Known for her soulful voice and her prolific body of work, American R&B icon Teena Marie passed away yesterday. As a white singer in a predominantly black genre, she paved the way for many of today's stars: Pink, Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, and Faith Evans. Rick James produced her debut album, Wild and Peaceful, which was initially intended to be a Diana Ross album. The single "I'm Just A Sucker For Your Love" reached number eight on the Black Singles Chart in 1979. She continued to perform, record, and produce music until the very end. Let's remember Teena and listen to the voice she called "a gift from God," with our five favorite Teena Marie tracks after the jump.
"I'm Just A Sucker For Your Love"
This song was a roller rink and discotheque sensation. It was the soundtrack to many first kisses in the Summer of '79, and it also inspired many little girls to sing along in their bedroom to their stuffed animals.
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"Fire And Desire"
This song is built by a lavish string arrangement and a Doo Wop beat. Rick James' sexy ass voice begs and cries for some loving. It just keeps getting sexier, hotter and more tense and just explodes once Teena Marie starts singing along. Be sure to listen at the 5:00 minute mark for a fiery climax between the duet.
If this song doesn't get your ass out of your chair, you have no ass.
This song was on the soundtrack to one of the most fun movies of the '80s, Goonies. Teena Marie is having a blast on this one, narrating a tale of adventure, treasure, and danger.
Moving away from straight disco, Teena Marie brings in some acoustic guitars, hair-metal solos and glorious arena rock drum fills on this track. Even with the addition of shredding guitars and heavy drums, Marie's voice is the most powerful thing on this track.