I went back and forth on the Time while writing this. Formed in Minneapolis in 1981 under the guidance of Prince, the Time had some big time hits and were a force in the 80’s dance-pop/ RnB/ funk scene. Morris Day and Jerome Benton were friends of Prince. Both Day and Benton as well as the Time benefited from their appearance in Purple Rain. However, Day would fall out with Prince after a rift grew between Prince and the band. The Time would break up. Benton would star in the awful Under a Cherry Moon. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (not on this album) would become one of the more successful producers in the late 80’s/ early 90’s. The band would reform for both the awful Graffiti Bridge and their best album Pandemonium in 1990. They would also perform an excellent set on Saturday Night Live, where Morris drops the F -bomb. This reunion was short lived however. They would appear in Jay and Silent Bob’s movie and reform sporadically until 2008 when they reformed as The Original 7ven.
As far as the album goes, it was released in 1984 and went up to #24 on the US charts as well as #3 on the RnB charts. It would spawn three hit singles, the most notable being “Jungle Love”. Jay and Silent Bob swear by the Time and their performance on SNL was great. However, after listening to this album a few times, I am leaning more towards the school of thought where the Time are clown shoes. I don’t know. Maybe it is that this album reeks too much of the 80’s. Perhaps Pandemonium is a better album. I guess what I am saying is this does little to transcend out of the era in which it was made. Also, with the antics of Day and Benton live, a recording fails to establish the visual aspect of the band.
For a sample, I went with the third single from the album, “The Bird”. Reaching #36 on the US 100, #33 on the RnB, and #6 on the Dance charts, it was recorded live on this album and is one of the first Time songs not recorded in the studio by Prince ( a point which led to tensions between the band and Prince). It has become a signature tune for the band and is still done in concerts. It was also one of the theme songs used by WWF star, Koko B Ware.
Meh. I wanted to like this more. Really I did. I guess the 80’s electric funk thing just ain’t my bag.