Too Hot to Handle
(GTO in the UK)
(GTO in the UK)
Producer: Barry Blue
Rating: **** (Recommended)
American brothers Johnnie and Keith Wilder were stationed in Europe, joined forces with Rod Temperton and formed this outfit, the brothers providing the vocals, Temperton providing the songs, adding Mario Mantese from Spain and Ernest Berger from Czechoslavakia to handle the rhythm section, American Eric Johns to help carve out the groove, hooking up with producer Barry Blue for their early works, including this debut set.
While this is mostly known for its disco anthem “Boogie Nights,” the band dedicates nearly half of the set to smooth urban soul, some cuts fitting into the quiet storm category. Side one features funky dance cuts but closes with a soft soul number, and side two features three soul cuts sandwiched between two dance numbers.
While the slightly extended version of the hit single is worth the price of admission, this long-player was more than just a home for the hit, and this fact helped make this set outlast the disco craze. The lasting quality of the album was likely assisted by the fact that Rod Temperton would go on to write cuts for Rufus, Brothers Johnson, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, and Michael Jackson, including “Off the Wall” and “Thriller.” On the other hand, he might not have gotten to Quincy Jones without the Wilder Brothers helping deliver the message on this set. This is the place to begin with this band.
(author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)