Monday, June 11, 2012

DeBarge--Rhythm of the Night (1985)

     Three of the DeBarge boys, Randy, Mark, and El, had been bouncing around different groups in Grand Rapids MI throughout the 70's when deciding to join forces along with older sister Bunny. Their older brothers, Tommy and Bobby were in the group Switch, which had done well by late in that decade. Thanks to family friend (and Switch bandmate) Gregory Williams who sent a demo of the fledgling group to Berry Gordy Jr., The DeBarges were signed to Motown in 1979.
     They spent over a year traveling with Switch learning about the business, from a musical and business standpoint. It was in 1981, when Tommy and Bobby joined their siblings in recording their debut album. The next year, 18 year old brother James joined the group, and also reached the charts that year. This began a three year stretch where they racked up 5 top 40 hits and three top 40 albums including their biggest hit in 1985.
     "Rhythm of the Night" was written by Diane Warren which was included in the Motown produced movie, "The Last Dragon". It was a top notch year for the group, which drew four singles, two of them reaching the top 10. Unfortunately, it was also a peak for the group. Although the next album was mainly a vehicle for El, who was not only emerging as a star, but because of drug problems, was also one of the most reliable, but that would soon change as well. Bunny was offered a solo contract as well, and by the end of the 80's the group had disbanded. The travails of the family has been well documented, but for a three year period they were on top of the heap.    


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