Ready For The World (a group from Flint, Michigan) released their debut, self-titled album in 1985 and it was a very enjoyable listen. When the group first formed, their musical style consisted of a heady mixture of R&B, Soul, Funk, and Electro. If you’re a fan of early-to-mid ’80s Prince (and groups like The Time, Midnight Star, and Shalamar) Ready For The World’s first album will definitely appeal to you, in fact Melvin Riley’s delivery was very much in the same vein as Prince And The Revolution with hints of Michael Jackson. With electronic drums, electric guitars, and sexy vocals, the band made great ’80s music but for some reason they never reached the level of success as their peers. The Ready For The World LP did eventually go platinum (sales over a million copies) but despite that milestone, the group is rarely mentioned today when people speak about ’80s music which is a great shame.
Out of nine tracks on their debut LP, six were singles, but most failed to chart. The lead single “Tonight” (which was also the album’s opener) and follow-up “Deep Inside Your Love” were the weakest tracks on the album. In my opinion, there are 6 classic songs on this LP (which is a good proportion or ratio of listenable material) and had these tracks been promoted, maybe the radio and public would have eventually warmed to the group.
The best tracks on the Ready For The World album (in order of tracklist) are…
“I’m The One Who Loves You”
I’ve heard the single “Oh Sheila” before, but I confess that I didn’t hear this album in full until quite recently, but despite not listening to the LP first-hand and in the time in which it was recorded, Ready For The World still manages to conjure-up images of Jerry curls and shoulder pads. This was a time that Pop music from New Wave, Funk, Hip-Hop to Synth-Pop was filled with credibility and listening to music by this group from this period is still as powerful as being there under the electric blue strip light while the vinyl spins.
With the exception of “Slide Over”, the group’s “slow jam” songs weren’t in the same league as their uptempo club tracks, and for that reason, even their debut LP falls short of being a perfect release. And unfortunately, Ready For The World’s follow-up albums didn’t match the mixture of upbeat Funk and zeitgeist-capturing styles of their first album. After moving toward New Jack Swing in the late-’80s and early-’90s, the group did “move with the times” but somehow they lost their way.
There were a couple of decent tracks on their sophomore LP Long Time Coming (including the title track) but beyond that, the group moved further and further away from what made them memorable.
Ready For The World’s debut album is unavailable on Spotify or Deezer but if you can find it on your preferred streaming or downloading service, I recommend you listen to it and buy it. Even with a few forgettable songs, Ready For The World’s eponymous LP is a classic album. If you’re a fan of old-school R&B or the ’80s in general, go and get this album. You won’t be disappointed.
Ready For A New World.
Update: Spotify have added Ready For The World to their platform. Here’s a Best Of Playlist…