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Hi-Tension
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  • If you ask a British R&B expert about England's R&B scene of the 1970s, two of the names that will inevitably come up are Hot Chocolate and Hi-Tension. Hot Chocolate wasn't as big in the U.S. as it was in England, but at least American R&B fans know that band for "You Sexy Thing" and "Everyone's A Winner"-most American R&B fans have never even heard of Hi-Tension, although the funk/disco/soul band was well known in Great Britain. Released in the U.S. in 1978, this self-titled LP contains the funk singles "Hi-Tension" and "British Hustle"-both of which were major hits in England but received hardly any airplay on American stations. Hi-Tension isn't a masterpiece, but the uptempo funk selections (which draw on influences ranging from Kool & the Gang and Earth, Wind & Fire to Brass Construction) are generally catchy and enjoyable. Also pleasing are the LP's romantic slow jams, which include "Autumn Love" and the War-influenced "You're My Girl." This respectable, if imperfect, LP didn't sell in the U.S., but if you're discussing British R&B of the 1970s, it's an album that has to be mentioned. ~ Alex Henderson
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