The 80s: The Bar-Kays’ ‘Propositions’


The Bar-Kays released the album Propositions in 1982. Now, one might think that with a host of hits since the late 1960s, the Memphis, Tennessee-based band might have run out of steam by the early 1980s.  Let’s face it, in the 80s, many veteran bands began to feel the momentum of hip-hop breathing down the back of their necks as well as the impact of technology changing the musical landscape.  That wasn’t the case for the band which boasted past hits such as “Soul Finger,” “Son of Shaft,” “Shake Your Rump To The Funk,” “Holy Ghost,”  “Move Your Boogie Body,” and “Freaky Behavior.”  Propositions proved to be yet another album that provided plenty of funk to go around (not to mention some pleasant eye candy on the album cover).

barkays2The album’s title track was a tight up-tempo album cut which became a favorite amongst club and party DJs. The tune “Tripping Out” was a head bobbing, rhythm guitar tinged, funky synth-bass cut, reminiscent of their 1981 hit, “Hit and Run.”  The single “Do It (Let Me See You Shake)” was a dance tune that was not only a hit on the dance floor, but also on the charts, making it to #9 on the R&B chart.  “She Talks To Me With Her Body” was the other funky single that earned the band another hit, as it made it to the Top 20 on the R&B chart and even made a little noise on the Dance chart as well.  One can’t talk about the album without mentioning the ballad “Anticipation,” which wasn’t released as a single, but with its mellow trombone solo and signature guitar intro, was a quiet storm favorite.  Propositions wound up becoming a hit for The Bar-Kays, hitting the Top 10 on the R&B chart and peaking at #51 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

—Montrose Cunningham

Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, with a Master of Science degree in Marketing. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.

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