EXPERIENCE THE “SUPER FREAK” ON STAGE: I’M RICK JAMES! THE DEFINITIVE DVD BUSTS OUT WITH RARE TV PERFORMANCES AND PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS
RICK JAMES’ TIMELESS HIT, “SUPER FREAK,” TO BE FEATURED IN THE NEW VISA COMMERCIAL BEGINNING IN APRIL
Rick James had to be seen to be believed. The outrageous “Super Freak” whose soul-pop-punk-funk continues to rock parties today was infamous for his live performances. Bare chested, sporting long braids and skin tight spandex, James–backed by his Stone City Band–was more exciting and “badder” than any other artist commanding a stage. As the Motown 50 celebration continues, I’m Rick James! The Definitive DVD (Hip-O/Motown/UMe), released March 24, 2009, focuses the spotlight on slick Rick like never before, with his performances of his Motown classics on video. In conjunction with the DVD and the reissue of Anthology (Motown/UMe), available April 14, 2009, Rick James’ smash hit, “Super Freak,” will be predominantly featured in the new VISA commercial, beginning April 2009.
Approximately 135 minutes in length, and in digital surround sound, I’m Rick James! The Definitive DVD, produced by Joe Lauro and Historic Music, the same team who have brought you the Four Tops: Reach Out and The Supremes: Reflections, brings together 26 performances from 1978 to 1985, from popular television shows most of which having not been seen since their one initial broadcast 25 to 30 years ago, to all eight of his promotional videos, three of them previously unreleased: “Throwdown,” “She Blew My Mind (69 Times)” and “Hard To Get,” all from 1982. Sprinkled throughout are excerpts from rarely seen interviews with the charismatic star.
The earliest performances spun off from his Motown debut, 1978’s Come Get It. James laid down the album’s R&B #1 “You And I” and notorious “Mary Jane” on the short-lived New York City dance show Soul Alive, and “Sexy Lady,” “Hollywood” and “Mary Jane” again on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. He returned to the latter the following year with “Fool On The Street” from Bustin’ Out Of L Seven.
With the release later in 1979 of Fire It Up, there were unlikely performances of “Love Gun” and “Love In The Night” on the daytime talk show Dinah!, and of the title track on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. Kirshner welcomed him back in 1980 for “Come Into My Life” as well as songs from his new LP, Garden Of Love: “Mary-Go-Round,” “Big Time” and “Summer Love.”
The classic “Super Freak” and R&B #1 “Give It To Me, Baby,” from 1981’s landmark Street Songs are heard and seen both in promo videos and on TV in 1982–“Super Freak” on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and “Give It To Me, Baby” on the German show Rockpalast. For that European program, James also performed “You And I” and “Standing On The Top,” his hit with The Temptations, who appear with him in the song’s promo video. Cold Blooded, from 1983, prompted a video for another collaboration, “Ebony Eyes” with Smokey Robinson, and a performance of the R&B #1 title track for 1984’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. The most recent clip is the video for the title track from 1985’s Glow.
James put his indelible stamp on hip-hop culture when MC Hammer rapped over the instrumental track of “Super Freak” for “U Can’t Touch This.” As I’m Rick James! The Definitive DVD proves, no one could touch Rick James.