#RomanticTuesday: Teena Marie

This past Sunday was Teena Marie’s birthday, and had she lived to see it, she would have been sixty-one years old. One of the things her many fans loved about Teena is her way with slow, romantic songs. Through her long-running career, she had many Quiet Storm favorites, many of which became favorites of mine and people I know. Rather than pick one song by her, I picked what was supposed to be ten, then turned into a baker’s dozen, then finished up with fourteen of my favorite Teena Marie ballads. Even then, I left a few good ones off: “Shangri-La,” “Sunny Skies,” “Where’s California,” and “Irons In The Fire,” just to name a few.

That said I like my choices, and I hope you do too. Here’s the fourteen Teena Marie ballads I picked for #RomanticTuesday. If you cannot view them all, I’ve listed the song titles below.

The playlist contains the following songs:

  1. “Deja Vu (I’ve Been Here Before)”
  2. “Now That I Have You”
  3. “Can It Be Love”
  4. “Young Love”
  5. “Portuguese Love”
  6. “Fire And Desire” (Rick James feat. Teena Marie)
  7. “Happy” (Rick James feat. Teena Marie)
  8. “Dear Lover”
  9. “Shadow Boxing”
  10. “Casanova Brown”
  11. “Out On A Limb”
  12. “If I Were A Bell”
  13. “Miracles Need Wings To Fly”
  14. “Wild Horses”

Some notes about the songs:

“Deja Vu” is probably her first great signature ballad, found on her debut album which was produced by her sometime boyfriend and collaborator, Rick James and his partner Art Stewart. “Now That I Have You” and “Could It Be Love” are found on her second album, Lady T, which finally showed her face on an album cover (her debut, Wild & Peaceful did not). “Young Love” (from Irons In The Fire) and “Portuguese Love” (from It Must Be Magic) show Teena’s growing ability to produce herself.

I admit I’m cheating a bit including the two duets with James, but “Fire And Desire” is a song beloved by fans of both artists; it was also the song my folks realized (because apparently they hadn’t been following Teena’s career) that she actually was white. R&B fans never cared; they loved her music and they kept following her, even as she had some pop success with “Lovergirl.” “Dear Lover,” “Shadow Boxing” and “Casanova Brown” (rumored to be written about her relationship with James) were all included on Robbery, which was a comeback album of sorts for Marie, as she wasn’t able to release music for almost two years, due to a dispute with her label at the time, Motown Records.

“Out On A Limb” I remember as a favorite of a lot of girls back when it first came out. “If I Were A Bell” is a classic Teena performance and “Miracles Need Wings To Fly” was written as a kind of tribute to Smokey Robinson (or so I was told). “Wild Horses” has appeared on two Teena Marie albums: her 1993 release Passion Play and the posthumous album Beautiful, which was produced in part by her daughter, Alia Rose.

Teena really liked to stretch out on her slow jams—only one of these songs on this playlist is under five minutes in length—but her fans never complained, and neither did I. If you’re planning to take this playlist for a spin, you’ll need about an hour and a half to get through the whole thing. They may not be all for everyone, but you may find something in there you might like.

Enjoy the Teena Marie tribute to her slow jams, and thanks for listening and reading.

RIP Mary Christine Brockert, aka Teena Marie, aka Lady T

52 Replies to “#RomanticTuesday: Teena Marie”

  1. Well, you and Lady G will have to forgive me for not being too familiar with Teena Marie until the two of you introduced me to her. She wasn’t playing in my neighborhood. However, when Lady G dropped De ja vu on me the other day, I was sunk. Not only is that my favourite topic but I loved the entire package of this song. I am looking forward to hanging out here for a while to listen to what looks like a real treat. Tracy, I know how difficult it is to find a cut off point when you’re enjoying everything. So I’ll take the liberty to add a song that was amongst my collection:

    Then here is a musical marriage between Teena and one of my favourite musicians:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Chevvy! Your first song was one of the first ones I left out. It’s another fine duet Teena was featured on.

      I’m so glad that the Lady and I were able to introduce you to Teena. She and I are and were obviously huge fans of hers. She was always embraced, from the moment she first appeared on the scene, by fans of R&B and soul music, no matter her race. In those days, it really didn’t matter what you looked like or what color you were; if you brought the goods vocally or performance-wise, you would have fans throughout your career, and Teena Marie was proof of this.

      “Deja Vu” is a great song to start with when it comes to Teena’s ballads. I could have easily, as I said in the post, included many more, including “We’ve Got To Stop (Meeting Like This)”. Thanks for sharing the videos, and for your comment.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think that she was an empath. She felt things very deeply and she was very much in tune with the spiritual realm. But you probably figured that by De ja vu- I’ve been here before.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Hahaha! An Ike Turner quote!

        Well, it is difficult to have dranks in hand while at the day job…but I’ll definitely have some of your favorite champipple available next time!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tikeetha. “I Need Your Lovin'” might be my favorite Teena song ever, but she shone so brightly on the slow jams. She had so many that I loved, but I had to stop somewhere. I’m sure you have lots of her songs that you love as well. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You already know how I feel ’bout “I need your lovin'”

        I heard her say in a TV interview that compositionally ‘real musicians’ said that the song was not arranged correctly, that it was in the wrong key and all kinds of other stuff.
        But she said she told them, “That might be true but it sounds good to me.”
        And DAMMIT it sounded good to millions! LOL!!!!
        So much for proper musical composition.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As she should have! Ain’t a thing wrong with that piece of music. Horns and Strings, chile! HORNS AND STRINGS!!!

        Never get tired of those horn and string lines in that song. And it just makes me feel good. Composition issues be damned.

        Like

    1. Ha Joan! You are the reason I put her full name at the end of the post; I was hoping you’d see that. Sister Mary Christine would have enjoyed that, I’m sure. LOL

      I hope you enjoy the songs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Susan! She really did have a great voice, and that voice is what got her so many fans in R&B. In those days, you had to be able to perform vocally, or it just wasn’t going anywhere. Her talent resonated with her fans, for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

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