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Future Now


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Michael Hepburn (vocals, keyboards, background vocals); Sherman Davis (vocals, background vocals); Marlon "The Magician" McClain (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Larry Williams (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Dennis Springer (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Tony Collins (trumpet, flugelhorn); Jerry Hey (trumpet); Lew McCreary, William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Jr. (trombone); Donald Hepburn (keyboards, background vocals); Tim Gorman (Moog synthesizer, programming); Nathaniel Phillips (electric bass, background vocals); Bruce Carter (drums); Bruce Smith (percussion, background vocals); Jeff Lorber (programming); Clydene Jackson, Pat Henderson, Julia Tillman Waters, Maxine Willard Waters (background vocals).
  • Audio Remixer: Phil Kaffel.
  • Liner Note Authors: Dean Rudland; Ralph Kaffel.
  • Recording information: Fantasy Studios, Berkeley.
  • Photographer: Phil Bray.
  • Arguably, the members of Pleasure were among the unsung heroes of 1970s funk and soul. The band enjoyed a small but enthusiastic cult following, but one thing that it didn't have was a lot of major hits on R&B radio. For the most part, R&B radio ignored Pleasure, although quiet storm formats did play some of its more mellow album tracks. The exception to that rule came in 1979, when black radio proved to be quite receptive to "Glide." A pearl of a funk single, "Glide" is an infectious party jam that the African-American working class easily related to. The tune isn't really sociopolitical, although it isn't mindlessly fun either -- essentially, "Glide" is telling listeners to hang in there and be positive despite the challenges that life presents. And you don't have to be African-American to relate to the song's message. "Glide" was the only song on Future Now that could be called a major hit, although it isn't the album's only gem. Those who acquired this 1979 LP also found a lot to admire about jazz-influenced material that ranges from funk smokers like "Nothin' to It" and "Space Is the Place" to the smooth quiet storm offerings "Strong Love" and "Thoughts of Old Flames." Without question, Future Now is among Pleasure's most essential albums. ~ Alex Henderson
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