Recently while flipping through Trouble Girls: The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock (1997) I stumbled on an excerpt about LABELLE aka PATTi LABELLE & THE BLUE BELLES. It had me intrigued enough to check out a band that I was familiar with only by name. Turns out it was worth the effort because I may have just stumbled on something new to spice up my music listening. Here’s the article and a video link to WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU? (1974). Let me know what you think yourself!
IN THE MID-SEVENTIES THE STANDARD ESTABLISHED QUEENS OF DISCO AND IT’S startlingly diverse fandom were the trio LABELLE, the spectacular metamorphosis of PATTi LABELLE and the BLUE BELLES. Largely because of the ALLEN TOUSAiNT-produced album NiGHTBiRDS, in 1974, their pioneering blend of funk, rock, gospel, sci-fi glitter, and gender politics had captured the imagination of an increasing number of dissatisfied youth. Anthemic pleas for love and unity such as WHAT CAN i DO FOR YOU? and YOU TURN ME ON were more inspirational than anything eles the disco era would produce. At their height in 1974, they were the first R7B act to play New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, and no one could out-sing, out-emote, or out-dress them. It’s likely that, had they not broken up in 1976, there would never have been an iconic gap for DONNA SUMMER and her Munich Machine to fill.
*Cooper, Carol. (1997). Trouble Girls: The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock. Good Golly, Svengali: Donna Summer and Annabella Lwin, 312.