Our Top 10 Rufus Songs list will look at legendary funk band from the 70s. Rufus was one of the most influential funk bands of the 70s. Four of their albums reached number one on the r&b charts. The band has 10 pop hits and five number one r&b singles. They have won two Grammys for the singles “Tell Me Something Good” and “Ain’t Nobody.” Rufus sold over 3 million albums worldwide. Some of their hits include “Tell Me Something Good,” “Ain’t Nobody,” “Sweet Thing,” “You Got the Love,” “Do You Love What You Feel,” “Once You Get Started,” “Everlasting Love” as well as others.
All that glittered wasn’t gold with Rufus. Like most bands, Rufus had tension and member changes. Singer Chaka Khan was emerging as the star of the band. Her stardom led to tension with the band. After the release of their third album, they became Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. It started to take a toll on the rest of the band. Chaka Khan and drummer Andre Fischer butted heads. Her husband at the time was also part of the problem between Chaka Khan and Andre Fischer. Andre Fischer would eventually leave the band. Keyboardist Nate Morgan left after Andre Fischer.
Things took a turn for the worse when Chaka Khan decided to pursue a solo career. She released her solo album in 1978 which was a bigger success than Rufus’ Street Player album. Chaka Khan stayed with the band even though she was recording solo albums. The tension among the band got so bad that she avoided them all together. She recorded her vocals alone. The tension didn’t help because their albums weren’t selling the way they were in the past. In 1983, Rufus decided to break up. In 2001, the band reunited for a tour. They toured again in 2008.
Rufus was released in July 1973. The album peaked at number 44 on the r&b charts and number 175 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Keep It Coming,” “Maybe Your Baby,” “I Finally Found You” and “Feel Good.” Rags to Riches was released in May 1974. The album peaked at number four on the r&b charts and Billboard 200. It features the singles “You Got the Love,” “Tell Me Something Good,” “Swing Down Chariot” and “Look Through My Eyes.” The album went gold. Rufusized was released in December 1974. The album peaked at number two on the r&b charts and number seven on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Once You Get Started,” “Please Pardon Me (You Remind Me of a Friend),” “Somebody’s Watching You” and “Your Smile.” The album went gold.
Rufus featuring Chaka Khan was released in November 1975. The album peaked at number one on the r&b charts and number seven on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Sweet Thing,” “Dance Wit Me” and “Jive Talkin’.” Ask Rufus was released in January 1977. The album peaked at number one on the r&b charts and number 12 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up),” “Hollywood,” “Everlasting Love” and “Close the Door.” The album went platinum. Street Player was released in January 1978. The album peaked at number one on the r&b charts and number 14 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Stay,” “Blue Love,” “Turn” and “Best of Your Heart.” The album went gold. Numbers was released in January 1979. The album peaked at number 15 on the r&b charts and number 81 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Ain’t Nobody Like You,” “You’re to Blame,” ‘Don’t You Sit Alone” and “Bet My Dreams.” Rufus recorded this album without Chaka Khan. She was recording her own album at the time.
Masterjam was released in November 1979. Chaka Khan was back with this album. The album peaked at number one on the r&b charts and number 14 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Do You Love What You Feel,” “Any Love” and “I’m Dancing for Your Love.” Party ‘Til You’re Broke was released in March 1981. This is the second album they recorded without Chaka Khan. The album peaked at number 24 on the r&b charts and number 73 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Tonight We Love” and “Hold On to a Friend.” Camouflage was released in October 1981.
The album peaked at number 15 on the r&b charts and number 98 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Better Together,” “Secret Friend,” “True Love” and “Sharing the Love.” Seal in Red was released in February 1983. The album peaked at number 49 on the r&b charts. It features the singles “Take it to the Top,” “The Time Is Right” and “When I Get Over You.” The band reunited with Chaka Khan to record the live double album Stompin’ at the Savoy-Live. The album was released in August 1983. The album peaked at number four on the r&b charts and number 50 on Billboard 200. It features the singles “Ain’t Nobody” and “One Million Kisses.”
Rufus was a talented band. They could have accomplished more than they did if tension didn’t get in the way of their success. Rufus’ songs have been covered and sampled throughout the years. They may not be recording new music now, but their songs will remain in our hearts. Our Top 10 Rufus Songs list will give us a chance to honor the talented band.
# 10 – Sharing the Love
The 10th song on our Top 10 Rufus Songs list is “Sharing the Love” from the Camouflage album. “Sharing the Love” was released in 1981. This song is about finding true love. True love is hard to find. Once you find love, it makes you feel better. The narrator has been looking for love for a long time before she finally finds it. She is willing to share her drink with him because she has so much love to give. She wants him to take all the love she has to give. She believes they can make it. She knew from the moment she saw him that he was the one. She wants to share her life with him. The narrator wants him beside her for the rest of her life. She never believed in love at first sight until he came along. She thought it was a fantasy to fall for someone that fast. She was wrong because he made her fall for him instantly.
This song tells a story about what it feels like to find true love after being disappointed in the past. This is a positive song about love. This song gives you hope that you can find love. It teaches you to be open to the idea of finding love. This song has an upbeat sound. The music is soft and romantic. The music has an element of disco to it. Chaka Khan’s vocals are impressive. She takes her time building the song up. Once she builds the song up, there is no coming back from it. She shows listeners that she is one of the power divas. Since the music is soft, it is easy to hear the power in her voice. She sings in different ranges in the song. She goes from low to high without any effort. The hook is memorable and will stay in your head. This may not be one of their biggest hits, but it is just as good as their well-known songs.
# 9 – Stay
The ninth song on our Top 10 Rufus Songs list is “Stay” from the Street Player album. “Stay” was released in 1978. The song is about a woman who begs her man not to leave her. She fears what her future will be like without him in it. She feels like she won’t be able to make it without him in her life. She will struggle and hopes that her hard work will pay off in the end. She needs her partner’s presence in her life to make it. In the second verse, she talks about how well she knows him. When he cries, she knows something is on his mind. The world is a cruel place, but they have each other to get through it. She believes that God will stand by them. She continues to beg him to stay.
This song is a heartfelt plea to her man not to leave her. The narrator allows herself to be vulnerable by asking him to stay. She is not sure how her future will look without him and she doesn’t want to find out. She believes her faith in God will keep them together. You may know how she feels if you have been in a relationship that you didn’t want to end. You may have found yourself begging your partner to stay. If you have ever felt this way, she is singing your song. The music has a classic 70s sound. It has a funk and r&b beat. This ballad with tempo allows you to dance with the person you love. You can play this song if you want to keep your partner from leaving. There aren’t too many people that can hit high notes the way Chaka Khan can. She can sing softly one minute and vocally soar the next with ease. Her voice is phenomenal. There aren’t enough words to describe her range.
# 8 – Everlasting Love
The eighth song on our Top 10 Rufus Songs list is “Everlasting Love” from the Ask Rufus album. “Everlasting Love” was released in 1977. This song is about a woman who wants to give her partner love that will last a lifetime. She dreams of him all the time. She thinks of vivid pictures of him. She compares him to beautiful moments like sunsets. Her emotions get high when she thinks of him. His love makes her feel a sense of euphoria. She wants to give herself to her man. She expresses her desire to satisfy him for the rest of her life. Being with him makes her think of summer breezes. She compares their love to the moonlight. She needs him more each day. She is afraid of losing him. She never wants to lose the love they have for each other. She wants him to stay in her life because his love consumes her. She needs his love to go on with her life.
This is a seductive song about a woman who wants to give her man everlasting love. We all would love to be in her position and have everlasting love in our lives. If you have everlasting love, this song is perfect for you. It will remind you why you fell in love with your partner. “Everlasting Love” is a timeless and captivating classic about a woman’s desire to please her man. This is the type of song you can put on if you want to seduce your partner. This is quiet storm music at its finest. The band does an incredible job with the music. They make you feel the beat. The music goes with the touching lyrics. Chaka Khan’s vocals are exquisite. She stacked her voice in the hook which was an excellent touch. When she starts belting, it will blow your mind. It makes the song come alive. She utilizes her low notes as well as her high range of explosive power. She turns the song into a mini power ballad.
# 7 – At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)
The seventh song on our list is “At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)” from the Ask Rufus album. “At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up) was released in March 1977. This song is about a woman who wants to be with a man she is interested in. She wants to meet him at midnight because that is the time when romance happens. She is confident she can get him to meet her at midnight. She needs him to meet her because she wants to see him desperately. Ever since she met him, she has changed her mind about love. She is going to take a chance and give her heart to them. She believes her love will lift him up. He came into her life and now she realizes that she has to be with him. She was ready to give up on love until she met him. She wants to take a chance even if it means she might lose him.
This song tells a story about a woman who is ready to take a chance on love. She has found a man she wants to be with for the rest of her life. She believes her love will lift him up. She paints a poetic picture about love. The song has an upbeat funk and disco sound. It keeps the song from sounding like a typical love song. This track gives the rest of Rufus a chance to shine musically. The instrumentation is spectacular. The music is just as good as Chaka Khan’s vocals. The horns and drums stand out in the song. Andre Fischer is a beast on the drums. Charles Garnett and Tony Maiden do a tremendous job on the horns. Chaka Khan’s vocals are fierce. She belts throughout the song effortlessly. She is able to keep up with the tempo of the music. She has an excellent set of pipes. There aren’t too many singers that have her range.
# 6 – Do You Love What You Feel
“Do You Love What You Feel” is from the Masterjam album. “Do You Love What You Feel” was released in 1979. This song celebrates the power of love and how it can make you feel alive. Our narrator asks the listeners if being in love makes you come alive. She wants to know if you enjoy the feeling you get when you are in love. She talks about how she enjoys the way her man makes her feel. She loves what he does to her. She enjoys it when he holds her. He makes her feel free. When they dance together, it makes her want to sing. Before she met him, she spent many nights fighting within herself. When he came into her life, he made her feel special. She wants to know how he likes it. She is okay with anything he wants to do. They are close to each other. She has never felt better now that he is in her life. The bad feelings she had are gone now that she has him. She is thankful that she was able to find happiness with her man.
This song tells a story about love lifting you up. The song teaches you that love can make you a better person. Rufus wants you to embrace love so it can change your life. The lyrics are inspiring and will make you want to be in love. The music is incredible. As soon as you hear the first note, you will be hooked on the song. It is a classic song that will always get the party started. If you are familiar with Rufus, you should be familiar with this classic jam. If you’re not a fan, this song may make you a fan of the talented band. This song gives listeners a chance to hear someone other than Chaka Khan singing as the lead. Tony Maiden gets a chance to sing. He has a good voice. He doesn’t try to step on Chaka Khan’s toes vocally. He allows her to do what she does best. It is nice that he got a chance to shine in the song. Chaka Khan showcases her powerful vocals in the song. She doesn’t disappoint with her vocals. Here is a fun fact. Quincy Jones produced this song. He was working with Rufus and Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album at the same time. It explains why this song sounds like something that could have been included on Off the Wall.
# 5 – You Got The Love
The next song on our Top 10 Rufus Songs list is “You Got the Love” from the Rags to Riches album. “You Got the Love” was released in October 1974. This song is about a woman who is in love with someone who isn’t feeling the same way she is. The narrator wants her partner to love her and stop avoiding her. She wants him to hold her and love her the way she wants to be loved. She wants him to love her right. She wonders what is going on with him. The narrator questions why she must tell him to hold her. His smile is not hiding anything. There is more going on than meets the eye. She knows that the love they have for each other is important and it is what keeps their relationship together. As she gets to the chorus, the narrator expresses how much she needs his love in her life. She can’t do without it. His love gives her the strength to keep moving. She would give anything to hear him tell her he loves her.
“You Got the Love” tells a story about love during difficult times. It is also about being loved the way you need to be. She tries her best to make the relationship work. If you are in a relationship like this, you may find yourself nodding in agreement with the lyrics. The music has a classic 70s funk beat. The bassline is slick and sleek. The guitar section is excellent. Dennis Belfield, Al Ciner and Ray Parker Jr. do an amazing job. The rest of the musicians do a great job as well. Chaka Khan’s vocals are superb. She showcases her power vocals, but she does hold back a little. Her vocals are stacked in the chorus. Her intonation and phrasing are impeccable. She makes you want to sing along with her. You may not have the same pipes she has but you will enjoy singing along with her.
# 4 – Once You Get Started
“Once You Get Started” is from the Rufusized album. “Once You Get Started” was released in February 1975. This song is about getting up and dancing. Once you start dancing, it is hard to stop. She wants people to let their hair down and have fun. She wants you to forget your troubles and live for the moment. Our narrator admires people who get into music and let their bodies move freely. Having fun is something new and she encourages everyone to do it too. She wants everyone to celebrate and have fun. She wants everyone to dance like they have never danced before.
This is a song that is about dancing. This is a theme that has been discussed many times. There aren’t too many artists who don’t talk about dancing and having fun. It’s a subject that will never get old. “Once You Get Started” is a song you will enjoy when you hear it. It will have you on the dance floor. The band brought their A game to the song. The music has a classic 70’s funk and disco beat. This music will have you practicing your dance moves. There is a musical pause that will give you a chance to enjoy the band playing. Their music practically commands you to get on the floor and dance. Chaka Khan’s power vocals are on display. She shouts throughout the song. You may have a little trouble understanding everything she is saying, but she does a great job. Her voice is very powerful. She will hold your attention until the song is over.
# 3 – Sweet Thing
Coming in at number three on our list is “Sweet Thing” from the Rufus featuring Chaka Khan album. “Sweet Thing” was released in November 1975. The song is about a woman who wants to be with someone she can’t have. It doesn’t matter to her if he can’t stay with her. She will love him anyway. She believes he is meant to be with her. She wants to make him happy even though they aren’t together. She wants to be with him even though they aren’t together. She pleads with him to be with her or she will go crazy. Our narrator has an urgent need to be with the man she desires. In the second verse, she asks him not to walk away. She wants him to be her lover. She doesn’t understand why he is keeping his feelings from her. She will do anything for him. She lets him know that he means everything to her. She doesn’t want his money. She just wants to be with him.
“Sweet Thing” tells the story of a woman who pleads with the man she wants to be with her. Fans of r&b music will recognize this song the second the beat starts. This song is an r&b staple. This is one of Rufus’ signature songs. It has been considered one of the best slow jams of all time. It is a gorgeous love song with a twist. She is in love, but she doesn’t have the man in her life. She is pouring her heart out to a man she doesn’t have in her life. She is pleading with him to be with her, yet she doesn’t sound desperate. She sounds like a woman who is in love as she yearns for him to be with her. Her vocals are what great singing is all about. She has incredible vocal control. She starts the song off softly and then lets it simmer. She gives the song a dramatic build before she vocally explodes. This is a song you can’t listen to once. Her vocals will entice you to put the song on repeat.
# 2 – Ain’t Nobody
“Ain’t Nobody” is from the Stompin’ at the Sovoy – Live album. “Ain’t Nobody” was released in November 1983. This song is about love making you feel alive and free. She opens the song by talking about love coming when you least expect it. Love can happen effortlessly. She wasn’t sure it was love. The next thing she knew he was holding her close. She wasn’t sure what to do so she let herself go. She decided to be with him. She is with him and she wants the feeling to last forever. She had been waiting for love for a long time. When she saw him, she knew she had found it. He fills her heart with bliss. Being with him gave her freedom. She couldn’t resist being with him because she needed to be with somebody. She wishes on a star and hopes the night will last forever. The narrator can’t resist him. She enjoys spending her nights with him. The love she has for him is so deep she can’t measure.
This is a song that celebrates love. They love each other so much and accept everything about each other. This song will make you a believer in love. It is a well written song about love making you feel alive and happy with yourself. If you are a fan of Rufus, you will recognize this song immediately. This is Rufus’ last charted single before Chaka Khan left the group. They went out with a bang because this song is fire. The music is melodic and great for dancing. This song was used in the movie Breakin’. This song will appeal to people of all generations. If you are a fan of dance music, you can’t go wrong with this song. You would never know the band was having tension because they work so well together.
Here is some trivia about the song. Quincy Jones wanted the song for Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. Keyboardist David Wolinski wanted this song to be the lead single. If they didn’t make it the lead single, he was going to give the song to Michael Jackson. Luckily the band changed their mind because this song was made for them. Chaka Khan’s vocals are spectacular. She uses her powerful vocals to the best of her ability. It is no wonder this song was a hit because everything about this song works. The song could have easily been number one on our list. Our decision came down to a toss up.
# 1- Tell Me Something Good
The number one song on our Top 10 Rufus Songs list is “Tell Me Something Good” from the Rags to Rufus album. “Tell Me Something Good” was released in June 1974. This song is about a woman who is with a man who is empty inside. She is convinced that she can make him feel again. He refuses to put anything before his pride. She believes she can knock his pride aside. She believes she can set his heart on fire. Our narrator is determined to make him feel something real. She wants him to open up to her. She wants him to tell her something good. She believes it will bring them closer together. She wants him to connect with her on a deeper level. She knows he hasn’t been loved the way he should have been in the past. She understands why he is distant. The narrator wants to change that for him. Her love will be enough to make the ice melt around his heart.
“Tell Me Something Good” tells a story about a woman who wants to get her man to open up to her. She wants him to forget about his pride and be with her. She believes she can change his life. If you are with someone who is hesitant to admit their feelings, you should play this song for them. It may get the person to open up to you. The song has a fantastic funk and r&b beat. The beat and vocals are a perfect combination. Here is some trivia about the song. Stevie Wonder wrote this song for Rufus. He had Chaka Khan’s voice in mind when he wrote the song. He could have easily made the song a hit himself, but he wanted Rufus to record the song. Stevie Wonder did the right thing giving it to Rufus because they turned it into a hit. This is a song that will never get old. The music is out of this world and so are Chaka Khan’svocals. She sings in time with all the beat changes. She holds back on the belting in this song, but it wasn’t needed. Her seductive voice worked without the power singing.
Top 10 Rufus Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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