If you've read the previous post or followed the links to his bio therein, you're aware of Major Lance's history and how his career was interrupted (well, basically ended) when he was busted dealing coke. That occurred the same year this LP came out, which (like the Garnett Mimms posted here a while back) was the first full-length of new material from the soulster in a decade. It's a hodge-podge affair and a little uneven, but there are some nice grooves in there as his classic Chicago soul gets an updating that isn't quite full-on disco or funk but has enough of both to pass for either in '78. Having another Mayfield grad and childhood buddy named Otis Leavill on board helped as well.
Major's voice had matured well and sounds less overtly like Jackie Wilson, having that smokey quality which creeps in with life experience. Unfortunately, the material is so-so and most of the arrangements non-descript. Normally that would highlight his vocal talent but here it just works against Major's favour and dilutes his contributions. If he had a proper manager (and looking over his career path it seems fairly plain that wasn't the case), he would have likely made a decent quiet storm jam or got into some smooth jazz crooning because this not only isn't the best showcase for his qualities, it simply got lost in the glut of disco cash-ins that was flooding the market at the same time.
1 I Never Thought (I'd Be Losing You) 2 Wild & Free 3 Chicago Disco 4 Do The Mess Around 5 How My Love Goes 6 Think About The Love We Had 7 Troubles 8 Love Pains 9 It's All Over
Major scored a series of hits on the Okeh label, most written by his childhood friend Curtis Mayfield. He does Mayfield's "Wild & Free" but fails to outshine the original. The best songs on Now Arriving are the two party jams, "Chicago Disco," and "Do the Mess Around"; you can do a mean Errol Flynn on the latter. The single "I'd Never Though" has no bite and little charm, but he displays his versatility on Harry Belafonte's "Troubles." The rest is unmemorable.
Soundological offers you a chance to see if your memory will be any different HERE or HERE.