Rest in Peace, Rod Temperton

Rod Temperton, songwriter, died this week from cancer at age 66. Temperton, a Brit, became well-known in the 1970s and 1980s for writing huge danceable hits for the likes of Michael Jackson, Heatwave, Kool and the Gang, Quincy Jones, and George Benson. His work often featured romantic lyrics and a smoothed-out R&B and Pop flow. This had the duel effect of partly defining the musical era in which his work exploded, as Funk faded from the R&B scene and Pop audiences looked for dance music that wasn’t Disco. His style is distinctive and you can hear Rod’s influence on the songs he wrote or co-wrote. Sadly, I think it was that strong songwriting “voice” that ended his stream of hits, as the smoothed-out style faded from popularity and hip-hop began its dubious reign. Indeed, many of Temperton’s hits were for Quincy Jones-produced vehicles (Chaka Khan, Benson, The Brothers Johnson, James Ingram, Patti Austin), and the two defined the style together. In addition to songwriting, Temperton acted as rhythm and vocal arranger, a key cog in Quincy Jones’s star-making machine.

Rather than detail his life, here are a few of Temperton’s songs. We thank him for leaving his babies behind for us to share and remember. Rest easy, Rod.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Rest in Peace, Rod Temperton

Type it. You know you want to.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s