The Mind", the bumping "Let's Dance", and the tracks "Jammin With Pleasure", "Theme For The Moonchild", "2 For 1", "We Have So Much", and "The Love Of My Life".
(CD Review) © 1996-2011, Dusty Groove America, Inc.


''I'm Mad''

''Pleasure For Your Pleasure''

Biography by Alex Henderson (AMG):
Best known for its 1979 hit "Glide," Pleasure was a risk-taking, horn driven band that often brought jazz overtones to its funk/soul foundation. Pleasure, which shouldn't be confused with the '90s rock band Pleasure, wasn't huge but enjoyed a small cult following. The band was formed in Portland, OR, in 1972, when guitarist Marlon "The Magician" McClain (born August 8, 1955), lead singer Sherman Davis (born March 15, 1952), and keyboardist Donald Hepburn (born June 30, 1950) joined forces with saxophonist Dennis Springer (born July 21, 1949), bassist Nathaniel Phillips (born December 30, 1955), trombonist Dan Brewster and drummer Bruce Carter (born December 28, 1956). Pleasure was a merger of two Portland outfits: Franchise (which included McClain, Phillips, and Carter) and the Soul Masters (which was Hepburn's band and also included Springer, Smith, and Davis). The Oregon residents got a lucky break when trombonist Wayne Henderson, a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders, saw them performing in a Portland club -- Henderson was impressed with what he heard, and his enthusiasm led to a deal with Fantasy (where he produced four of its six albums) in 1974. Pleasure's debut album, Dust Yourself Off, came out on Fantasy in 1975 and was followed by Accept No Substitutes in 1976 and Joyous in 1977. After Joyous, there were a few personnel changes: Brewster left the band, and Donald Hepburn's younger brother Michael (born May 21, 1953) came on board as a keyboardist/lead singer. Get to the Feeling, Pleasure's fourth album, came out in 1978 and was followed by 1979's Future Now, which contained the hit "Glide." Pleasure's cult following really swore by the band, but it wasn't until "Glide" (which reached number ten on Billboard's R&B singles chart) that the funksters finally scored a Top 10 hit. Trumpeter/flugelhornist Tony Collins (born May 16, 1957) was added to the lineup for Future Now, and Doug Lewis came on board as a lead guitarist for 1980's Special Things, which was Pleasure's sixth and final album. Unfortunately, Pleasure didn't have any more major hits after "Glide," and in 1981, the band broke up.


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Original post: 14/05/2008

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