One artist I think is underrated and certainly under appreciated is Angela Bofill. While the Brooklyn born and raised singer had several songs hit the r&b chart throughout the 1980's, Bofill never reached the heights I think she deserved.
Angie" was released in 1978 and was a perfect blend of jazz and soul. Thanks to the single, "This Time I'll Be Sweeter", the album was one of year's most popular jazz recordings and the 1979 follow-up, "Angel of The Night" did even better.
By this time, Clive Davis became interested and signed Bofill to his Arista label. He teamed her with producer, Narada Michael Walden and they released "Something About You" in 1981. This album was a departure for the artist as it was much more r&b/pop oriented. While the record did do well (with two r&b charting songs), the move did alienate some of her jazz fans.
With Walden back for her fourth album, "Too Tough", Bofill would have one of her biggest successes. The funky title track hit number two on the Dance chart and number five on the r&b and the beautiful ballad, "Tonight, I Give In" would become one of Bofill's signature classics.
Bofill would release three more albums on Arista but sales were disappointing. She later moved to other labels to record, with her final charting single was a remake of Gino Vannelli's song, "I Just Wanna Stop" in 1988 (reaching number eleven on the r&b chart) and Bofill's last studio album was "Love In Slow Motion", released in 1996.
Angela Bofill proved to remain a popular live act and performed in stage productions but in 2006, tragedy befell the singer. She suffered a stroke which left her partially paralyzed. A benefit concert was later organized to help pay for the uninsured Bofill's medical bills. Sadly, she suffered another stroke the following year. Bofill has worked hard to regain some speech and mobility but unfortunately she will be unable to sing again.
To honor this legendary talent, here are two of my favorites songs by the incomparable Angela Bofill:
"This Time I'll Be Sweeter" - Angela Bofill (1979) mp3
"Tonight I Give In" - Angela Bofill (1983) mp3