I was listening to that Sarah Vaughan track (a couple posts down) again and while I LOVE Marcos Valle's vocal I'm not a big fan of Sarah's work on the song. It's a shame cause I have to listen to a whole verse of Sarah before I get to Marcos's sweet R&B-infused bossa smoothness to tickle my eardrums. Then I was thinking of other songs that have marvelous guest contribution buried in someone else's song.
This Gary Byrd song is a perfect example of this. "The Crown" is a collaboration between Gary Byrd, a radio DJ and friend of Stevie's, and Stevie himself. It's basically an early-ish rap entry that's kinda embarrassing to listen to today because of Gary's uptight flow, if we can even call it that. Gary has made his contribution to "black music" many times over (including writing some lyrics to a few classic Stevie songs: "Black Man" and "Village Ghetto Land" so we don't need to get down on him for this well-intentioned effort to get-across to the kids about their heritage.
Thankfully when this 12" single was released in 1983 they included on the B-side the "instrumental" version which is just that except they left Stevie's short (53 seconds, beginning at 5:27) sung verse intact so that you can have your cake and eat it too! Stevie's lyric is one of the best things he's done since his 1980 album "Hotter than July." I'll try to post the instrumental version of "The Crown" soon. Now, if only Sarah Vaughan's "Something" had an 'instrumental' version . . .