A promo ad for this album says it all: "EDDIE MURPHY SINGS!!! / 'HOW COULD IT BE' ?!?" Nine years after Richard Pryor's …Is It Something I Said? held the number-one spot on the R&B charts for two consecutive weeks, only one of Murphy's first two albums, both recordings of his stand-up act, had squeaked its way into the top ten of that chart.
Though comedy LPs by Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, and Bob Newhart had been major commercial successes in the 60s and 70s, by the early 80s, audiences were turning to movies, TV, and video rental for their standup needs. (Pryor's landmark 1982 concert Live on [...]
You've probably seen this. But just in case you haven't: here's Kanye West performing his new song "Runaway" with a ballet troupe and Pusha T on Saturday Night Live. Against a heavenly white-draped set (that's my big question: was this in fact in front of the studio audience, or fed in on a screen? I hope people got to see it live), dressed like Eddie Murphy in Delirious, Kanye proved why he's the most captivating pop star on the planet right now. He also performed "Power," with choreography reminiscent of the nude album cover of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland. That was terrific, too. But since "Runaway" [...]