Mr. Richard’s Reviews: Rick James – 17


Rick James – 17 (composed and produced by Rick James)

“Come hear young girl! Seventeen years old, seventeen is sexy!” as Rick James proclaims in this song. It is hard not to love everything about Rick James’ life and career. He has so many hits and this creepy one is on Motown Records.

Fingering through our catalog of James singles, I realized that we need more of his music on vinyl. Of the select that we own, this is my favorite and not “Super Freak (Parts 1 and 2)” which felt a little overdone.

Maybe it’s the abnormal psychology of certain artists and their odd sexual preferences, but I love Rick James as much as Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Pete Townsend or even Bill Cosby. “17” was released in 1984 and I feel like pedophilia was known about at that point in time, yet this song was incredibly popular, maybe just not with critics. I like it, but then I feel a little dirty after listening to it if I’m sober.

Rick James’ tracks are best enjoyed under the influence of anything, because it’s easier to relate to his vibe. So guzzle some booze, smoke some “Mary Jane”, and celebrate the work of the great Rick James posthumously, real loudly and late at night, especially on a muggy summer night. I mean he wrote, arranged, provided technical assistance, and produced most of own stuff, creating a signature style that was pure at a time when everyone wanted their hands in the cookie jar.

– Mr. Richard

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