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Here's that other top 10 hit by Phillip Bailey in the '80s

22

February

It's been a while since we've committed a full week to R&B videos, so let's start the week off with a question. Who was the top male falsetto voice of the '80s? There are some good candidates like Jimmy Somerville of Bronski Beat and the bizarre Klaus Nomi, but for my money, it's Phillip Bailey. Why? Because I Know.

While Maurice White handled most of the lead vocals for Earth, Wind & Fire, Phillip Bailey was always there singing lead on selected singles like Fantasy and he is etched in history with his "ba de ya" backup vocals on the classic September that rivals Shining Star as the consensus favorite EW&F song. We all loved Bailey's smash duet and funny video with fellow drummer Phil Collins, Easy Lover, that made it to No. 2 in 1985, but that was not Bailey's first solo effort as in 1983 I Know was a Top 10 hit on the soul charts.

While Bailey never left EW&F, from 1983 to 1990 he released six solo albums that varied from soul/funk to Gospel. His first solo album Continuation featured I Know and its excellent video that features Bailey as a former track star who after a car injury accident is now a cab driver. His past reunites with the present when his old high school girlfriend, now a famous star, hitches a ride in Bailey's cab. The actress in the video is Eugenia Wright, who after appearing in episodes of TV shows like Magnum PI, The White Shadow and The Love Boat (wooed by Isaac - double finger point!) became a publicist in Hollywood. Wright passed away in 2011.

While I Know shows Bailey can hit all the high notes, he has a four octave range and has taken on both the high parts and Maurice White's normal range parts when EW&F tour since White's had to depart from EW&F due to his failing health and subsequent death this past month.   

[Last modified: Monday, February 22, 2016 1:27pm]

    

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