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THEY'RE both agreed: Peaches and Herb state almost unanimously that working on their latest album with producer Freddie Perren (the album is on Freddie's own MVP Records, distributed by Polydor Records) was "work, real hard work!" But neither of them are complaining because the result has been initially a big disco hit for the duo with "Shake Your Groove Thing" and very strong response to the album.
Over to Herb who explains: "I've known Freddie actually for about fifteen or sixteen years. Back in 1963, he was at Howard University in D.C. and we both worked in record stores at the time! So I've been knowing him a long time. And then, we hooked up at Billboard's disco convention in New York and we talked then about the possibility of working together.
"I've always wanted to record with him for several reasons: he's a proven hitmaker and now, of course, he has his own label. Plus we are friends!"
When the duo decided to move from MCA, they contacted Freddie and began working with him in May, prior to a six week engagement in Bermuda. Peaches notes that the actual sessions "were really something. Freddie's an incredible guy, he's thinking all the time. I wanted to give him exactly what he wanted musically and as a result, I think I got to express myself, I think that on the next album, I'll get a chance to stretch out even more."
Peaches comments too that working with the illustrious Mr. Perren "added another octave to my range! That's just how hard we worked".
And back again to Herb who says that unquestionably Freddie "is a perfectionist. There were times when he definitely had me near to tears. But it was enjoyable and the results more than bear witness to it being a labor of love!"
Despite the immediate acceptance of "Shake your Groove Thing", Herb refuses "to get hyped up! I'm really flying inside — really, really happy. But I'm also scared because frankly there seems to be no end to what we can do together the three of us as a time! Naturally, it's meant we're much busier and now we're doing the things we felt we should have been doing before — like the TV shows and so on."
Peaches says that the duo are due to embark on a national tour soon as a result of the acceptance the record has received. "Our show will be even more polished than ever, more professional, more together than it's ever been. The show will be more spontaneous, more up."
Both agree that there are many goals still to be achieved. "We'd like to maybe get involved with doing a soundtrack. And we want to keep on making good records. We're both aware that nothing good comes easy, so we're prepared for that. But we're both looking to the day when we can have something concrete to show for the hard work we put in."
It looks as if the teaming with Freddie Perren could well do that for Peaches & Herb, a couple of genuinely nice, warm human beings who still have all the magic that "sweethearts of soul" (the tag that the duo received when they were busy making hit records like "Let's Fall In Love") are supposed to have!