James MasonRhythm Of Life

Label:Chiaroscuro Records – CR 189, Chiaroscuro Records – CR-189
Series:Jazz Band Series
Vinyl, LP, Album
Genre:Jazz, Funk / Soul
Style:Jazz-Funk, Soul-Jazz, Fusion


A1Sweet Power Your Embrace
Written-ByJames Mason, Ninoska Escobar*
A2Good Thing
Written-ByJames Mason, Ninoska Escobar*
Written-ByJames Mason, Ninoska Escobar*
Written-ByJames Mason
A5Funny Girl
Written-ByJames Mason, Ninoska Escobar*
B1Slick City
Written-ByJames Mason, Ninoska Escobar*
B2Rhythm Of Life
Written-ByJames Mason, Ninoska Escobar*
B3Hey Hey Hey
Written-ByJames Mason, Ninoska Escobar*
B4I've Got My Eyes On You
Written-ByJames Mason, Ninoska Escobar*
Written-ByJames Mason, Ninoska Escobar*

Companies, etc.



Sleeve notes:
For making the music that has inspired and shaped my musical values over the years, SPECIAL THANKS to The Crusaders, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Joseph Zawinul, Stevie Wonder, The Pointer Sisters and Stanley Clarke. And for the learning experience working as a member of his band afforded me, THANK YOU to Roy Ayers.

℗ 1977 Lucifer

Cover: CR 189
Label: CR-189

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (A Runout (scribed): CR-189-A
  • Matrix / Runout (A Runout (stamped): [ATLANTIC STUDIOS D.K.]
  • Matrix / Runout (B Runout (scribed): CR-189-B
  • Matrix / Runout (Shape Stamp both sides):
  • Rights Society: BMI

Other Versions (5 of 16)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
New Submission
Rhythm Of Life (LP, Album, Reissue)Sure ShotSURE 1LPUK1993
New Submission
Rhythm Of Life (CD, Album, Reissue)Sure ShotSURE 1CDUK1993
Rhythm Of Life (LP, Album, Reissue)Soul Brother Records (3)LP SBCS 3UK1999
Recently Edited
Rhythm Of Life (CD, Album, Reissue)Soul Brother Records (3)CD SBCS 3UK1999
Recently Edited
Rhythm Of Life (LP, Album, 7", 45 RPM, Promo, All Media, Limited Edition, Reissue, Stereo)SHOUT! Productions, SHOUT! Productions, Chiaroscuro Records, Chiaroscuro RecordsSHOUT-246, SHOUT-246-7, CR-189, CRDJ-1891Japan2012



  • Loosejoints_Records's avatar
    Stevie Wonder pastiche. I've never understood the demand for this LP.
    • Soul-4-Records's avatar
      Edited one year ago
      People keep asking for a review of the best and worst sounding vinyl copies.

      Judging these from experience of having owned 3 originals at one time, all of the below and a lesser fun time taking a punt on the worst ones. I kept one original, one Japanese and one official 2019 re-release version.

      Hopefully i can shed a fair light on all of them although i know, what we hear and what on, is subjective.
      My equipment is all analog, 1984 formula sound pm80, Technics 1210, Audio Technica 95e, 1980s Pioneer amp and speakers.

      #1 Original 1977 Although some of these had a little light noise on the quiet intros... luck of the draw?

      #2 Japanese 2012 Shout versions, is almost 99,9 percent true to the original, perfection in every way packaging with textured sleeve just like original, and sounds fabulous, not sure it can it be as good as pressed from the 77 master? Probably not quite, but if you can afford one go for it.

      #3 Sure Shot 1993 Nice sound, just silver label without chiaroscuro design.

      #4 Soul Brother - 1999 release (Some of the vinyl presses from this label in the past have had their problems, luck of the draw, but sound is OK)

      #5 Official re-release 2019* White labels with black text version. and printed CHIAROSCURO / CR-189 front of sleeve bottom left. (well made music stamped in run-out) Not bad overall, the difference is night and day compared to the ones below. Nice budget version.
      EBAY sellers have been using the re- release picture and sending out scorpio unofficial so be careful and ask.

      All down hill from here

      2014 / 2017 / unofficial, have repro labels. Flat sounding, bumpy vinyl, distortion on highs. BIG TELL,,, the unofficial ones. DO NOT have Chiaroscuro / CR-189 on front sleeve at bottom left. (See above for official re-release.
      • Afrikano1's avatar
        A true musical gem that unfortunately slipped through the cracks. This guy was on par with Norman Connors, George Duke & Donald Byrd of the Mizell years. Whatever happened to him? PLEASE! Someone tell me!
        • htizzot's avatar
          Edited 4 years ago
          Could someone please comment on the sound quality of the 1999 Soul Brother Records reissue? Cheers
          • debaerdemaeker78's avatar
            read al the comments but no mention about the quality or bootleg or not rom the 1999 soul brother release,any comments
            • alan.james's avatar
              Hi Rick, I'm not too sure what you're disagreeing with. But yep (aside from your numbers) your comments are accurate. Wow!! 50 sealed copies, is a great one off find (I doubt whether anyone else found similar a haul), even in the eighties when only UK collectors were interested in this album. Thanks for clarifying further checkable info people can use to find out if they have the original. BTW the originals were pressed in just one run and was never repressed. The fairly recent Japanese 'Shout! Productions' reissue of the LP and 7" promos were limited to 1000 copies as Shout! wanted to mirror the production and original release of the album and promo 7"s as closely as possible therefore James Mason supervised the reissue personally. So yes I also agree 1000 (total number of LP and 7"s together and NOT JUST the LP) are likely to have been pressed. Considering a fair number of those copies are likely to have been 'junked' as you put it. I suppose this vindicates my view that true originals are a pretty rare find nowadays. Maybe there were more around during the 80's, but I still doubt, considering the likelyhood years of attrition etc, there is much more than 100 genuine original pressings floating around.
              • Rickski65's avatar
                Hi Alan, don't think it's as rare as you think, I found 50+ copies of it in the U.S. at various locations in the late 80's exactly as you describe - in one-stop distributors (sealed) or the occasional shop, (cut outs) with the tell-tale Dennis King mastering stamp on the A-side. There is another shape stamped on both sides that I can only describe as looking like an open book ? Have to look it up; maybe the metalwork processing plant stamp. I think it's likely there were 1000 pressed as an initial, probably had a re-press too - but that's peanuts for a territory as big as the US. Many of the cutouts also showed slight signs of water damage so it's possible some got junked..
                • alan.james's avatar
                  LONDON is where the cult of 'Rhythm of Life' really begun to explode, during the glorious Jazz-Funk years of the early eighties. No one was remotely interested in this album until then.

                  During that period, you could still travel to the USA and find this (if you were lucky) normally gathering dust in 'mom and pops' stores or distributor warehouses, where many neglected and forgotten vinyl releases saw their final days for $2 and less. (The irony of today's world where many are now as sought after holy grails :-)

                  Today, 40 years later.....
                  Thank you to ALL the London based pirate radio, street DJ's and collectors for one of the greatest finds in modern black music.
                  • Electric_Kitsch's avatar
                    Fantastic record, can't be THAT rare with 13 copies for sale, $300+, all nearly in the same condition?? September 2nd, 2017. Thanks Discogs!
                    • Alain_Patrick's avatar
                      Edited 7 years ago
                      'Sweet Power Your Embrace' is the kind of song you will never get tired of hearing. That's why it was absolutely impossible to avoid asking James himself about his glorious all time Masterpiece:

                      "I used an ARP Odyssey. I wanted to use an ARP 2600 but didn’t have access to one at the time. I spent a good deal of time programming that sound but fell short of the nuance I might have achieved with the 2600. I worked out the composition using the Arp for the Bass, and a Fender Rhodes for the harmony. I filled in the rest via overdubs.
                      I know I was influenced by Weather Report and the introduction is similar to Birdland, but the groove and harmonic approach I wanted was very different.
                      When I developed the song I was working with Dwayne Purdue, but when it came time to record he was unexpectedly unavailable. Narada Michael Walden had a different style and was not able to give me the groove I was looking for. I was so set on a achieving different feeling for that song that we did it over and over — and I almost wiped the performance that ended up on the record. Phil Clendeninn literally jumped in front of the multitrack and refused to let me record over it.
                      Ultimately, what Narada he did was so spectacular, especially with the ending, that it was fortunate that he rather than Dwayne was on that session."


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