This was the first Fatback Band album after leaving Perception Records for a long stint with Polydor subsidiaries Event and Spring Records. It’s worth having just for the opening track, Mr. Bass Man, which is a funk classic.
Fat Larry’s Band – Off The Wall
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192 kHz | FLAC | 300 dpi scans | Funk, Soul, Disco 1977 Stax Records STX-41303
Two words: Peaceful Journey… I mean, the lead-off song Sparkle is fantastic: it’s about getting it on with an alien, so how could it not be? I like to imagine it as an alternative version of the film of the same name with the Aretha Franklin / Curtis Mayfield soundtrack. But Peaceful Journey, that’s where it’s at. The group must have thought so too since it was the first single off the album, though it barely registered on the R&B charts, reaching No.98. Still, you know you have a first-rate start-to-finish funk and soul album when even the slow tunes burn with a tight, smokey groove. That rock solid beat just kills: founder and bandleader Fat Larry, aka Larry James , was a drummer. This is definitely a classic highlight from Fat Larry’s Band’s brief catalog. And, like another classic highlight, Soul Makossa, it contains an idea that Quincy and Michael J would rip off a few years later. Continue reading
Bootsy Collins – Ultra Wave
1980 Warner Bros. Records BSK 3433
Since the end of summer I have been toiling away in a pretty consistent cloud of funk. Not the kind for which William Collins is famous either, but of the variety that leaves a person questioning their life choices while coughing through a miasma of regrets. To be honest, not even music has brought much pleasure to me lately, nor has putting time I don’t really have into this blog which has stubbornly persisted long past any relevance. I mean who really needs to hear what I do or don’t have to say about any given music when you no doubt have an algorithm tethered to your digital aura which can recommend you some music with more granular accuracy than one lone, mediocre mortal.
None of this has stopped me from continuing to buy records, in fact – like many people, it seems — I’ve bought more records during this pandemic than I actually have time to listen to, because there has been fuck all else to do.
At the beginning of this month we lost Ronnie Wilson of The Gap Band, but Boosty Collins also turned 80 years old. So it all evens out, I guess? This is an under-appreciated Bootsy Collins effort starting of a new decade for the king of space bass. I had only ever had digital copies of it for some reason until recently stumbling on a pristine vinyl copy in my new favorite record haunt. I think Side 2 has some of the most out-there stuff Bootsy has ever done. The first side is also pretty great with the possible exception of the tune ‘Is That My Song?’. As to be expected, the album features a host of the expanded P-Funk family including brother Catfish Collins as well as The Brides of Funkenstein and Parlet on backing vocals.
A1 – Mug Push (03:49) A2 – F – Encounter (07:35) A3 – Is That My Song? (03:42) A4 – It’s A Musical (04:47) B1 – Fat Cat (07:03) B2 – Sacred Flower (06:48) B3 – Sound Crack (07:06)
Published By – Mash-A-Mug Music
Published By – Rubber Band Music, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Warner Bros. Records Inc.
Pressed By – Capitol Records Pressing Plant, Los Angeles
Mastered At – Allen Zentz Mastering
Arranged By – Casper? Who*
Arranged By [Horn Arrangement By] – Bootsy*, Fred Wesley
Bass [Bass Things] – Casper? Who*
Bass [Space Bass] – Ystoob? Who*
Design, Illustration – R. Bangham*
Drums – Bootsy? Who*, Jerry Jones (2) (tracks: A2)
Guitar – Bootsy Collins, Casper? Who*, Catfish Collins, Rick Evans (7) (tracks: A2)
Horns [Horny Horns] – Fred Wesley, Larry Hatcher, Maceo Parker, Richard Griffith
Keyboards – David Lee Chong, Joel Johnson (tracks: A2 to B3), Mark Johnson (tracks: A2)
Percussion – Carl “Butch” Small (tracks: A2 to B3), Casper? Who*
Photography By, Art Direction – Diem M. Jones*
Producer – Bootsy Collins, George Clinton
Vocals – Brandy*, The Brides*, Casper? Who*, Godmoma, Parlet, Robert P-Nut Johnson*
This version is the Los Angeles pressing plant variation and can be identified by LW on the runout, and by the pressing ring.
Released with b/w printed inner sleeve with pictures and credits.
100 Proof Aged In Soul – 100 Proof 1972 Hot Wax HA 712
Vinyl transfer at 24-bit / 192 khz
Classic soul here, on an album that has only been reissued on CD in Japan. Nice and warm northern soul arrangements and production values, pure pleasure from start to finish. The group was put together by the very busy Holland-Dozier-Holland team and featured veterans of R&B groups like The Falcons, The Contours, and The Originals. The record was produced by General Johnson, who also has a few writing credits on it, and it has a similar sound to other gems from the other Detroit ‘HDH’ labels Hot Wax / Invictus Records catalogs, like Chairman of the Board. There aren’t any big hits here like their first albums, Somebody’s Been Sleeping In My Bed, but there’s no duds here either. Alongside the very fine original contributions, there is a cover of the early Bee Gee’s tune “Words” as well as The Association’s “Never My Love”, which closes the record. I’m posting it today to help your 2020 go out on a mellow and upbeat note. I have a super-clean copy of it and did a vinyl transfer sometime in 2019 just for fun, with editing and tweaks done sometime this year.
A1 Everything Good Is Bad 4:53
A2 Since You Been Gone 3:50
A3 Nothing Sweeter Than Love 3:50
A4 Ghetto Girl 3:47
B1 Words 3:56
B2 I Don’t Care If I Never Get Over You 3:59
B3 Don’t Scratch Where It Don’t Itch 3:46
B4 Don’t You Wake Me 3:39
B5 Never My Love 4:02
Arranged By – H.B. Barnum, McKinley Jackson, Paul Riser
Producer – General Johnson, Greg Perry
Producer, Executive Producer – Ron Dunbar
Recorded By, Mixed By – Barney Perkins, Ed Redd, Jerry Hall
Eddie Hazel – “Rest In P”
1994 P-Vine Records PCD-2884
Released in Japan
Eddie Hazel would have turned 70 years old in April of this year. This collection of rarities by Hazel is a delight for longtime fans and should impress the neophyte, though I wouldn’t recommend it for the totally uninitiated – those people should start with the first three Funkadelic albums, then Standing On The Verge of Getting It On, and then his solo album Games, Dames, and Guitar Thangs. (More comments below the break) Continue reading