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Rufus featuring Chaka Khan – Circles (1975)

rufus_circlesThumb through random stacks of 45s long enough and you might just come across this surprising b-side to Rufus featuring Chaka Khan’s exquisite down-tempo classic Sweet Thing. Circles is at once an infectiously groovy dance tune, a vocal calling card for the fully-evolved Chaka Khan and possibly Rufus’ (the band’s) creative and recording peak. The single was released in 1975, two years after their masterful debut, Rufus, and yet the band’s best work had, in my humble opinion, already been laid down on wax at the time of its release. While Sweet Thing is an unfolding ‘slow jam’ in the classic sense, Circles pretty much begins and ends with the same vigor and driving pace that makes its just-shy-of four minute length pass all too quickly.
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