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1 track performed by The Five Stairsteps has been recommended.
Danger! She’s a Stranger  performed by The Five Stairsteps  1967
Recommended by delicado [profile]

I fell in love with this song this evening. At this point it's hard to find many words to describe it; I'm just dazzled by how wonderful it is. It's a mournful and spooky-sounding soul song, opening with some percussion, and then some harmonized background vocals, drums, brass and piano. I guess the kicker for me are the shimmering strings in the arrangement, which come in with the main vocal. The vocals are fraught with emotion, and there is a very interesting use of vocal sounds as the song fades out.

Being a Five Stairsteps novice, I'd like to know if they recorded many other tracks like this. I gather that the record was produced by Curtis Mayfield, but I've never heard anything by him with quite such a delectable arrangement. Any advice would be appreciated!


available on CD - The First Family of Soul (Buddah)




  30 Sep 03 ·Arthur: The Five Stairsteps have a history going back to the mid sixties -they recorded for Curtis Mayfields 'Windy C' label and later for George Harrison's 'Dark Horse' label Group main man Kenni Burke is still active in the music business, having co penned the much copied and sampled "Rising To The Top" and has recently (last year) visited the UK where he performed a number of PA's and recorded at least one song. I have to confess I never heard "Danger! She's a Stranger" but will make it my mission to do so!
  01 Oct 03 ·tinks: oh my god, this is one of my all-time favorite songs! i can't believe i never thought to put it up. i love the backing vocals..."danger! stranger!"
  16 Oct 03 ·delicado: You have excellent taste! For the record, I was able to find one other Five Stairsteps track that has a similar moody feel to it. It's called 'Something's Missing', and is almost like a prototype version of 'Danger...'
  31 Mar 04 ·bobbyspacetroup: Sampled by Outkast incidentally (check out "Two Dope Boyz In A Cadillac").
  31 Mar 04 ·delicado: Yeah, I read about this and checked out the Outkast song. I have to say I wasn't that impressed. I think maybe the big beat over the piano and gentle shimmering strings killed it for me a bit!
  26 Apr 07 ·artlongjr: Fascinating to read the comments here...I didn't know Outkast had sampled this. I remember first hearing this song when I got their first album way back in 1981, and it is my favorite tune on there. It's a classic of Chicago soul. The strings, horns and Clarence Burke Jr.'s lead vocals and the group harmonies add up to a delightfully foreboding, almost sinister mood on this number. This came out in 1966, I also have "Something's Missing", which came out on Buddah in 1967. I keep telling everybody I know that the Stairsteps are easily the equals of the Jackson Five! They also did a terrific funk-psychedelic number in 1969 on Curtom called "Madame Mary"...I can't figure out the lyrics but it may be about marijuana!
  06 May 07 ·karen: If you like "Danger She's a Stranger", you will love "You've Waited Too Long". I remember the Five Stairsteps, and they were a lot more talented than the Jackson Five (and better looking). But unfortunately they were not on a major label like Motown, but they got a lot of respect and admiration in the Black community and plenty of airplay in DC, NY, Philly, etc. "Oooh Child" was a major hit...I wonder what they are doing now and how they look.

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