Personnel: DeBarge (background vocals); Mark DeBarge (vocals, saxophone, trumpet, percussion); Eldra DeBarge (vocals, Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards); James DeBarge (vocals, keyboards); Randy DeBarge, Bunny DeBarge (vocals); Curtis A. Nolen, Paul Milton Jackson Jr., Robben Ford, Charles Fearing (guitars); Gerald Albright (flute, tenor saxophone); Jeff Clayton (flute, baritone saxophone); Daniel LeMelle (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Damon Rentie (tenor saxophone); Noran Smith Jr., Raymond Brown (trumpet, flugelhorn); Cliff Ervin, Roy Poper (trumpet); George Bohanon, Clarence Lawrey, John Ervin (trombone); Larry Von Nash, Raymond A. Crossley, Reggie Andrews, Russell Ferrante, Bobby DeBarge (keyboards); Harvey Mason, Sr. , Harvey Mason, Jr. , Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, Ollie E. Brown, Ricky Lawson (drums); Nathan Hughes, Paulinho Da Costa, Richard Heath (percussion); Jim Gilstrap, The DeBarges, Bunny Hull (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Barney Perkins.
Liner Note Author: Gail Mitchell.
Recording information: Artisan Sound Recorders, Inc., Hollywood, CA; Garden Rake, Studio City, CA; Hollywood Sound Recorders, Hollywood, CA; Kendun Recorders, Burbank, CA; Larrabee Sound Studios, Hollywood, CA; Motown/Hitsville U.S.A. Recording Studios, Hollywood, C; Studio 55, Los Angeles, CA; the Record Plant, Hollywood, CA; Westlake Audio, West Hollywood, CA; Yamaha Research & Development Studio, Burbank, CA.
Photographers: Raul Vega; Matthew Rolston; Ron Slenzak; Bobby Holland .
From late 1982 through 1985, DeBarge were a regular presence on the singles charts. They also placed three albums in the Top Five of the R&B chart -- all of which crossed into the Top 40 of the Billboard 200. While the siblings have been the subject of a few hits compilations, their catalog was otherwise neglected for decades, until Hip-O Select released this thorough anthology. Discs one and two of Time Will Reveal: The Complete Motown Albums contain the four DeBarge albums: The DeBarges (the undervalued if somewhat tepid debut), All This Love (the 1982 breakthrough featuring "I Like It" and the title track), In a Special Way (one of the finest albums of the early '80s), and Rhythm of the Night (the heavily synthesized patchwork finale). Disc three collects 12" mixes, a flowery and inferior alternate mix of "All This Love," and four instrumental versions. What gets lost in the DeBarge family drama and image -- the glamorous clothes, elaborate hairstyles, and suspect facial hair -- is that they wrote, produced, and arranged the majority of their material and all of their best work. Their several hits, along with album cuts like "Strange Romance," "Stay with Me," and "A Dream," are among the most heavenly, impeccably constructed pop-R&B music of any era. Odds are good that 2Pac, the Notorious B.I.G., Blackstreet, and Ashanti didn't feel guilty about making hits with DeBarge-sampling records. Therefore, no listener should ever feel guilty about deriving pleasure from the source. ~ Andy Kellman