Stack o' Records
It has been a while since I did a 45 rundown. Picked up a stack over the weekend, had some time, wrote some words. No MP3, just a tip sheet for you fellow diggers.
Al Perkins Step It Up b/w Nothing But Pure in the Heart 45 (USA)
Step It Up is a great mid tempo R&B number that falls between Ike Turner and Roy Head. A bit polished but in a good way. Nothing… is an instrumental is a jazzy gospel mode. I doubt it will get spun again, especially since the A side is so sweet.
Fugi Mary Don’t Take Me on No Bad Trip Pt 1 & 2 45 (Cadet)
Of a handful of Black psych funk bands, Fugi was one of the best. The unfortunate thing about the genre is that few outside Funkadelic produced records that were 100% great. Fugi didn’t; however they did make one untouchable single and this is it. Great Normal Whitfield style funk with a big stoned vibe to it. Of course it being a Pt 1 & 2 single it fades right when you want it to take off. Fortunately this was also an album track and there are a few Fugi boots floating around.
The Aliis Let In Love Today b/w Love Looks So Good On You 45 (Trim)
Pronounced The Awl-eeez, I assumed named after Muhammad Ali, The Aliis make so-so soul. Both songs sound like the 5th Dimension trying to be A) Curtis Mayfiend and B) the Delfonics. A solid eh.
Ripple Willie Pass the Water b/w Git Owf 45 (GRC)
Up tempo wah wah dance floor funk which is pretty damn good. Willie… has a really nice Isaac Hayes-style latin jazz funky soundtrack breakdown. Git Owl could easily be a Johnny Pate soundtrack cut. This is one great single and I certainly would post the audio if the record wasn’t so trashed.
Bobby McClure You Got Me Baby b/w Peak of Love 45 (Cadet)
Though Oliver Sain had a hand in You Got Me…, it sounds like Holland-Dozier-Holland. It is one of those songs that you can slip on when people are sufficiently juiced up and will dance to anything. And Peak of Love sounds like a funkier Smokey Robinson production and would please a dance floor anytime of day. A nice copycat single.
Len Snider & The Jokers I’ll Be Coming Home Tonight b/w Everyone Knows (All Boy)
God bless the Everly Brothers! Their sound was perfect for low budget copyists. I’ve got a few dozen Everly inspired pop singles and all of them have that great, rough edged, small label production to them. Both of these songs have a country tinge to them. Coming Home… is the up tempo pop song. Everyone Knows is a ballad, good made memorable by a trombone hook. I’ve got a few Len Snider 45s and like them all.
The Tempos Monkey Doo b/w Oh Play That Thing 45 (Fairmont)
A good but not great R&B instrumental from 1963. The A side has a nice farfisa and some raspy voiced guy saying “Monkey Doo” from time to time: Without those the record would be a throwaway. Oh Play… is a lightweight stroll.
Little Sister Somebody’s Watching You b/w Stanga 45 (Stoneflower)
One of the best records Sly Stone ever made. Lead vocals by “Little Sister,” everything else by Sly. He made this one right around There’s a Riot Goin On and it was one of his first experiments with a drum machine (as well as one of the first pop songs to have drum machine on it). There is a very cool, understated funk sound to this one, which is both peerless and timeless. Not a hard record to find as it has been reissued over and over.
Syndicate of Sound Change the World b/w You’re Lookin’ Fine 45 (Capital)
Forgive me for being ignorant of SOS’s funky side! I’ve heard their 60s garage classic Little Girl a couple thousand times, both in single form and on their first album. However, I never heard this (I assume later stuff). Change the World is an Eric Burden song, which the Syndicate do funky, as if the Spencer Davis Group were around a tad bit longer. You’re Lookin’ Fine is the Ray Davies tune and it sounds like a wee bit heavier Kinks circa Kontroversy. This is all good BUT the production on these songs is a but restrained. The leads shoot out nice and loud but there is a severe lack of heaviness. Given some balls, this record would have been a fucking classic! That said, I think this one will grow on me.