Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Richie Stephens
Covers For Lovers
Pot Of Gold Records-ERC
CD
June 6 - 2003

Track list
  1. So Amazing
  2. One Hundred Ways
  3. There's No Me Without You
  4. Greatest Love Affair
  5. Come Go With Me
  6. Kissing You
  7. I Wanna Hold Your Hand
  8. Lady Lady Lady
  9. Because Of You
  10. On My Own
  11. Ebony Eyes
  12. I'd Rather
  13. Forever By Your Side
  14. All Because Of You
  15. Baby Come To Me
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Since he emerged during the mid-eighties Richie Stephens - born Richard Stephenson - has touched the hearts of the ladies and moved bodies unto the dance floor. Starting with his debut single "So Amazing", actually a cover version of Luther Vandross' hit song, he was regarded as a Dennis Brown clone, but has since developed his own unique style. Although he mainly focusses on lovers rock Richie Stephens can deliver strong message songs as well. In 1997 he started his own label, "Pot Of Gold Productions".
On his 2002 release, the self-produced cd "The Man Upstairs", on the ERC label the distinctive singer delivered songs of Christian praise directed at the burgeoning Gospel market. Now, a year later Richie Stephens, the unstoppable wonder with the soothing voice, has returned once again with an ERC / Pot Of Gold release entitled, "Covers For Lovers". Since the early days of reggae music Jamaican artists have covered soul, pop en funk songs, often resulting in chart entries, but mostly these efforts were wrongfully denied by the so called 'connoisseurs' of the music. When Richie Stephens picks out his tunes, quality is guaranteed ! In his unmistakable passionate style, with a weakness for sweetness, he poors out his smooth vocals over well produced fresh lovers rock riddims. Richie Stephens is blessed with a very distinctive voice which enables him to add a striking kind of intimacy and warmth to his tunes.
Joining on this set are the two wonder boys of close harmony, Brian and Tony Gold, on the Lennon/McCartney composition I Wanna Hold Your Hand. The album kicks off with a remake of his debut single, the Luther Vandross cover So Amazing and is followed by another classic early 80's soul tune, One Hundred Ways. As expected almost every tune on the album covers the themes of love and emotion, thus dealing with matters of the heart. Rod Temperton's exquisite Baby Come To Me is given a fitting reggae treatment and the same goes for the classic tune Ebony Eyes, a song he also recorded for Bobby Digital somewhere in the nineties. His voice is perfectly suited for covering highlights such as Jeffrey Osborne's Greatest Love Affair and the Teddy Pendergrass smash hit Come Go With Me. Lady Lady Lady from Joe Esposito, featured in the soundtrack from the motion picture 'Flashdance' is present here in a nice uptempo version. Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald were the original artists who recorded On My Own, here Richie and female vocalist Aisha Davis deliver a near perfect reggae version of the song.
The production, arrangements and engineering on this album is truly sophisticated, the audio quality is fantastic, with a few tracks mixed at Quad Recording Studio in New York City, and the entire album mastered at the major labels' foremost mastering facility - Sterling Sound, NYC.
Above all it's an album that fully showcases Richie's unique and emotive vocal style. Don't miss it !