The Sylvers have had their fair share of success throughout the 1970s. The R&B and soul group had hit singles such as “Fool’s Paradise”, “Boogie Fever” and “Hot Line” and have released some stellar albums throughout their time as well. As a family, they rose to fame in the early 70s with the release of a trio of albums titled The Sylvers, The Sylvers II and The Sylvers III. Released between 1972 and 1974, these albums offered some great souful cuts, written by Leon and produced by Jerry Butler (of the Impressions) and Keg Johnson.
It was their second album in this trilogy that stood out to me, mainly due to the vocal range and stunning compositions throughout. One track in particular was a particular highlight for its memorable vocal moment near the end of the track. That track was called “Cry of a Dreamer,” and it was sampled by Madlib on the track “Palmolive” with Freddie Gibbs, featuring Killer Mike and Pusha T. The sample itself is a vocal snippet that happens at at 2:37 of the track (from the YouTube video linked below). And what an absolutely stunning sample to use. “Palmolive” is arguably the best track on the album for the soulful sample and hard-hitting verses. Madlib loops the vocal sample and makes it overpowering on the record. The guitar leads and bassline add a smooth, groovy rhythm to the track, the sixth record on Bandana. Freddie and Push exchange killer verses, with the latter one being the best feature on the album in my opinion. Pusha’s menacing, aggressive, confident and assuring verse makes for a memorable coke-filled and mafioso moment on the album.
It was funnily enough sampled on track 7 “Fake Names” throughout the track. The second half of “Fake Names” samples soulful synths and subtle vocals throughout the track. Freddie Gibbs’ incredible delivery on this track makes it my other favourite along with “Palmolive,” and the sample on this one is great.
Listen to The Sylvers’ “Cry of a Dreamer” below. If you’d like to purchase this record, head over to discogs.com. Released on the 1973 album The Sylvers II through Pride Records.
Listen to Madlib and Freddie Gibbs’ “Palmolive” featuring Killer Mike and Pusha T, as well as “Fake Names.” These tracks were released on their collaborative album Bandana, via Keep Cool/RCA Records. If you want purchase information, click here.