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Paul Jabara and Friends

** (1.5)

by Vince Ripol,
All Music Guide

Best known for writing the Donna Summer hit "Last Dance" and the Summer/Barbra Streisand duet "Enough Is Enough (No More Tears)," Paul Jabara also released an album in 1983 which helped introduce a virtually unknown singer named Whitney Houston. Paul Jabara and Friends also features Leata Galloway and the Weather Girls, but it is Houston's appearance which guarantees the album's significance as a musical footnote. The augmentation of the Jabara-penned club anthem "It's Raining Men" doesn't hurt either, although that song can be found on several superior dance compilations, as well as the Weather Girls' autonomous releases.

Houston's rendition of the majestic "Eternal Love" is refreshingly unaffected, showcasing her precocious voice before multi-platinum diva status fueled her inclination toward egotistical histrionics. In fact, if anyone on this album can be accused of exaggerated vocalizing, it's Jabara himself, who sounds like a hoarse drag queen on the excruciating "Bad Habits." Thankfully, it's his only stint as lead vocalist.

In addition to composing dramatic disco, Jabara's greatest strength is networking, as evidenced by his songwriting collaboration with Diana Ross entitled "Ladies Hot Line" (also sung by the Weather Girls). It's unfortunate he didn't have enough good material for everyone, because even Galloway's theatrical flair cannot enliven the inferior filler. Jabara deserves credit for promoting aspiring talents, but Paul Jabara and Friends is more of a hodgepodge than a comprehensive album. As such, it remains most interesting for fans of the "friends" rather than the titular headliner.



1. Bad Habits
2. Ladies Hot Line
3. Hurricane Joe
4. It's Raining Men
5. Eternal Love
6. What's Become of Love
7. Hope