Tuesday, December 11, 2012



A monster from start to finish – not only the greatest album from War, but maybe one of the greatest mainstream funk albums of all time! The set's got a really unique groove – one that so many others tried to copy, but which was forged here first – in a wicked LA blend of Chicano funk, heavy organ lines, and soulful singing that sews the whole thing together perfectly. Just about every cut is upbeat and funky – rolling along at that low-rider pace that was War's lasting contribution to funk music – and the album features the huge hits "World Is A Ghetto" and "Cisco Kid", two of the brightest spots on radio funk from the 70s – plus classics like "Four Cornered Room", "City Country City", "Where Was You At", and "Beetles In The Bog". Features great bonus tracks too – previously unreleased "Ghetto Jam" numbers that are even more open and freewheeling than cuts on the album – titles that include "Freight Train Jam", "58 Blues", "War Is Coming (blues version)", and a sweet rehearsal take of "The World Is A Ghetto". ~ Dusty Groove


Way more than just another soul group – as The New Birth are almost big enough to be their own sort of soul music village – complete with different neighborhoods along the way! Vocals are handled by the combined groups of The Mint Juleps and Now Sound – gals and guys that soar together wonderfully with backings from The Nite-Liters – who help give the record a righteous undercurrent at most points, which makes the whole thing sound way hipper than any other projects of this nature! Vernon Bulllock acts as the music director for the whole group – really pulling things together with a tightness that's outta sight – and leadership of the project comes from Harvey Fuqua – who arranged and produced as well. There's some massively heavy talent on board for this initial outing, and you can definitely hear it all come into play beautifully – a wonderful harmony of rich talents, without any egos or issues to get in the way. Vocals chance nicely throughout – sometimes a female lead, sometimes male – as do the grooves, which are funky one minute, and mellow the next! Tracks include "All The Way", "Pretty Words Don't Mean A Thing", "One Way Bus", "It's You Or No One", "Do The Funky Chicken", "The Unh Song", and "What'll I Do". Great reissue – with excellent sound, and very detailed notes! ~ Dusty Groove


A great solo album by this member of Chairmen of the Board – done with some wicked Holland Dozier Holland production, at a level that almost makes Johnson sound heavier here than in his work with his more famous group! The vocals have that same sort of crazy pinched sound that he had with The Chairmen, and there's loads of great original tunes here – plus a few Chairmen numbers, thrown into the mix, in the way that things sometimes got repeated on the Invictus label – but that's OK with us, because the tunes are so great. The grooves are nice and bouncy – and cuts include "God's Gift To Man", "Every Couple's Not A Pair", "I'll Never Get Tired Of You", "Mary Lou Thomas", and "My Credit Didn't Go Through". CD also features four bonus tracks – "Only Time Will Tell" in vocal and instrumental versions, plus "Savannah Lady", and "I'm In Love Darling". ~ Dusty Groove

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