Prince & the Revolution – “America” b/w “Girl” (203089) (1985)

America

Given the amount of compromise it takes to achieve public office, it’s easy to be cynical about politricks in general and popular elections in particular. Nonetheless, we are celebrating the re-election of President Barak Obama at the Lyminge Democratic Headquarters by listening to all 21:46 Oxfam-purchased mins. of Prince’s frenetic and paranoid “America”. And as our President steers the mighty USS Democracy a few incremental degrees to the left, making a substantial positive difference in the longer term we hope, we note that we prefer the stomping twelve inch version of Around the World In a Day‘s fourth single since it features more groove and less of the the chorus whose melody is a not-very-clever blue note reworking of Ward and Bates’ “America the Beautiful”.

We are then relaxing as we contemplate the atmospheric pleading of the flip side.

Published in: on November 7, 2012 at 10:28 am  Comments (3)  

KC and the Sunshine Band – Part 3 (JSL12) (1976)

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting of KC Parish Council held on October 1976 in TK Studios, Florida

Present: Harry “KC” Wayne Casey (Chairman); Richard Finch (Co-chair); Jerome Smith (Clerk); Oliver C. Brown; Robert Johnson; Fermin Goytisolo; Ken Faulk; Vinnie Tanno; Mike Lewis: Whit Sidener; Beverly Champion; Margaret Reynolds; Jeanette Williams.

In attendance: TK Records, members of the public

1.  Apologies for absences: were accepted from Cllrs George and Gwen McCrae.

2.  Declaration of interest by councillors: all present expressed interest in boogieing and booty shaking.

3.  Public adjournment: It was agreed to adjourn the meeting for public comment and questions. The wording of the first paragraph of minute 3 (“I Like To Do It”) in the unconfirmed minutes of the Part 3 meeting was subject to query by members of the public, specifically that the antecedent of the “it” that Chairman Finch would like to “do” with “you” is unclear and subject to misinterpretation. The public understood that the proposal was to “let’s go, you know, let’s party, let’s go get down.”  The Clerk confirmed that these words, or similar, were used in the discussion but that the “it” referred not only to getting down and partying, but implied sexual congress as well.

4.  Chairman’s announcements: The chair expressed that he “was crazy and would do anything to be near you” and further, that he is “a boogie man, that’s what [he is]”, that he is “your rubber ball”and that he is “here to do whatever [he] can”.

5.  Approve/objections minutes from last meeting: Councillors agreed to approve keeping it coming love but objected to the fact that the word “baby” was obviously not being used enough.

6.  Matters arising from minutes: Part 3‘s shortness. It lasts less than 29 minutes.

7.  Report from Community Warden: The warden said he is available “early morning, late afternoon or at midnight, aww, it’s never too soon.”

9.  Planning Committee: Having issued four albums in less than three years, the planning committee agreed to wait a further two years to release another (lackluster) Lp.

10.  Finance and Administration Committee: Part 3 contains two No. 1 singles and a No. 2 single on the Billboard Hot 100; the Lp itself went treble platinum in the US, despite stalling at the 13th position in the album charts.

11.  Reports from Outside Bodies:

  • Robert Christgau gave Part 3 a B+
  • Prince Asbo of Thrifty Vinyl said Part 3 was great, but that that was it as far as KC is concerned.
Published in: on October 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm  Comments (3)  

Best of The Meters (Reprise 54-076) (1976)

Funky à la Sly/WAR in direct inverse proportion to the imagination shown by the Reprise art department, this odd little Meters compilation cherry picks from only two of their four Reprise Lps, Fire On the Bayou and Rejuvenation–I mean, there’s got to be something worthwhile from Cabbage Alley (1972) and Trick Bag (1976), no? Anyway, the expertly played, sung* and produced** case Best of The Meters sets out on behalf of the years spanning 1974 and 1975 , suggests a band at the very top of its game and makes its lack of mainstream success truly baffling. Maybe it’s just too damn fonky.

Not the kind of record one normally expects at Hythe’s Red Cross for a pound, but there it was this morning along with a warped, mono Beatles For Sale Lp just barely contained by the most raggedy-ass sleeve you’ve ever seen selling for £20, among other like atrocities. Why, Red Cross, why?

*in contrast to the three earlier all-instrumental Josie albums.

**by Allan Toussaint

Published in: on May 31, 2012 at 7:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Free Soul – Essential Argo/Cadet Grooves Vol. 3 (ARC 510) (1991)

It was a barrel-shooting excersise the choice this morning to spend 50p at Mind in Cheriton on this Acid Jazz-inspired* Charly compilation of late-60s to late-70s funk-soul-jazz originally released on Chess Records subsidiaries Argo and Cadet and designed for the Rare Groove-head in your life.

As if the presence of Terry Collier’s ebullient “Ordinary Joe” and jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby weren’t enough clue-wise to convince me of purchase, the thanking of Soul Jazz Records (who must’ve only just been founded when this collection was issued), Honest Jon’s, James Lavell, Talkin’ Loud, etc. in the liner notes sealed the deal.

Interestingly, no information readily exists for Volumes 1 and 2 of this purported series.

*It says “File under Funki/Jazz” [sic] on the back cover.

Published in: on April 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm  Comments (4)  

The Undisputed Truth – Smokin’ (WHK 3202) (1979)

Producers don’t usually get front cover credit, but such was Norman Whitfield’s command over urbanspacegroup The Undisputed Truth that he’s namechecked in centered, 36-pt. type for all to see on premier face of the final UT Lp sleeve. Not that it seems to have done them much good, the record didn’t even chart and the album’s only single (“Show Time”) struggled to #55 US R&B. As it happens, while many of the right funky moves are made and not that this is a total washout by any means, there is a let-down, second-tier silliness about Smokin’–I mean, talk of  their funk being “a brand new thing” and “Tazmanian monsters” and whatnot, not to mention guff about “there’s life on other planets”–that smacks of trying-to-hard-with-things-we-don’t-really-believe careerism.

So: more smoke than fire.

Another £1-still-in-its-original-plastic googah from this afternoon’s ransacking of the Lord Whiskey Cat Sanctuary Tea Rooms*.

*I did not make this place up.

Published in: on March 18, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  

Average White Band – Soul Searching (SD 18179) (1976)

Yet another Average White Band Thrifty Vinyl post and yet another sparkling funk-soul album it is, too; though perhaps slicker, more L.A. than earlier Lps, a result, I think, of the Brecker Brothers horn sound. Apart from a general regard for AWB, one reason I was specifically interested in Soul Searching was hearing a studio cut of the Hamish Stewart/Ned Doheny song “A Love of Your Own” (a live take is on the Best Of), previously mentioned here. Having got used to Doheny’s tempered blue-eyed soul approach, Stewart’s more animated technique sounds a bit overheated, though after only two listens, I’m already getting used to it. Nothing is quite as distinctive as that song, but all of it’s good and it all sounds great thanks to legendary producer Arif Mardin. I thrifted the still-in-plastic US press Soul Searching this afternoon at the Lord Whiskey Cat Sactuary Tea Rooms in Rhodes Minnis on the way to Canterbury for but one pound sterling.

Published in: on March 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm  Comments (4)  

Ohio Players – Fire (1974)

Perhaps the more visually literate Thrifty Vinyl readers can explain what, if any, symbolism is implied by this image on the cover of the Ohio Players Fire Lp of a wet, naked woman is sensuously grasping and thrusting upwards a long, steamy fireman’s hose.

Published in: on November 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm  Comments (2)  

Rufus Featuring Chaka Kahn – Rufusized (1974)

A deft combo of pop, funk and rock to satisfy even the most critical of Heart FM’s Saturday night Club Classics listeners.

More hot Norman Seeff action

Published in: on November 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm  Comments (4)  

Labelle – Phoenix (Epic EPC 69167) (1975)

Yes! A couple of Meters among the riddim section, Allan Toussaint behind the producer’s desk and Labelle in front of the mics–what could go wrong?

Well, mainly an overly dramatic, quasi-mystical, mini-suite approach to performance, songwriting and arrangement that has more in common with notionally “hip” 70s musicals like Godspell than the wonderful, minimal funk and soul associated with the Meters, Toussaint’s previous work or, indeed, “Lady Marmalade”. Admirable for its ambition, anathema for its lack of perspective–most of the credit/blame belongs to Nona Hendrix who wrote 80% of the songs here.

Published in: on October 17, 2011 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Earth, Wind & Fire – Last Days and Time (Columbia C31702) (1972)


Had for £2 at a Padstow bootfair, this is the first of many posts from this year’s Cornish vac.

Super fonky, conscious third EWF album (Phillip Bailey’s first and their Columbia debut) that, if not quite a five star Lp, still pushes most all the right buttons. Some shrill singing on side two puts paid to that pesky fifth self-luminous celestial body. Note the Bitches Brew/Satanic Majesties Request-style outer sleeve with the Riot Goin’ On /Check Your Head collage action on the inside gate fold.

And another example of the strange EMI/CBS licensing conundrum elucidated by Boursin here; surely some poor schmuck had something better to do than black out Columbia 10,000 times. And three different trademarks were painstakingly cut out from the back of the Lp jacket with an Xacto knife–Jesus H!

PS: If Wilberforce doesn’t have this, he should.

Published in: on August 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm  Comments (9)