Mary Mary – Thankful (Epic 2017 #169)

The Epic 2017 Project #169: 170618

Mary Mary – Thankful (1999)

Thankful was Mary Mary’s debut studio album, released on May 2, 2000 through Columbia Records. It’s all about contemporary gospel, R&B, hip hop and soul and as a part of that, produced the smash crossover hit “Shackles (Praise You)”, which reached the top-ten in seven countries. This was closely followed by the single “I Sings”, which was also a significant hit—although it did not match the success of its predecessor.

The album established Mary Mary as one of the leading artists in contemporary Christian music, and won the duo a Grammy Award in 2001. It peaked at number one on the US Gospel Albums, number twenty-two on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and number fifty-nine on the US Billboard 200. On release, AllMusic gave it a grade of four and a half out of five stars and Cross Rhythms – the main Christian music publisher – a top 10/10.

En Vogue – Funky Divas (Epic 2017 #066)

The Epic 2017 Project #066: 170307

En Vogue – Funky Divas (1992)

En Vogue’s second studio album was one of the best selling of 1992 peaking at over five million by the year end.

The lead single, “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” (featured here) became an instant hit, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart. The accompanying video for “My Lovin'” won two MTV Video Music Awards. The song samples the funk guitar line of James Brown’s 1973 song “The Payback” from the album of the same name.

Average White Band – Person to Person (Epic 2017 #014)

The Epic 2017 Project #014: 170114

Average White Band – Person to Person (1977)

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I brought this double gatefold live album on vinyl for my wife’s 21st birthday back in 1980.

The Average White Band came from Dundee, Scotland. Formed in 1972, they had worldwide success as a funk and R&B band with a string of hits between 1974 and 1980. The biggest and most successful of these was the instrumental ‘Pick up the Pieces’ (1974) which now has the accolade of being the 15th most sampled tune in history. The band split in 1983 only to reform six years later. They still tour now, albeit with a vastly different line-up; Alan Gorrie (guitar) is the only original member.

The ‘Person to Person’ live album was recorded at the Tower Theatre and The Spectrum, Philadelphia, The Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh and The Colosseum, Cleveland.