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Click below for a Switch sample:

You Pulled A Switch


Coming on in the last days of Ohio's period of soul group dominance, Switch made its name with ballad hits.  Led by Bobby DeBarge and Phil Ingram (the other members were drummer Jody Sims, hornmen Eddie Fluellen and Greg Williams, Tommy DeBarge on bass), Switch owed their rising profile to Jermaine Jackson, who discovered them and made them proteges.  "There'll Never Be" introduced the band to the national audience in 1978, its sumptuous groove and excellent singing becoming band trademarks. 

Future hits "I Call Your Name" and "Love Over and Over Again" mined similar terrain, setting people up for a surprise when "Best Beat In Town" crashed the top 20.  The uptempo number served notice that they were a full-service band, capable of cranking out dance tracks as well as their signature slow jams. They stayed with Motown until 1983, when they signed to Total Experience.   The DeBarge brothers would go on to play a pivotal role in getting their siblings signed to Motown as a separate act; Bobby DeBarge died of AIDS in 1986. 

Switch's Deepest Grooves

Switch (Gordy, 1978)
Jermaine Jackson handed them the effective ballad "I Wanna Be Closer."  "You Pulled A Switch" proves they did have some of that Ohio funk power when they chose to use it. 

Switch II (Gordy, 1979)
"I Call Your Name" is a quiet storm classic.

Reaching For Tomorrow (Gordy, 1980)
The slept-on Switch LP.  People can't seem to remember anything from here, but "My Friend In the Sky," "Power to Dance," and "Don't Take My Love Away" are typically strong Switch tunes.

Best Of (Motown, 1991)
Given the dire straits Motown found itself in during the 80s, maybe they should have been more supportive of Switch.  This compilation proves they were one of the best acts on the label. 

The Millennium Collection (Universal, 2000)

Copyright 2001 B.Graff.  All rights reserved.

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