After a series of label absorptions, Bobby Womack found himself bumped up to United Artists in 1971. He recorded his fourth album that year at Sly Stone's home studio in Bel Air, producing it himself. Instrumental backing came courtesy of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (guitarist Jimmy Johnson, keyboardist Barry Beckett, bassist David Hood and drummer Roger Hawkins) plus a few others, with Womack himself playing both guitar and organ. He also enlisted his brothers Curtis, Harry, Friendly and Cecil on backing vocals (the five of them had originally performed as The Valentinos back in the 60s).
The result was Communication, a fine album that saw Womack's style change somewhat, becoming smoother and more funky. The songs included covers of James Taylor's "Fire And Rain", Hal David and Burt Bacharach's "(They Long To Be) Close To You" and the traditional "Yield Not To Temptation". "Close To You" was noticeable for being drawn out to nearly ten minutes with an extensive spoken-word introduction. The album became Womack's long-awaited breakthrough success when the ballad "That's The Way I Feel About Cha" was released as a single - it got to #2 on the R&B chart.
The Womack Live (1970) <|> Understanding (1972)
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