Car Wash - Rose Royce
Sometimes a soundtrack is far more than an incidental supplement to the film that spawned it. Case in point: the soundtrack to the 1976 comedy Car Wash, seized by producer extraordinaire Norman Whitfield as an opportunity to debut Rose Royce, his first act since leaving Motown. With Whitfield at the helm, the L.A. R&B powerhouse waxed a masterpiece that packed no less than three classics: the title track, with its four-on-the-floor pulse swaddled in lush strings; "I Wanna Get Next To You," a swoon-inducing ballad easily the equal of "Just My Imagination"; and a nervous breakdown of a torch ballad by the name of "I'm Going Down." And that's just for starters, a warm-up to the funk fire that is "Daddy Rich" and the ten-minute slab of instrumental nirvana, "Sunrise." Blending disco, funk, and sweet soul, Car Wash was a career milestone for both Whitfield and Rose Royce, a collection that elevated the soundtrack to high art.