On this day in music history: March 14, 1985 -…

On this day in music history: March 14, 1985 – “Rhythm Of The Night”, the fourth album by DeBarge is released. Produced by El DeBarge, Bunny DeBarge, Bobby DeBarge, Jay Graydon, Richard Perry and Giorgio Moroder, it is recorded at The Record Plant, Larrabee Sound Studios Hollywood Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA, Studio 55 in Los Angeles, CA Yamaha Research And Development Studios in Glendale, CA and Garden Rake Studios in Studio City, CA from Mid 1983 – Early 1985. Even with the back to back Gold albums “All This Love” and “In Special Way” under their belts, all is not well with the musical family group. In fighting and escalating drug use among the siblings causes them to become erratic and unreliable. The only one unaffected is lead singer El DeBarge who has abstained from drugs, and stayed focused on writing and producing. Part of the animosity and turmoil comes from Motown Records, who are fearful that the group will implode, and begin grooming El for solo stardom. Where as on the previous albums, brothers Mark, Randy and James have all contributed, they are virtually cut out of the production of DeBarge’s fourth release. Outside songwriters and producers are brought in, including Richard Perry (The Pointer Sisters), Jay Graydon (The Manhattan Transfer) and Giorgio Moroder (Donna Summer). The brothers are also nearly cut out of the recording sessions, with session singers taking their place, including Mr. Mister members Richard Page and Steve George. The title track “Rhythm Of The Night” (#1 R&B, #3 Pop, #1 AC) is the only new song that features all five members of DeBarge, which is also included on the soundtrack to the Motown produced film “The Last Dragon”. Along with the title track, the album features another Diane Warren penned song “The Heart Is Not So Smart” (#29 R&B, #75 Pop). Running slightly short on material, “Single Heart”, the group’s contribution to the “D.C. Cab” soundtrack and “Share My World”, originally released on DeBarge’s 1981 debut album is given new overdubs and is remixed. In spite of the behind the scenes drama, “Rhythm” is a big hit, spinning off a total of four singles including “Who’s Holding Donna Now” (#2 R&B, #6 Pop, #1 AC) and “You Wear It Well” (#7 R&B, #47 Pop, #1 Club Play). But even with this major success, it also marks the end of DeBarge, with Motown putting a further exclamation point on that fact by billing the last two singles “You Wear It Well” and “The Heart Is Not So Smart” to “DeBarge Featuring El DeBarge” when they are released. DeBarge splits soon after with El launching his solo career in 1986 and sister Bunny releasing a solo album titled “In Love” in 1987. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2011 as part of the compilation “Time Will Reveal: The Complete Motown Albums”. “Rhythm Of The Night” peaks at number three on the Billboard R&B album chart, number nineteen on the Top 200 and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.