Perception Records 1973 (PLP 043)
A1 Njia Walk (Street Walk) 4:00
A2 Gotta Have You (Day By Day) 2:30
A3 Fatbackin’ 3:12
A4 Baby Doll 7:10
A5 Clap Your Hands 3:15
B1 Soul March 3:27
B2 Soul Man 4:14
B3 To Be With You 4:11
B4 Kiba 2:56
Flabbergasted Vinyl Transfer Specs:
Virgin vinyl repress on Perception Records -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable / Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge / Pro-Ject Speedbox power supply -> Creek OBH-18 MM Phono Preamp -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard. Recorded at 16-bit / 96 khz resolution to Audacity*. Manual click removal only using Audition, and I left a lot of stuff in rather than risk removing wanted audio. Track splitting in Adobe Audition 3.0. Resampled and dithered using iZotope M-Bit noise-shaping. Converted to FLAC and mp3 using DbPoweramp. ID tags done with Foobar2000.
*Some of you are probably saying, “16/96khz, wtf??” Well Audacity was actually set to 24bit. I did not know, however, that Audacity does not actually record in TRUE 24 BIT, at least not in Windows. Since somebody brought this to my attention, I’ve zoomed in on the individual samples and seen that its true — Everything I recorded using Audacity is actually in 16-bit, albeit in 96khz sampling… Still sounds pretty damn good though, and this pressing is very full, punchy, and dynamic. Since this album is locked in my vault in the Kayman Islands, I can’t rerecord the audio anytime in the near future, so this will have to do.
Biography by Ron Wynn
A seminal funk ensemble, the Fatback Band made many great singles through the ’70s and early ’80s, ranging from humorous novelty tunes to energetic dance vehicles and even occasional political/message tracks. The original lineup featured drummer Bill Curtis, trumpeter George Williams, guitarist Johnny King, bassist Johnny Flippin, saxophonist Earl Shelton, and flutist George Adam. Synthesizer player Gerry Thomas, saxophonist Fred Demerey, and guitarist George Victory were integral parts of the group during their peak years. They began recording for Perception in the early ’70s, and had moderate luck with “Street Dance” in 1973. They moved to Event in 1974, and while funk audiences loved such songs as “Wicki-Wacky” and “(Are You Ready) Do the Bus Stop,” they didn’t generate much sales action. Their first sizable hit was “Spanish Hustle” in 1976, which reached number 12 on the R&B charts. They shortened their name to Fatback in 1977, and landed their first Top Ten R&B hit with “I Like Girls” in 1978. Their 1979 single “King Tim III (Personality Jock)” is widely considered the first rap single in many circles. But their biggest year was 1980. They scored two Top Ten R&B hits with “Gotta Get My Hands on Some (Money)” and “Backstrokin’,” their finest tune. Fatback kept going through the mid-’80s, landing one more Top 20 hit with “Take It Any Way You Can Want It” in 1981. They were backed by the female vocal trio Wild Sugar in 1981-82, and Evelyn Thomas also provided the lead vocal for “Spread Love” in 1985, their last song for Spring. Fatback also recorded a pair of LPs for Cotillion in 1984 and 1985.
This album is a solid listen of classic Fatback. The first side is all-killer-no-filler funk and soul joy for the ears. There is even a reference to the mythical Bertha Butt of Jimmy Castor fame if you listen closely… The first time I heard Jimmy King sing “Baby Doll” I found his voice kind of hard to get used to — he sounds like he’s 17 years old (maybe he was?) and the low parts are sort of out of his range — but the chord changes and the groove are so GOOD that its impossible not to like it, and eventually you realize his voice is just perfect. The second side doesn’t quite hold up, with the instrumental tracks seeming uninspired compared to those on the first, and the unfortunate inclusion of a cover of Sam & Dave’s ‘Soul Man’, which isn’t terrible but also just not that interesting. Oh and the first side features the song “Fatbackin’ ” which has a classic break in it, been sampled a bunch of times.