Solar

Solar

Profile:
Solar (an acronym of Sound Of Los Angeles Records) was founded in 1977 by Soul Train booking agent/talent supervisor Dick Griffey after creating and then shutting down the Soul Train Recording Co. (1975-77) label he had created with Soul Train host and creator Don Cornelius. After the success of a few singles on the RCA-distributed imprint (mainly those of the Soul Train Gang (2)), Griffey and Cornelius decided to shut down the label as Cornelius wanted to focus his energies on the TV show, which was a monster hit in first-run syndication and required his complete attention to keep it so.

Legalities taken care of, Soul Train Records closed down and Griffey reorganized the company as SOLAR in late 1977, which quickly became one of the most important and influential Urban Funk/Disco & Soul imprints of the late Seventies to mid-Eighties, and even spawned a subsidiary label Constellation Records, which had some success of its own (Klymaxx).

Griffey and Cornelius remained good friends, and as a result, the new Solar label maintained close ties to the show. Not surprisingly, Soul Train favourites Shalamar had one of their first hits as a result of two of its members (Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley) appearing on the show as regular dancers and being introduced to Griffey, who paired them with session vocalist Gerald Brown (2), who soon quit and was replaced with Howard Hewett. Shalamar was in fact Solar's biggest-selling and most influential act - scoring nearly 20 hit singles and classics such as: "Right in the Socket", "Make that Move", "A Night to Remember" and "Dead Giveaway".

The Solar success story was by no means confined to one act, several other artists enjoyed success, including: Dynasty, Klymaxx, The Whispers, Lakeside, Midnight Star, Carrie Lucas (who later married Griffey), and The Deele, the last of which gave L.A. Reid & Babyface (LaFace Records) their start. Griffey always believed in giving new talents the opportunity to create and develop their craft, being the first to recognize songwriters/producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis (The Time, Flyte Tyme Productions), Reggie Calloway and Vincent Calloway, Leon Sylvers and the aforementioned Antonio Reid, and Kenneth Edmonds, to name a few. The label's sound was a collective effort, with artists working on each other's sessions and encouraged to be creative. Leon Sylvers was the producer behind the trademark Solar sound: funky, progressive dance music infused with soul and disco.

The late 1980s saw the label's fortunes decline: the reasons for which are many, but include A & R problems with Shalamar (primarily maintaining the group's identity while former members Hewett and Watley were having successful solo careers on other labels) and the shifting musical directions of R&B, dance and popular music in general in the late Eighties and early 1990s.

Throughout the label's lifetime, Solar was distributed by RCA (picking up its catalog numbering from the Soul Train label in late 1977 until it switched distributors in 1981), Elektra (1981-86), Capitol Records (briefly from 1987-89) and finally, Epic (1989-95). Reissues from the mid 1990s onward have been from The Right Stuff and Unidisc, which purchased the Solar catalog in 2009 from EMI, which had bought it from Griffey after the label's 1995 closure.

Dick Griffey died on September 24, 2010 at age 71 from complications of quadruple-bypass heart surgery.

Labelcode: LC 5755
Sublabels
Parent Label:
Sites:
[l8270]

Label


Cat#  Artist Title (Format) Label Cat#  Country Year
3YE0400A Sheriff (3) / Midnight Star Sheriff (3) / Midnight Star - When I'm With You / Don't Rock The Boat(CD, Single, Comp) Solar, Capitol Records 3YE0400A Unknown Sell This Version
4XT-72552 Babyface Lovers(Cass, Album) Solar 4XT-72552 US 1986 Sell This Version
4XT-72553 Lakeside Power(Cass, Album) Solar 4XT-72553 US 1987 Sell This Version
4XT72554 The Whispers Just Gets Better With Time(Cass, Album) Solar, Solar 4XT72554 US 1987 Sell This Version
4XT-72555 The Deele Eyes Of A Stranger(Cass, Album) Solar 4XT-72555 US 1987 Sell This Version
4XT-72556 Shalamar Circumstantial Evidence (Album) 4XT-72556 US 1987 Sell This Version
4XT-72557 Midnight Star Greatest Hits(Cass, Album, Comp) Solar 4XT-72557 US 1987 Sell This Version
4Z9 68832 Babyface It's No Crime 4Z9 68832 US 1989 Sell This Version
4Z9 68833 32Phreeze* Flesh(12") Solar 4Z9 68833 US 1989 Sell This Version
4Z9 74500 Ralph Butler I'll Take You There(12") Solar 4Z9 74500 US 1989 Sell This Version
4Z9 74501 Midnight Star 90 Days (Same As Cash)(12") Solar 4Z9 74501 US 1988 Sell This Version
4Z9 74502 Babyface Tender Lover(12") Solar 4Z9 74502 US 1989 Sell This Version
4Z9 74503 Calloway I Wanna Be Rich(12", Maxi) Solar 4Z9 74503 US 1989 Sell This Version
4Z9 74505 Calloway Sir Lancelot(12") Solar 4Z9 74505 US 1989 Sell This Version
4Z9 74506 Jeffrey Daniel* She's The Girl(12") Solar 4Z9 74506 US 1990 Sell This Version
4Z9 74507 Bobby Womack Priorities(12") Solar 4Z9 74507 US 1989 Sell This Version
4Z9 74508 Lakeside Money(12") Solar 4Z9 74508 US 1990 Sell This Version
4Z9 74509 Midnight Star Do It (One More Time)(12") Solar 4Z9 74509 US 1990 Sell This Version
4Z9 7450651 Jeffrey Daniel* She's The Girl(12") Solar 4Z9 7450651 US 1990 Sell This Version
7CDN-56 The Deele Two Occasions / Can-u-dance(7") solar 7CDN-56 Canada 1988 Sell This Version
12CXP-3070 Midnight Star Featuring Ecstacy of Whodini* Midnight Star Featuring Ecstacy of Whodini* - Don't Rock The Boat 12CXP-3070 Canada 1988 Sell This Version
12CXP-3095 Babyface It's No Crime(12") Solar 12CXP-3095 Canada 1989 Sell This Version
12CXP-3122 Babyface Tender Lover(12") Solar 12CXP-3122 Canada 1989 Sell This Version
35T 74515 Babyface My Kinda Girl(Cass, Single) Solar, Epic 35T 74515 US 1990 Sell This Version
35T 74516 Calloway All The Way(Cass, Single) Solar 35T 74516 US 1990 Sell This Version
35T 74541 Calloway Let's Get Smooth(Cass, Single) Solar 35T 74541 US 1992 Sell This Version
35T 74551 Paradise (4) Down With My Nigga(Cass) Solar 35T 74551 US 1992 Sell This Version
45K 74510 Babyface My Kinda Girl (Special 12" Dance Mixes - Extended Play)(CD, EP) Solar, Epic 45K 74510 US 1990 Sell This Version
449 Kashan Cool Summer Night(CD, Single, Promo) Paragon Records (2), Solar 449 US 1993 Sell This Version
2937 Lakeside Your Wish Is My Command(LP, Album, Gat) Solar 2937 Venezuela 1981 Sell This Version
2938 Shalamar Friends(LP, Album) Solar 2938 Venezuela 1982 Sell This Version
2965 Collage (3) Do You Like Our Music?(LP, Album) Solar 2965 Venezuela 1982 Sell This Version
3001 Shalamar The Look(LP, Album) Solar 3001 Venezuela 1983 Sell This Version
4148 Various The Winners Of The Solar Mix Contest(12") TSR Music GmbH, Solar 4148 Germany Unknown Sell This Version
4446-2 Da Hoodstas Slow Down(CD, Single, Promo) Strictly Lethal Records, Solar 4446-2 US 1994 Sell This Version
4447 Da Hoodstas Slow Down(12", Promo) Solar 4447 US 1994 Sell This Version
4456 Johnny "J"* Get Away From Me(CD, Promo) Solar, Shade Tree Records 4456 US 1994 Sell This Version
4457 Johnny J Get Away From Me(12", Promo) Solar 4457 US 1994 Sell This Version
4466 Kashan Love Is A Good Thang (Single, EP) 4466 US 1994 Sell This Version
4477 A.M. Dre' Don't Pimp Slap Her Bro(CD, Maxi, Promo) Solar 4477 US 1994 Sell This Version
4478 A.M. Dre' Don't Pimp Slap Her Bro(12", Promo) Solar 4478 US 1993 Sell This Version
4479-2 Loud! Feel Da Buzz(CD, Maxi, Promo) Solar 4479-2 US 1994 Sell This Version
4480 Loud! Feel Da Buzz(12") Solar 4480 US 1994 Sell This Version
4484 1-900 (2) Come Over Tonight(CD, Single) Solar 4484 US 1994 Sell This Version
4493 A.M. Dre' You Get's None(12") Solar 4493 US 1994 Sell This Version
4493CD A.M. Dre' You Get's None(CD, Single) Solar 4493CD US 1994 Sell This Version
4496 Lil Duke Atlanta Style(CD, Single, Promo) Solar 4496 US 1994 Sell This Version
4497 Lil Duke Atlanta Style(12") Solar 4497 US 1994 Sell This Version
4503 Devious Steve It's A Mad World(12") Solar 4503 US 1994 Sell This Version
4514 Johnny J Diggin' Um' Out!(CD, Single, Promo) Shade Tree Records 4514 US 1994 Sell This Version
4515 Johnny "J"* Puttin' Dat On Ehh Thang I Luv(12", Smplr) Shade Tree Records, Solar 4515 US 1994 Sell This Version
4524 Mike Gold Down With Mike Gold / Don't Stop(12") Phat Boy Records 4524 US 2000 Sell This Version
4534 Badd & Krazy Girlz Wit Da Weave(12") Tony Mercedes Records 4534 US 1995 Sell This Version
4539 Third World Conversation(12") TWP 4539 US 1995 Sell This Version
#4545 Shorte' Ain't No Parte' (Like A Shorte' Parte')(12") Deemo Records #4545 US 1995 Sell This Version
4549 Raheem The Dream Down South Comin' Up (Sampler)(12", Smplr) Solar 4549 US Unknown Sell This Version
4569 Top Authority Livin' 2 Die (Strictly For The Radio)(CD, Single, Promo) TRAK Records 4569 US 1995 Sell This Version
4578 Times 3 Typical Relationship(CD, Maxi, Promo) Solar 4578 US 1991 Sell This Version
4582-1 Various One Million Strong (Strictly For The Radio)(12") Mergela Records 4582-1 US 1995 Sell This Version
4586-1 Atlanta Kings We're Not Gonna Take It / Friday Night(12") Solar 4586-1 1996 Sell This Version
4598-2 Top Authority Strictly For The Radio(CD, Promo, Smplr) TRAK Records 4598-2 US 1996 Sell This Version
5010-1 Original (2) Hey Mr. M.C.(12") World Won Records 5010-1 US 1997 Sell This Version
12.095 The Whispers Emergency(7", Single) Solar 12.095 Brazil 1981 Sell This Version
12.096 Shalamar A Night To Remember / On Top Of The World(7", Single) Solar 12.096 Brazil 1982 Sell This Version
12.119 Lakeside Raid(7", Single) Solar 12.119 Brazil 1983 Sell This Version
12.137 Midnight Star No Parking (On The Dance Floor)(7", Single) Solar 12.137 Brazil 1983 Sell This Version
13 162 Shalamar A Night To Remember(7", Single) Solar 13 162 France 1982 Sell This Version
13 199 Midnight Star Victory(7") Solar 13 199 France 1982 Sell This Version
16.248 Midnight Star Freak-A-Zoid (Single) 16.248 Brazil 1983 Sell This Version
22003 The Whispers Just Gets Better With Time(LP, Album) Solar 22003 Greece 1988 Sell This Version
22006 The Deele Eyes Of A Stranger(LP, Album) Solar 22006 Greece 1987 Sell This Version
22009 Midnight Star Midnight Star(LP, Album) Solar 22009 Greece 1988 Sell This Version
22009-A Midnight Star Midnight Star(LP, Album) Solar 22009-A Greece 1988 Sell This Version
22010 Babyface Tender Lover(LP, Album) Solar 22010 Greece 1989 Sell This Version
22.036 Shalamar Friends(LP, Album) Solar 22.036 Brazil 1982 Sell This Version
22.037 Whispers* Love Is Where You Find It(LP, Album) Solar 22.037 Brazil 1981 Sell This Version
22069 The Whispers In The Raw(12", Maxi) Solar 22069 France 1982 Sell This Version
22071 Shalamar A Night To Remember(12", Maxi) Solar 22071 France 1982 Sell This Version
22.074 Various The Big Apple Show(LP, Comp) Solar 22.074 Brazil 1983 Sell This Version
22.088 Midnight Star No Parking On The Dance Floor(LP, Album) Solar 22.088 Brazil 1984 Sell This Version
32.074 Lakeside Your Wish Is My Command(LP, Album) Solar 32.074 Brazil 1981 Sell This Version
39720-2 The Topdawgs* Who's Doggen Who?(CD, Album) Cold House Records 39720-2 US 1996 Sell This Version
39720-4 The Topdawgs* Who's Doggen Who?(Cass, Album) Cold House Records 39720-4 US 1996 Sell This Version
47948 Midnight Star Tuff(7", Promo) Solar 47948 US 1981 Sell This Version
48014 Collage (3) Groovin'(7") Solar 48014 US 1982 Sell This Version
52304 Klymaxx Never Underestimate The Power Of A Woman(LP, Album) Solar 52304 Greece 1981 Sell This Version
52324 Collage (3) Do You Like Our Music?(LP, Album) Solar 52324 Greece 1982 Sell This Version
52344 Whispers* Love Is Where You Find It (Album) 52344 Greece 1981 Sell This Version
60145 Midnight Star Victory (Album) 60145 US 1982 Sell This Version
60176 Dynasty Right Back At Cha! (Album) 60176 US 1982 Sell This Version
60177 Klymaxx Girls Will Be Girls (Album) 60177 US 1982 Sell This Version
60204 Lakeside Untouchables (Album) 60204 US 1983 Sell This Version
60216 Whispers* Love For Love (Album) 60216 US 1983 Sell This Version
60239-1 Shalamar The Look (Album) 60239-1 US 1983 Sell This Version
60240-1 Collage (3) Get In Touch (Album) 60240-1 US 1983 Sell This Version
60241-1 Midnight Star No Parking On The Dance Floor (Album) 60241-1 US 1983 Sell This Version
60285-1 The Deele Street Beat (Album) 60285-1 US 1983 Sell This Version
60355-1 Lakeside Outrageous (Album) 60355-1 US 1984 Sell This Version
60356-1 The Whispers So Good (Album) 60356-1 US 1984 Sell This Version
60368-4 Bill Wolfer The Hard Way(Cass) Solar 60368-4 US 1984 Sell This Version