Happy 30th: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, ON THE STRENGTH
30 years ago today, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five released their second studio album, little realizing that it was also destined to be their final studio album.
In the early ‘80s, Grandmaster Flash was one of the most iconic guys in the early rap community, thanks not only to his own talent but also because he was hanging around with similarly talented folks, including Cowboy, Melle Mel, and Kid Creole, a.k.a. the Three MC’s. Over the course of the next years, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five would score significant hits with such songs as “Superappin’,” “Freedom,” “Birthday Party’,” and “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel,” but it was their song “The Message” that proved to be the most defining single of their career. From there, however, Grandmaster Flash started getting more acknowledgement for his individual efforts, including “White Lines (Don’t Do It),” which was technically credited to Grandmaster & Melle Mel.
It took until 1987 for Grandmaster Flash and the Furious to regroup, get back together, and re-enter the studio. The end result was ON THE STRENGTH, which didn’t meet the bar that had been set by their previous album. Despite this, the group kept going, even recording another album together (PIANO, 1989) before eventually calling it quits.
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