Instead, the label picked 'Soulbird' and 'Manago Bop.'
'The Awakening' proved to be his breakthrough album, going to number 15 R & B in spring 1979 on the strength of the dancer 'I Don't Want Nobody Else (To Dance With You).'
'Awakening' also featured top session bassist Keni Burke, formerly of the Five Stairsteps and best known for his own 'Risin' to the Top.'
His second highest charting single, 'I Shoulda Loved Ya,' hit number four R & B in late 1979.
It was on his 'The Dance of Life' (number nine R & B, late 1979), which included the gentle ballad 'Why Did You Turn Me On', covered by the late Phyliss Hyman on one of her albums 'Goddess Of Love'.
'You're No.1' and 'Summer Lady' were both on his 'Confidence' LP from summer 1982.
Walden's cover of the Four Tops' 'Reach Out I'll Be There,' 'Reach Out,' a huge dance hit, was listed on 'Looking at You, Looking at Me', which charted in spring 1983.
Switching to Warner Bros., his duet with Patti Austin, the Motown-ish pop confection, 'Gimme Gimme Gimme,' issued as Narada Michael Walden with Patti Austin, went to number 39 R & B in early 1985 and was listed on his 'The Nature of Things' album.
His single 'Divine Emotions' on the Warner Bros. subsidiary Reprise Records appeared in the Michael J. Fox movie 'Bright Lights, Big City'.
The 'Divine Emotion' LP included the charting mellow single 'Wild Thing' and the smooth 'That's the Way That I Feel About Cha.'
In late 1985, Walden opened Tarpan Studios, a state-of-the-art recording studio located near San Francisco.
Walden's work appears on releases by Stacy Lattisaw ('Let Be Your Angel'), Al Green (Your Heart's in Good Hands), Shanice Wilson ('I Love Your Smile,' 'I Hate to Be Lonely'), Ray Charles, Diana Ross, George Michael, Wild Orchid, Tevin Campbell, Angela Bofill, Steve Winwood, Phaze II, Regina Belle-Passion ('Baby Come to Me'), Andy Vargas, Debelah Morgan, Jai, Jermaine Stewart ('We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off'), Natalie Cole ('Good to Be Back'), Clarence Clemons, Puff Johnson, Eddie Murphy ('Put Your Mouth on Me'), and Carl Carlton ('The Bad CC'), among many many others.
Other Narada Michael Walden-related releases are Stacy Lattisaw and Johnny Gill ('Perfect Combination'), Lisa Fischer ('So Intense'), and the movie soundtracks to 'Beverly Hills Cop II', 'Perfect', 'Waiting to Exhale', 'License to Kill', 'The Bodyguard', 'Jason's Lyric', '9 1/2 Weeks', 'Crooklyn', 'Free Willy', and 'The Associate'.
He's produced and / or (co) written number one hits by Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey ('Vision of Love'), Aretha Franklin ('Freeway of Love'), and Lisa Fischer ('How Can I Ease the Pain').
His proficient drumming skills have made him a top session musician playing on countless recording sessions.
Walden has played on all kind of sessions from rock, jazz, pop, R & B, to fusion, sharing the recording and concert stage with the likes of John McLaughlin, the Mahavishnu Orchestra (a 21-year-old Narada replaced drumming legend Billy Cobham), and Jeff Beck (his 'Wired' album) to name a small few.
During the '80's, he became a Grammy-winning producer:
'Producer of the Year in 1987'
'Album of the Year for the 1993 movie soundtrack 'The Bodyguard' (Narada Michael Walden, producer)'
and 'the Song of the Year award in 1985 for writing Aretha Franklin's 'Freeway of Love.'
His 1995 he released on Toshiba / EMI 'Sending Love to Everyone'.
Narada produced the Temptations' 'Stay,' the group's first number one record in 25 years from their platinum-plus Grammy-nominated 'Phoenix Rising'.
He also produced tracks for their follow-up album, 'Ear-Resistable' issued by Motown / Universal on 16th May, 2000.