Our wise Taloran's mention of the fine funky guitarist Carlos Alomar in the Rolling Stone guitarist poll post (see comments #534, 536) inspired me listen to his work (Alomar's, not Taloran's, no offense). This brought me to David Bowie, 1974.
In a move away from sci-fi glam rock to what he called "plastic soul," David Bowie recorded the swinging "Young Americans" with Tony Visconti producing and a new band (Alomar, Willy Weeks on bass, Luther Vandross on background vocals, David Sanborn on sax) at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound (made famous by Gamble and Huff) in Fall-'74.
Bowie and Visconti had also recorded "Win," "Right," "Somebody Up There Likes Me" and the great "Fascination" (co-written with Vandross) at Sigma, but then Bowie went back on tour and Visconti returned to London. The tapes were sent to NYC's Record Plant to be mixed by young Harry Maslin.
Bowie had a falling out with his management company, MainMan, over the direction of his new music and his drug use, among other things, and the album was put on hold. Then in November, recalled Maslin, "I was home one day with my then-girlfriend and a couple of friends and we had a couple glasses of wine. I get a call on the phone and it's David Bowie.
"He says, 'Look, you gotta do me a favor. You have to get me some time at Record Plant because I want to finish my album so I can get home by Christmas, and it's getting late.'
"I said, 'No problem, let me see what I can do.' He said, 'You gotta do one other thing for me - you gotta produce the rest of the album.' I took the phone away from my ear like I was hallucinating, then put it back and said, 'Ah, I think I can do that.' I hung up the phone and told my friends and they all thought I was full of shit."