Patrick Adams, Legendary Disco And R&B Maestro, Dies At 72

Adams’ list of collaborators includes Sister Sledge, Musique, Loleatta Holloway, Eddie Kendricks, Gladys Knight, Black Ivory, Salt-N-Pepa, and more.

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Credit: Noam Galai/WireImage
Credit: Noam Galai/WireImage

Legendary disco and R&B maestro Patrick Adams, whose prolific work spanned multiple decades with a host of iconic collaborators, has died aged 72.

The New York-native began his magical musical journey as a teenager after watching the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. Shortly after, he had an electric guitar of his own and set off on bending the boundaries of making music. Adams toyed with different performance styles and techniques before joining the R&B quartet The Sparks where he performed covers of some of the biggest songs in popular music.

After hitting the road with The Commodores and Jerry Butler as a member of The Sparks – and having completed a stint as a manager at Perception/Today Records – Adams branched out on his own. It was rough at first, but after a night out in 1975, the musician encountered Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby” for the first time. Just like when he first saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, he was transformed. Thus began Adam’s historic venture into disco.

Adams produced the hypnotic “Atmosphere Strut” under the name Cloud One, a band-like front for a full-blown disco endeavor. As he began creating an album as Cloud One, he churned out more hits, like “Disco Juice.” Soon, he was collaborating in the studio on records with Sister Sledge, Musique, Loleatta Holloway, Eddie Kendricks, Gladys Knight, Black Ivory, Salt-N-Pepa, and more. Then there were also the contributions to Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid In Full and Follow The Leader as well as projects from Teddy Riley and Keith Sweat.

Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full

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“Patrick Adams is not only one of my favorite composers/producers, he’s also one of my greatest influences,” Nile Rodgers told Red Bull Music Academy in 2017. “Though composers like to think we’re being original, I don’t mind admitting that I sometimes copy bits of Patrick’s chord progressions.”

He added: “They were some of the cleverest and vibey back in the day when started CHIC. It’s easy to give props for the big tunes like ‘In The Bush,’ ‘Caught Up In One Night Love Affairs,’ but I have massive love for songs like ‘I’m A Love Bug,’ and ‘Dance & Shake Your Tambourine.’ Patrick is a master at keeping butts on the dancefloor. A true music machine!”

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