First Listen: Dynasty is back and ready to "Escape"

Photo courtesy of Dynasty

(April 29, 2020) A few things come to mind when long time soul fans recall the sound of SOLAR Records. The label brings to mind groups that fused strong lead singers who could equally handle ballads as well as dance numbers that were the standard of the day. The SOLAR sound featured tightly coordinated backing vocalists and ultra-smooth instrumental arrangements that were so joyful and energetic that they dared the listeners to sit still.

And SOLAR records had a stable of hit makers that included Shalamar, The Whispers, Midnight Star, The Deele and Dynasty. Dynasty has less crossover success than its aforementioned label mates. However, the band consistently charted on the R&B and dance charts in late 1970s until they disbanded in the late 1980s.

(April 29, 2020) A few things come to mind when long time soul fans recall the sound of SOLAR Records. The label brings to mind groups that fused strong lead singers who could equally handle ballads as well as dance numbers that were the standard of the day. The SOLAR sound featured tightly coordinated backing vocalists and ultra-smooth instrumental arrangements that were so joyful and energetic that they dared the listeners to sit still.

And SOLAR records had a stable of hit makers that included Shalamar, The Whispers, Midnight Star, The Deele and Dynasty. Dynasty has less crossover success than its aforementioned label mates. However, the band consistently charted on the R&B and dance charts in late 1970s until they disbanded in the late 1980s.

Now, more than three decades after we last hear Dynasty on record, the group returns with a new single that contains the elements that packed the dance floors back in the day, when they were dropping hits like “I’ve Just Begun to Love You”  and “I Don’t Wanna Be a Freak (But I Can’t Help Myself).”

A big reason why “Escape” will warm the hearts of those who recall the fun and funky SOLAR sound, is that they were able to get most of the band back together. Vocalist Nidra Beard is back, as is Wardell Potts, Jr. who co-wrote “Escape,” along with newcomers Brian K. Morgan and Katie Goulet. Dynasty alums Kevin Spencer, Ricky ‘Freeze’ Smith and Richard Randolph round out the group.

That level of institutional memory allowed Dynasty to create a tune in “Escape” that sounds youthful, fun and optimistic. The ironic thing is that “Escape” will fit right in at a time when contemporary artists such as The Weeknd draw inspiration from the music of that era.  “Escape” may have been 30 years in the making, but it’s kind of right on time. Check it out.

By Howard Dukes

Dynasty - "Escape"

 

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