Dynasty
    The co-creation of producer/label head Dick Griffey and Leon Sylvers, this Los Angeles band did light funk and clever dance/pop numbers in the late 1970's and 1980's. Bassist Kevin Spencer and vocalists Nidra Beard and Linda Carriere comprised the group. They got off to a fast start with the single "I Don't Want To Be A Freak (But I Can't Help Myself)" from their 1979 album "Your Piece Of The Rock."
     By 1980, it was obvious that Dick Griffey's Solar Records had as distinctive and recognizable a sound as Motown and Stax in the 1960's or Philadelphia International in the 1970's. Put on just about any late-'70s or early- to mid-'80s recording by the Whispers, Shalamar, Midnight Star, or Dynasty, and it only takes a few notes to realize that you're listening to a Solar recording. Dynasty wasn't as big as the Whispers or Shalamar, but the group did enjoy a few hits and made some valuable contributions to the Solar catalog.
    
"Adventures In The Land Of Music," which came out on vinyl in 1980 was Dynasty's second album — and it is arguably the group's most essential. "Adventures" contains their biggest hit, "I've Just Begun To Love You," (number 6 R&B),as well as the equally danceable 12" single "Do Me Right," but the 12" singles aren't the only things that make this album produced by Leon Sylvers III worth owning — "Adventures" also contains a lot of memorable album tracks, which range from dance-oriented numbers like "Ice Breaker," "Day And Night," and "Groove Patrol" to the soul ballad "Take Another Look At Love." Dynasty is best remembered for up-tempo dance and disco-funk material, but "Take Another Look At Love" demonstrates that the group was quite capable of handling romantic soul ballads. Because Dynasty favored a lot of male/female vocal interaction and was so Solar-sounding, the group was often compared to another part-male, part-female group, Shalamar. But Dynasty had an appealing identity of its own, and that identity serves the quartet well on this excellent sophomore effort.
     Producer Leon Sylvers joined them in 1981, but his presence didn't elevate their success. That year they released their third album oddly entitled
"The Second Adventure." Although it did produce one hit single, "Here I Am," the album was largely overlooked.
     Two more albums followed, 1982's
"Back At 'Cha" and their final vinyl release "Out Of Control." Although the group disbanded they appeared as background vocalists on the gospel artist Juanita G. Hines release "Jesus, My Wonderful Friend."
     Nidra Beard, who had written much of Dynasty's material continued as a songwriter. Her songs appearing on albums by Shalamar, Whispers, 7th Wonder, 911 and LaRue. Linda Carriere continued as a background vocalist working with Kristine W., Loose Ends and Randy Crawford among others. Keyboardist/singer Kevin Spencer returned to studio work and can be heard on recordings by Carrie Lucas, Shalamar, Whispers, Tin Harris, Gladys Knight & The Pips and countless others. And Leon Sylvers went on to have a very successful career as the producer of such artists as: Howard Hewett, Ahmad Jamal, Brothers Johnson, Glenn Jones, Blackstreet and Dr. Dre.
     Though Dynasty may not be remembered in pop music history, they will forever have a place in
The DiscoMuseum for several quality 12" singles and as part of the S.O.L.A.R. Records family.
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