Rick James, Come Get It!

Not nearly as nuts as the later Street Songs and its (in)famous standout single "Super Freak," his first solo album and the only one with his Stone City Band is better grounded, more funky and less ridiculous. It's still sassy and it's still got that trademark leering vibe, but the disco elements don't suck (especially "You And I," its best track, and "Be My Lady"), the bass struts right along even if tracks like "Sexy Lady" seem to lose their step a little, and he can deliver a surprisingly authentic level of emotion when he wants to ("Hollywood"). Of course, it wouldn't be a Rick James album without drugs (the eye-rollingly transparent "Mary Jane") and smarmy sex (the tiresome intro of "Dream Maker," though the R&B that follows isn't too bad), but unlike what followed there's more here than just startling the blue hair brigade. The 2014 reissues add longer versions of "You And I" which don't add much musically but they're still more of a good thing. (Content: adult themes, drug references.)