Born Feb. 16 1946 in South Carolina Mr. Sease got his start by joining a gospel group in nearby Charleston called Five Gospel Singers and later when he was 20 he sang with the Gospel Crowns. But soon his heart was in R & B and he put together Sease, a backing band featuring his three brothers. When this went nowhere, Sease himself put out several 45s, and eventually scored a regular gig at a Brooklyn nightspot called the Casablanca. Sease recorded a self-titled LP in 1986 featuring one of his most popular songs, "Ghetto Man," and began working the South's so-called chitlin circuit of ghetto bars, rural juke joints, and blues festivals. While shopping the LP, released on his own Early label, to record stores, Sease stumbled upon a contact who eventually got him a deal with Polygram, which re-released the LP on London/Mercury in 1987 with the addition of the newly recorded, ten-minute track "Candy Licker." "Candy Licker" became an underground success on jukeboxes across the South; it was too explicit for radio airplay, but audiences - especially female ones - flocked to see Sease in concert. He thusly fashioned himself as a smooth, X-rated ladies' man but he sings soul blues and gospel-drenched soul with salacious lyrics that also appeals to male fans of southern soul.
"Marvin Sease" (London 1986)
1. Double Crosser
****1/2 The album that started it all and the song that launched his career, "Candy Licker". Other than that obvious hit this disc contains some of his best songs, such as the slow burning "Ghetto Man", snappy "Double Crosser", romantic "Let's Get Married Today" & hit "Dreaming". A very auspicious debut that reached number 14 on the Billboard R & B Album charts and even crossed over to the pop charts at #114.
"Breakfast" (London 1987)
1 Love Is A Game
**1/2 Sophomore slump. Quickly trying to expand on his runaway "Candy Licker" success Sease writes several ribald songs of similar theme ("Condom On Your Tongue", "I Ate You For Breakfast") but still sings some sweet soul on "Lately" and "Can't Forget You Girl". Overall it pales in comparison to his debut of a year earlier and the excessive vulgarity may be trying for some listeners.
"The Real Deal" (London 1989)
1. Tell Me Why
**** This solid collection has a high percentage of fine soul songs like the catchy hits "Tell Me Why" and "Motel Lover". Sease can sure sing slowies too like the cheating dilemma song "Stuck In the Middle" & "It's All Over". The midtempo "I Made You A Woman" might be a little creepy though. But "Right Don't Always Win" is true.
"Show Me What You Got" (Mercury 1991)
1. Missing You
*** More of the same from Sease with the fine upbeat jams "Missing You", title track & "Take Me Back". But it was the single- a ballad- "Tonight" that got the most airplay.; reaching a modest #86 on the R & B Singles chart. Proving he's a real soul singer underneath his shtick, he does a great version of Jerry Butler's "I Stand Accused". This is "nice" Marvin but fans of "naughty" Marvin might prefer the gratuitous "Don't Cum Now". Thing is- he really don't need to go for shock appeal. He's got the goods.
"The Housekeeper" (Jive 1993)
1. I Ate the Whole Thing
** This outing is a little funkier and Sease is on a new label (Jive) but the subject matter has gotten a tad stale. "I Ate The Whole Thing" continues the "Candy Licker" lineage. "I Wanna Do It With You" and "Do You Wanna Make Love" are sexed up dance jams and "Teach Me" is another lady killing soul ballad Sease has perfected.
"Do You Need A Licker?" (Jive 1994)
1. Hittin' & Runnin'
*** Another funky outing with "Hittin' & Runnin'", "Rockin' Them Bones" where Sease complains about skinny women, & the great "I'm Mr. Jody" where the player gets played. "Stop The Pain" is one of his most affecting slow songs with Sease pleading for his ex to ease the pain of his broken heart. A special bonus here is a bona fide eight minute blues cut that closes the album (I'm Sinkin' Down"). Makes me wish he'd add at least one to every album.
"Please Take Me" (Jive 1996)
1. Candy Licker 2
** Disc begins with "Candy Licker 2", a superfluous rewrite of the original but things get better from there. The right-hearted "Brother To Brother" is a standout soul track. He's gonna take your woman but he's trying to be a gentleman about it! "Please Take Me" is yet another good slow jam. Compared to other Sease discs this one pales overall. Been there. Done that.
"The Best Of Marvin Sease" (Polygram 1997)
1. Candy Licker
***** 13 of his very best from the four Polygram/Mercury (London) discs. You get the early smashes "Candy Licker" & "Ghetto Man" thru "Take Me Back" from 1991. As a bonus there's a 14th track that was previously only available as a single ("Do It Tonight").
"The Bitch Git It All" (Jive 1997)
1. Bitch Git It All, The
*** The title cut is real funky and not misogynistic as one might think. "Minnie Mae" is just so fine she always gets her way. There's 9 more Sease originals of his quality modern soul. Despite the title, this disc is actually less raunchy than usual. "Hold On" is one of his best soul songs telling you to hold on to your good woman. "Let Me Dream" is smooth swaying Southern Soul.
"Hoochie Mama" (Jive 1999)
1. Hoochie Momma
*** Sease has shown staying power in the genre and has built up a record of consistency with the same tried and true formula. Most of his staples are here. The requisite funky party opener ("Hoochie Mama"). Check. Slow soulful breakup songs. ("Is It Over?). Check. Romantic slowies ("I Can't Believe", "Thanks For Loving Me"). Check. Marvin done wrong songs ("You Must Be Crazy", "Don't Come Around"). Check. But Marvin ain't talking trash or doing nobody wrong in this one. Midtempo head-bobbin soul ("Let Me Hold You And Squeeze You"). Check. And so on...and we wouldn't want it any other way.
"Modern Soulman: The Collection" (Connoisseur Collection 2001)
1. I Wanna Do It With You
***1/2 A 16 track European import collection focusing solely on his Jive material 1994-1999. This set showcases straight-ahead R & B rather than his oral sex fixations that made him a hit in America. Thus Sease's gritty soul voice is put to the fore and his classic soul style is the canvas on which he paints. If you want a Rated PG Sease album this is as close as you're gonna get.
"A Woman Would Rather Be Licked" (Jive 2001)
1. Money Is What You Want
*** More funk, soul and R & B from the modern soul master. The self-explanatory "A Woman Would Rather Be Licked" was a hit as was "I Gotta Clean Up", a song about Sease worrying he's ruining a good thing with his partying ways. Unfortunately, the opening track, "Money Is What You Want" is a crude and tasteless lyrical idea. The song is about Sease coming across a girl he knew who's now a hooker so since she needs money and he needs sex...they have a deal! Gratuitous. Nevertheless, other goodies are the romantic "Friday" and snappy "Any Way You Want It".
"I Got Beat Out" (Jive 2002)
1. I Got Beat Out
**** Marvin's last for Jive Records is one of his career best with 9 excellent songs. "I Got Beat Out" is a clever lyrical idea where Sease finds out he's been "beaten out" by a better "licker"! "I'm Hooked On You" is sweet as candy southern soul. "So Glad You're Mine" a fine romantic slowie. "Do You Qualify" another midtempo jam with Sease asking a woman if she's qualified to rock his world. Her answer? "Oh yes." Another pleasant thing about this disc is the vulgarity is to a minimum which allows the listener to concentrate on his soulful voice and tight accompaniment. The album ends with the deep "More Will Said Than Will Done" about talkers (politicians?) making more promises than they'll keep.
"20th Century Masters-The Millennium Collection: Best Of" (Mercury 2003)
1. Candy Licker
*** Budget price and length compilation featuring some of Sease's best from his 4 Polygram (London) discs. Not as complete as "The Best Of Marvin Sease" from 1997. "Millennium" contains a few songs not on that previous collection ("Funky Christmas", "Love Is A Game" & "Is It Over") but is missing 7 others that were so "Millennium" less preferred than it's predecessor.
"Playa Haters" (Malaco 2004)
1. Bad Love Affair
*** Marvin Sease records have always been a somewhat frustrating experience for people with mature taste. He is always backed by solid production and southern soul melody and has a good singing voice. BUT Sease gained his notoriety by dirty lyrics! The infamous "Candy Licker" from his debut album became his ticket to fame and has been followed up by many sequels ("I Ate You For Breakfast", "Do You Need A Licker?", "I Ate The Whole Thing", "Woman Would Rather Be Licked") and despite the stale subject matter Sease's following kept buying his records. The question is: Do people buy Marvin Sease for his music or for his raunch? Or maybe it is both? I, for one, like his music and wish he'd lay off the superfluous filth. Sexiness and innuendo are one thing..but blatant pornography is another. Anyway, Sease has signed with Malaco Records and released another solid CD filled with excellent southern soul ("Bad Love Affair", "I Wanna Do You", etc..) and pure nastiness ("Pump My Juice", "F- All Y'all"). The best though is the irresistible "Sit Down On It"- yet another answer song to Theodis Ealey's immortal "Stand Up In It". As far as what you want from Marvin..it's likely here.
"The Best Of" (BMG 2004)
1. Hoochie Momma
"Live With The Candy Licker" (Malaco 2005)
1. Hittin and Runnin
*** This CD is a right proper example of the salacious one in action. The purveyor of nasty Southern Funk/Soul ditties like "Candy Licker" and "I Ate You For My Breakfast" puts on a sweaty, sex-charged 14 song performance for an appreciative Alabama crowd. He hits the ground "Hittin & Runnin'" to open the show before taking the crowd to church. Wait...did I say that right? Yep. Track 2 is "Marvin's Testimony", nearly seven minutes of Sease professing his faith in the Lord interspliced with some gospelish crooning. Now this may seem a tad disingenuous being that Marvin had just treated the crowd to a number promoting promiscuity and now he's getting pious? Hey, I'm not going to judge Marvin, are you? There's no denying "Live With The Candy Licker" is an entertaining concert featuring most of the hits like "Candy Licker", "Ghetto Man", "I Ate The Whole Thing", "Double Crosser", "Dreaming" and even the new classic "Sit Down On It". Sease shows his voice is no studio trick and the band keeps pace- there's even live horns! As live soul or blues albums go this is a 100% professional product that will easily please the faithful. Even better is the similarly titled DVD where you get to watch the man work the crowd like a Baptist preacher.
"Candy Licker: The Sex & Soul Of" (Jive Legacy 2006)
1. Do You Need a Licker?
***1/2 Consider it a companion piece to Polygram's 1997 "Best Of Marvin Sease" collection which gathered his best from 1985-1991. So "Sex & Soul" covers his Jive records tenure beginning with "Do You Need A Licker?" from the LP of the same name. Many of the key tracks from the period are scooped for this disc ("I Gotta Clean Up", "I'm Mr. Jody", "Hoochie Mama", "Do You Qualify", plus an alternative version of "Candy Licker") but a few key tracks remain MIA which indicates the producer must not be a Sease fan. Firstly it completely neglects 1993's "The Housekeeper" album and omits popular Sease tracks like "Hittin' & Runnin'", "Women Would Rather Be Licked", "The Bitch Git It All" & "I Got Beat Out". Nevertheless, casual fans would do well to add this to their collection if they have the first "Best Of".
"Who's Got The Power" (Malaco 2008)
1. The Power of Coochie
***1/2 With each new Marvin Sease disc you know what you're getting: Funky workouts with Sease's philosophy on the birds and the bees ("The Power Of Coochie"), old school Soul balladry ("I'm Coming Home", "Denying Our Love") and midpaced Memphis movers ("She's My Woman", "I Can't Let You Go"). The only question then becomes how good is the material. Well these thirteen Sease originals will satisfy any fan of the genre. There may not be a new stone classic or a hit as catchy as, say "Sit Down On It", but there's plenty of greatness. The 60s-styled "Denying Our Love" is as close to Otis Redding as you're gonna get nowadays. As I've said before Sease may be known for his sex shtick but he's a master of Deep Soul slowies. When "I'm Coming Home" was released as the single some four months ago it seemed like an unlikely choice for radio. Nevertheless the song has become a huge hit and for all the right reasons- no double entendre gimmicks just straight Soul. Bravo.
Don't get me wrong Sease hasn't completely abandoned his bread and butter. "Power Of Coochie", which reminds me of Prince's more explicit "P----y Control", is a familiar comment on who's really controlling things in the battle of the sexes.