Chuck StrongBUY CDS
Chuck Strong is a native of Selma, Alabama. He
started off singing in a group called “The Oasis Band”. Following
this he sang lead with Bobby Moore and the Rhythm Aces.
Chuck’s first album, “Love Don’t Change Over Night” was
released on Team in 1986 to little fanfare. From there Strong
performed as an opening act for stars like Johnny Taylor before he
hooked up with Ace Records and released his next CD, "Stolen
Love" in 1994. But he had his first actual hit with Jimmy Lewis
on the Miss Butch label ("She's Not The Cheating Kind"). Since then
he has released a serious of modern soul/R & B albums. His
previous with Waldoxy produced one of his biggest hits, "Rock
That Man In The Boat".
"Love Don't Change Overnight" (Team 1986)
1 Any Fool Can Feel It
"A Strong Dose Of Soul" (Team 1989)
1 I Believe In You (You Believe In Me)
"You Left A Gold Mine For A Gold Digger" (Hit Parade 1991)
1 Don't Make Me Choose
"Stolen Love" (Ace 1994)
1. Stolen Love
*** Without a doubt Tyrone Davis is Chuck's biggest influence and these programmed Southern Soul tracks are not far removed from material Tyrone himself was putting down (Interestingly, Tyrone covered "Don't Make Me Choose", which was co-written by Strong) at the same time. It's hard to pick a favorite as all tracks are decent, percolating pop/soul items but "You Left A Goldmine For A Golddigger" is certainly the catchiest. The song, Strong co-wrote with Winston Williams, was later covered by Little Milton. The only issue one could take with this pleasant album is that it lacks grit and goes down too smooth for most Deep Soul fans.
"She's Not The Cheating Kind" (Miss Butch 1995)
1. She's Not the Cheating Kind
**1/2 Veteran songwriter/producer Jimmy Lewis (he worked with Ray Charles) signs Strong to his Miss Butch label, a Mardi Gras Records affiliate, and gives Chuck his first big hit in the modern soul title cut. In this story song Chuck explains to the other man that his wife is only with him because he pushed her to do it...because "She's Not The Cheating Kind". Chuck wrote the other standout here, an upbeat toe-tapper called "You Made A Change In Me". The album is fairly consistent except for Lewis' silly "Girls Girls"...."Girls, girls, sugar and spice and everything nice...". Puh-lease.
"She's Special" (Miss Butch 1996)
1. That Ain't the Way to Do It - (featuring Jimmy Lewis)
**1/2 Once again the album opens with a terrific slow, retro-soul number. "That Ain't The Way You Do It", a duet with Jimmy Lewis, has a dynamite refrain and lyrics denouncing infidelity. Chuck says he's done with his cheating ways 'cuz he's "got a good woman now". (Sorry Chuck I don't believe you!) Once again a Jimmy Lewis production, "She's Special" is more romantic than the typical Southern Soul album with sweet songs like the title cut and "Never Will I Leave You Alone". Certainly, the sterile production detracts from the music and some genuine grease and grit would really help. Nevertheless, it's an easy listen and that's what Chuck's fans want.
"Let Me Satisfy You" (1996 S & M)
1. Let Me Satisfy You
2. I'm in the Mood
3. Where Did My Love Go
4. If Loving You Is Wrong
5. Warm & Tender Love
6. You Are So Special to Me
7. Outside Woman
8. Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You
9. Loosing Battle, A
10. I Forgot to Be Your Lover
**1/2 Another modern soul record with a mix of originals and covers sung by that buttery voice of Chuck Strong. But it just doesn't butter my bread to hear him sing "Warm & Tender Love" when a deep soul giant like Percy Sledge has already signed, sealed and delivered it. Also, "Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You" was perfected by Wilson Pickett so why mess with it? (Although Chuck's version of "If Loving You is Wrong" is pretty darn good I must admit). He fares better on original pop/soul material like the Tyrone Davis-kissed "Let Me Satisfy You".
"Can't Wait To See You Again" (S & M 1998)
1) I Can't Wait To See You Again
**1/2 The material just isn't up to par on this release. It sounds just like every other Chuck Strong album just without truly memorable songs besides the title cut (which showed up on his 2002 Waldoxy album "3 N A Bed").
"I'm In Need Of A Good Woman" (SM 1999)
1. One Night Affair
*** This "new" album is actually a combination of 5 new cuts and 5 songs taken from his "Let Me Satisfy You" disc. Of the new tracks the galloping dance soul "Intoxicated Love" and the terrific "I'm In Need Of A Good Woman" are the best.
"She's Got Papers On Me" (S & M 2000)
1. You Are Just What I Needed
*** Best album so far features more programmed Southern Soul from this smooth singer. It's the usual combination of slick soul movers and slow burnin' ballads like "Are You Having An Affair" replete with synth horns and strings. Any fan of Tyrone Davis will dig Chuck's phrasing on this gem. "Trying To Make Ends Meet" is a close second with it's bottom-heavy creepin' groove and tasty guitar licks and a close third place is "The Fireman", an irresistible head-bobbing jam with some superfine backing vocals. But not everything gels- "Please Accept My Love" is a swinging number that could really use live musicians. Same story for most of the tracks. And that's the problem with Chuck Strong records- they're like sugar coated plastic. Chuck's an exceptional singer but his backing is just too puerile. Still, "She's Got Papers" is above average sugar coated plastic. Fans of Tyrone Davis' 90s records will be delighted.
"3-N-A Bed" (Waldoxy 2002)
**** Rich Cason, who hit the equivalent of a grand slam with Johnnie Taylor's "Good Love", is on board to produce Chuck's Waldoxy debut. It's nearly a "best of" album as some of the best tracks from previous releases are mixed with solid new stuff. The set opens with Cason's "3-N-A-Bed", which capitalizes on the Willie Clayton hit "Three People Sleeping In My Bed" and the bumping "Southern Girl" is a witty ode to a certain kind of fine femme fatale. "I want a down home southern girl with a butt so big, her dress don't fit. A southern girl to put some sugar on my eggs and grits." Uh Oh Bobby Rush I think Chuck's got "Sue" now! A couple likable covers are included ("If Loving You is Wrong" and William Bell's "I Forgot To Be Your Lover") and yet another excellent Cason song, "You're All The Woman I Need" -an immaculate modern soul love song. If you had to pick one Chuck Strong disc to own this is it.
"Let's Get Back Together" (Waldoxy 2004)
1. Rock That Man in the Boat
***1/2 Second Waldoxy set opens with the biggest hit of Chuck's career, "Rock That Man In The Boat". This ace dance jam is another entry in the ongoing dialogue on what women want in the bedroom. Let us review. Clarence Carter said to be "Strokin'", Bobby Rush was "Wearing It Out", Theodis Ealey said to "Stand Up In It", Dr. Feelgood Potts advised you to "Make It Talk", Denise LaSalle said you had to "Lick It Before You Stick It" and then make it "Snap Crackle & Pop", "Candy Licker" Marvin Sease said let her "Sit Down On It" but now Chuck says you gotta "Rock That Man In The Boat" to please a woman. I wonder what's next! While nothing compares to that smash, "Cotton Candy" is a snappy toe-tapper and the title track continues Chuck's tradition of ingratiating Southern Soul slowies. Once again hitmaker Rich Cason is on board to produce- and also wrote 5 of the songs.
"Faithful To A Married Woman" (Waldoxy 2009)
1. Big Women Make the Best Lovers
"Sneakin' Out" (Laryan 2009)
1. Love and Happiness