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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pastor T. L. Barrett & the Youth for Christ Choir - Like A Ship (1971)

Last nite I had dinner at the Capital Club in Raleigh with a new friend. Later on, we ran into DJ's Tongue & Groove downstairs at Neptune's, when B. Shaw (aka the longtime employee and new co-owner of Nice Price Books Raleigh) was DJ'ing.

The best thing he played all night was this:

An amazing slice of gospel soul from 1971. No telling if it was off an original copy, but I wouldn't be surprised, even tho' it's a $500 record! I'm jus' sayin', that's the kind of rare grooves you run across when you work in a used record store for several years.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Jurassic 5 - What's Golden (2002)

From their double LP Power In Numbers that dropped in 2002, this track by Jurassic 5 reminds us of everything that was positive and life-affirming about the yes y'allin' days of old school hip hop.

It sampled Prophets of Rage by Public Enemy, and an early 70s track called Look Hear by Clive Hicks, who I'd never heard of before digging into the history of this track. But apparently he was a guitarist responsible for some seriously funky contributions to the crate-digging universe.

The year after Power In Numbers came out, Jurassic 5 did a show at the Cradle, and while they were in town, three of them visited the Lost City. They were all very chill and down to earth, and bought a fat stack of records while they were in the joint.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, December 9, 2013

Yvonne Elliman - I Know (1976)

Yvonne Elliman burst onto the scene playing the role of Mary Magdalene in the original Broadway and film productions of Jesus Christ Superstar in the early 70s. She was one of the backup singers on Clapton's version of I Shot The Sheriff. Then she released a couple of albums on RSO records and hit #1 in 1977 with the Bee Gees track she performed on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, If I Can't Have You.

But onto this track right here, which is pretty superb.

And it's the only track on her Love Me LP from 1976 (produced by Freddie Perren) that she wrote herself.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lady - Get Ready (2013)

This afternoon, I was heading back from the Swansea Sal's, where I picked up a copy of Spectacular Space Hits by the Odyssey Orchestra, MC Hammer's 1st album from '88, and a 12" released by Jive Electro in '99 with Bad Boy Bill and Doc Martin doing remixes of Tribe and Kool Moe Dee tracks.

Anyway, I turned on the radio and heard a really rockin' jam fading out. The DJ piped up, said we were listening to Cosmik Radio, and next up, we should "get ready for Lady." Then the track kicked in, and I was feeling it big time.

Lady are a duo featuring former Missy Elliott protege Nicole Wray and UK singer Terri Walker, who met in New York. Their self-titled, full-length debut dropped on Brooklyn-based Truth & Soul Records back in March.

Turns out Cosmik Radio has been on the airwaves for eight whole years, during which time DJ Cosmik has served up heaping helpings of funky goodness for her listeners. A stew of "soulful r&b, hip hop and urban music that is mostly underground or unreleased, as well as incorporating some more popular artists," according to the show's official bio.

DJ Cosmik is also an artist and producer who's apparently toured with Doodlebug from the Digables. And not too long ago she interviewed Devin the Dude!

The cosmik consciousness must be spreading, 'cuz now the show's on two other local stations (WBSR and The Buzz 96.7 FM) besides broadcasting Tuesdays from 1-3 pm on WRIU! That's positive. Now that we know the score, we'll definitely be tunin' in...

- Dyn-O-Mite

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Devin The Dude - Probably Should Have (2013)

Devin's back with anotha great track. This one's the newest slice of Devin out there, off his latest album One For The Road, which hit the streets on October 8th.

A laid back tribute to a lady who didn't get the attention she deserved, and how things went down from there. This is a track that will hopefully make you treat the special someone in your life a little better, so you don't end up hangin' round some shithouse all by your lonesome! In this interview, Devin reveals a little bit about what went into One For The Road's creation.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Strikers - Body Music (Shep Pettibone Mastermix) (1981)

Since 98.7 Kiss FM Presents Shep Pettibone's Mastermixes finally made it into my rotation the other week, I've heard a bunch of previously undiscovered gems, like Dyin' to Be Dancin' by Empress and France Joli's Gonna Get Over You. But this one right here might be the prize.

When Sploo convinced me to buy out Funhouse Records' leftover back stock after they closed down in 1999, which to this day remains the greatest record score I've ever stumbled onto, I ended up with multiple sealed copies of this track's original 1981 release on Prelude, mixed by Francois Kevorkian and Larry Levan. You'd think it wouldn't get any better than that, kids. But it did! Shep Pettibone's mastermix is the definitive word on this track. However, I also have to give props to another Body Music video:

which features a (modern day) remix of the original Levan/Kevorkian track, synced up with vintage footage of the Strikers performing it at NYC's Peppermint Lounge in the early 80s.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, October 21, 2013

Gossip - Pop Goes The World (2009)

Until today, I'd never heard of Gossip before. Now I know what I've been missing. This track is from their 2009 LP Music for Men, produced by Rick Rubin.

And no, it's not a cover of the Men Without Hats classic.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

France Joli - Gonna Get Over You (Shep Pettibone Mastermix) (1981)

Somewhere along the way, I came across a doublepack of Kiss FM classics from 1982, all mixed by Shep Pettibone. Off that comes today's joint of the day, a shout out to the lovelorn out there! In fact, I'll make it long-distance dedication to a woman named Jennifer Garam, blogger and founder of the Writeous Chicks, who last month went on what she thought was a great first date with a guy she met online, only to never hear back from him.

This one's for you, girl!

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mandrill - Ape Is High (1972)

This here's a record I had been meaning to listen to for a while before it finally landed on my turntable this morning - Mandrill Is, the second LP by Mandrill, which dropped in early 1972. And when the needle hit the groove, the very first track hit me with an eargasmic blast of funk. By the time it was over, I had a mad smile on my face and my day was off to a great start.

And the rest of the album was dope, too, especially tracks like I Refuse To Smile and the closer, The Sun Must Go Down, which sounds like a missing Strawberry Alarm Clock track off Z-man's party mix from Beyond The Valley of the Dolls. I first discovered Mandrill thanks to DJ Bro Rabb, aka Phil Bell, who gave me a mixtape about 15 years back that I think had their first LP on one side, and a classic Detroit Emeralds album on the other. Originally formed in Brooklyn in 1968, the band's nucleus were the Panama-born Wilson brothers (Carlos, Lou, and Ric). In a 2012 interview given shortly before Lou Wilson's January, 2013 death, he and Ric described the origins of their polyglot funk sound as the "melting pot" of music from all corners of the world that the brothers heard while growing up in Panama. I never knew that Mandrill contributed a track to The Warriors soundtrack, which is a joint for another day, since I just scored that record at a yard sale last month.

A German pressing, this particular copy of Mandrill Is came from a antiques mall in Rhode Island I visited earlier this year. Convinced dude at the counter to sell it to me for two or three bucks, because it was a little scratched. It does skip on one totally out-there track, Universal Rhythms, which is too bad, because that particular track showed Mandrill was onto some meaning of life shit as they broke down the rhythms of the universe, all explained by the Enchanting Wizard of Rhythm. But I was still able to decipher the track's central message, a timeless reminder for us all - "Higher levels of consciousness demand rhythms of peacefulness."

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tower of Power - Love's Been Gone So Long (1974)

I heard Tower of Power's classic fourth LP Back To Oakland for the first-ever time today, courtesy of a CD I picked up at the yard sale my man Chris threw a few weeks back. That cat had good musical taste, there's no doubt. He said he saw the Digables play circa the spring of '93, which was when I caught them at the Purple Gator in Myrtle Beach. Around the same time, he also said he saw Blind Melon open for Lenny Kravitz at Brown's spring bash (Chris went to RISD), which must have been a stop on the Universal Love tour that later swung through Chapel Hill. I went to that show with Mel and Steve, and Steve got to hang out with Lenny backstage.

Anyway, one of the dozen CD's I picked up from Chris was Back To Oakland. I'm pretty sure I've got a scratched up copy of this on vinyl. But I'd never listened to it, probably becuz it was too scratched up. My loss, since the record is super tight, with a totally funkified horn section that inspired multiple chills. And virtually a concept album, exploring an underlying theme of a relationship on the rocks throughout stellar tracks like Don't Change Horses (in the Middle of a Stream), Just When We Start Makin' It, Can't You See (You Doin' Me Wrong), Time Will Tell, Man From The Past, the beautiful slow number Below Us, All The City Lights, and finally, this highlight, Love's Been Gone So Long.

Written by Bruce Conte, formerly of The Loading Zone. He replaced original guitarist Willie James Fulton when he joined the band at the start of the recording sessions for its third album, the self-titled Tower of Power (1973), which went gold. Conte stayed with the band until 1979, playing on seven LP's altogether and writing a number of songs. He reunited with TOP for a brief time starting in 2006. Last year, Conte announced he had leukemia. Visit his website for more info about his career and current struggle to beat his illness.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

FunkFerret - Playin Around With Paper Planes (2009)

Driving around this evening, I tuned into WRIU, 90.3 on the FM dial in Rhode Island.

And was totally blown away by a funky remix that turned out to be this track right here, Playin Around With Paper Planes by FunkFerret:

Straight outta Auckland, New Zealand. I'm sure this cat will be making another joint of the day appearance soon.

Mad props to the RIU crew in charge of the turntables at that moment, Music Please Radio, for turning me and the rest of their listening audience onto this funky nugget.

They've got two events coming up where they'll be keepin' it live this Thursday night, 9/12/13, spinning records at Local 121 and co-hosting a skate jam at the Providence Rink, go check them out!

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, September 9, 2013

David Mancuso, The Equals, and how Love Saves The Day

David Mancuso was maestro of The Loft and one of the major influences on the development of the 70s disco scene in New York City. By extension, godfather of the past 40+ years of worldwide DJ culture. Reading a great post about him by UK DJ Greg Wilson, "David Mancuso And The Art Of Deejaying Without Deejaying," I was turned onto this early Loft classic. The track is Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys, by The Equals. They were an integrated UK ska/reggae/rock band founded by Eddy Grant who saw eight of their records on the UK charts between 1968 and '71, including the #1 hit Baby, Come Back from '68. Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys was their last chart success, hitting #9 in the early weeks of 1971.

At that point, Grant suffered a collapsed lung and heart infection, and left the group.

The track was a powerful anti-war anthem, very relevant to start off a week when we'll observe the 12th anniversary of 9/11 and the spectacle of President Obama in prime time trying to make the case for keeping the war machine fed by launching missile strikes on Syria.

Now I really want to read Love Saves The Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-79, by Tim Lawrence, which was published in 2004. It explores Mancuso's history with Timothy Leary's League for Spiritual Discovery, and reveals the psychedelic roots of the early Loft parties. FYI, the next London Loft event (Journey Through The Light) thrown by Lucky Cloud Sound System will take place on September 22, 2013. Check out their website for more details.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip - I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper (1978)

Heard a bunch of tasty tracks today, but none quite equalled this legendary Stars Wars disco rip-off - I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper. Complete with shout-outs to Darth Vader, droids, and the line, "What my body needs is close encounter three," 70s space-ploitation didn't get much better.

After the song's racy video aired in 1978 on The Kenny Everett Video Show, as performed by the show's dancers, Hot Gossip, it was released as a disco single and hit #6 on the UK singles chart.

Dancer Sarah Brightman was then 18 years old, and this track was her debut as a vocalist. She went on to a distinguished singing career and Broadway stardom, originating the role of Christine in the London production of The Phantom of The Opera. The 1987 soundtrack shipped 40 million copies, capitalizing on the new CD format, and became the best selling cast album of all time.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, September 2, 2013

Michael Jackson - Rock With You (1979)

Imagine the biggest party in any city of your choosing, with an A-list guest list of power brokers, ballers, and celebs, including Bill Clinton, Quincy Jones, Maya Angelou, Robert Evans, Beyonce, Jack Nicholson, Kerry Washington, and Amiri Baraka. You’re DJ'ing, and need to start the party off right. So what's your first track?

I would drop Rock With You, by Michael Jackson, because it's guaranteed to get everyone into a smooth, mellow mood. And it was produced by Q., so it would pay him proper respect as one of the party's most honored guests.

- D.C. Lumsden

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Devin The Dude - What I Be On (2010)

Gotta give Sam tha Boogie Man credit for this discovery, because he popped up with a new t-shirt that said, "Keep It Tight." When I fed that into the YouTube matrix, Devin The Dude materialized with a killer underground hip hop/R&B cut flavored with a chopped and screwed sound straight outta Houston. Late of Rap-A-Lot Records, representing the Coughee Brothaz, a head who smoked weed for the first time at a roller rink in the seventh grade. And Devin liked it.

But there's no great video for Keep It Tight, although it's definitely a tight track. So another joint-worthy entry was unearthed, What I Be On, from Devin's sixth LP, Suite 420. Released on April 20, 2010.

Apparently, Devin has yet to blow up all the way live, although four of his last five albums since 2004 have edged into Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop top ten. That may change when his next studio album (One For The Road) drops next month, on 10/8/13.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Oneness Of JuJu - Space Jungle Funk (1976)

Oneness of JuJu recorded their seminal soul/funk/jazz LP Space Jungle Luv on America's bicentennial - July 4th, 1976. (Editor's note: Whether coincidence or cosmic convergence, this is the 76th post to appear on Soul'ed Out, UnLtd. Thazz funky, baby!)

Here's that album's semi-title cut, a spaced out jazz-funk masterpiece:

Led by J. Plunky Branch on sax, Oneness of JuJu's 1982 track Every Way But Loose (the Larry Levan mix) turned a new generation of funksters onto the JuJu when it was featured on the Paradise FM playlist in GTA: Vice City Stories.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Rimshots - Super Disco (1976)

Checking out a comic book store that also sells records recently, I found a bunch of choice cuts and other goodies. Including a sealed 8-track copy of the soundtrack to Patty, an infamous 1976 porno based on the SLA's kidnapping of Patty Hearst. Not to be confused with Patty-ploitation movies of the same time period like Abduction (1975) or The Ordeal of Patty Hearst (1979). Patty starred Jamie Gillis and was released in hard-X, soft-X and R-rated versions.

Researching this flick, I discovered The Rimshots, who contributed standout numbers to the soundtrack like Takin' It and Revelation.

That led me to their 1976 LP Down To Earth, released on Stang Records, featuring today's most outstanding joint, Super Disco.

Stang Records was a subsidiary of Sylvia Robinson's All Platinum Records, and The Rimshots were the label's house band. Along with King Curtis, they recorded the original Soul Train theme song.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Billy Preston - Struttin' (1974)

While rocking the tables at a 4th of July cookout held at Captain Ron's infamous spot known as 420+1, I ran into a dude who remembered me from his days as a substitute teacher way back when. Since then, this particular guy has worked at the post office for many years, and knows everybody in town's business.

But that has nothing to do with today's joint. I only brought along 45's, and was using a portable Numark turntable that kept needing pitch adjustments. I'll never use that thing again, the sound was truly horrible. Still, I did my best to keep the funk fresh.

Of all the choice tracks that got laid down, from Time Warp by Eddy Grant to the Doors' Wild Child (since it was the 42nd anniversary of Jim Morrison's death in Paris, likely from a heroin overdose, according to biographer Danny Sugerman, who claims that Jim's girlfriend Pamela Courson confessed to him what really happened that night), the absolute funkiest was Struttin', by Billy Preston. Here he was on Soul Train back in the day, doin' his thing:

As Don Cornelius pointed out, Struttin' wasn't released (on Billy's record The Kids and Me) until May of '74, although the LP had been recorded the previous October. The record featured Joe Walsh on guitar, but there was no sign of him at the Soul Train taping.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

George Duke - Reach For It (1977)

A truly golden nugget of funk, long forgotten by most.

Check out Sheila E. in the red on backup vocals! Funking you right on up!

- Hot Damn Stewart

Monday, May 13, 2013

Soiree (feat. Luther Vandross) - You Are The Sunshine Of My Life (1979)

Just after midnight, I stumbled onto this track, and it was the perfect middle-of-the-night anthem. From Soiree's 1979 self-titled album, today's joint is an uplifting cover of You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.

Soiree were a disco studio group with vocals provided by Ron Richardson and other top session vocalists including the Luther Vandross Singers. This album gave a disco spin to 70s soul and pop standards.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Jackie Wilson - (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher (1967)

Tonite's joint is (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher, by Mr. Excitement himself, Jackie Wilson. He was backed by the Funk Brothers on this track, were were moonlighting from Motown at the time. Released in August, 1967, the track hit #1 R&B and #6 on the US pop charts. That same year, the track didn't chart in the UK, but a 1969 re-release hit #11, and was subsequently re-released twice more in the UK, charting both times, in 1975 (#25) and 1987 (#15). Higher and Higher is ranked #246 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Stumbled onto this video today and loved it. Didn't realize Jackie Wilson was so influential. He recorded over 50 hit singles before collapsing onstage from a heart attack at the age of 40 while singing "Lonely Teardrops" at a rock'n'roll revival concert organized by Dick Clark (and then lapsed into a nine-year coma). Inducted into the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, the second year inductees were admitted. #69 on Rolling Stone's list of the top 100 performers of all time. And apparently, ripped off big time by executives of Brunswick Records, the label he recorded for. Wilson died broke in 1984, and was initially buried in an unmarked grave! WTF?! The Commodores' 1985 hit Nightshift paid tribute to Wilson and Marvin Gaye, who also died the previous year, and reached #3 pop and #1 R&B. When Michael Jackson accepted his Grammy for Thriller in 1984, he dedicated it to Jackie.

So where's the Jackie Wilson biopic?

- Dyn-O-Mite

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cloud One - Stomp Your Feet And Dance (1977)

One of the records I dug up on a recent trip to one of the few Triangle-area thrift sto's I'd never been to before was Stump Your Feet and Dance, by Kim Taylor. A Peter Brown-produced rare number from 1979 that's going for $150+ on eBay in VG+ or better condition. Mine is all scratched up, but probably still playable, and on red vinyl. Apparently there was an even rarer black vinyl version. Both on Queen Constance Records, one of the labels Peter Brown and Patrick Adams used to propagate their P&P disco spawn across the world's dancefloors.

There's an instrumental on the flip. I've also seen this track credited to Cloud One, and it turns out that's becuz it was released under their name in an earlier, longer instrumental version back in 1977, Stomp Your Feet And Dance.

Like every other Cloud One production I've heard, it was the shit! A monster disco-funk instrumental with insane, tripped out synths and a relentless, driving beat. Guaranteed to keep your body working.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Friday, May 10, 2013

Don Downing - Dream World (1978)

A forgotten disco gem is today's featured joint - Dream World, by Don Downing.

This is the version off his 1978 album Doctor Boogie, but the track was previously released as a single back in 1973, and remixed by Tom Moulton in 1974. Found Doctor Boogie recently at the Goodwill on Garrett Road, it was one of only two records I bought there. On the same thrift sto' excursion, I also stopped by the Elliott Road PTA, and the Durham Rescue Mission on 15-501, where I picked up a dozen at $.99 per.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Outhere Brothers - Don't Stop (Wiggle Wiggle) (1994)

Today's joint by the Outhere Brothers was catchy enuf to hit #1 in the UK back in '95, but it's joint-worthy mostly becuz of its crazy, disputed "official" video.

Thazz sum wigglin', right there!

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bob James - Sign Of The Times (1981)

Right now I'm listening to Sign Of The Times, Bob James' LP from 1981. It features three tracks written by Rod Temperton, who also arranged the LP and played synthesizer.

The title track, aka today's joint, was later sampled by De La Soul, Warren G, and Nate Dogg.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, January 21, 2013

Kiki Gyan - Sexy Dancer (1979)

President Obama's second inauguration happened earlier today. Republicans tried like hell to steal this election by passing shady Voter ID laws in as many states as possible to block the Democratic vote, but they failed. Shame on them. Unwittingly, they helped create a backlash and fired up folks to get out and vote for another four years of Obama.

Driving around Chapel Hill, I heard the joint of the day on WXYC - Sexy Dancer, a 1979 disco floor-filler by Kiki Gyan. He was a Ghanaian soul/funk pioneer who also released monster tracks like Disco Train and Keep On Dancing.

Kiki Gyan's story is pretty interesting. Hailed as Africa's Stevie Wonder. Joined Afro-funk legends Osibisa while still in his teens. At one point ranked the #8 keyboardist in the world. Married Fela Kuti's daughter in 1979. He was on top of his game...but his career was sidetracked in the early 80s by a cocaine addiction. Gyan died of drug and AIDS-related health problems in 2004.

- Dyn-O-Mite

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