14. 3rd Acts: ? Vs. Scratch 2 ... Electric Boogaloo
15. You Got Me
16. Don't See Us
17. The Return To Innocence Lost
18. Act Fore...The End?
They've long been hip-hop's best band, for whatever that's worth, and in their amazing live shows they've shown an ability to pay homage to the past and look to the future--all while living firmly in the now. But on Things Fall Apart, the Roots finally pull their promise and ability together, and the world's started to pay attention.
It is a forgotten gem of 70's soul-funk.
This is the first edition of the group Tribe that was founded and produced by Big Dee Ervin. The Members from Right to Left are:
Benton Miles Little (Drums & Vocals),Donald D. Eubanks (Percussion & Vocals),Earl J. Foster Jr. (Keyboards & Vocals),Edward H. Romias (Guitar & Vocals),Robert P. Apodaca (Bass & Vocals)
One of the best soul albums of the '70s owes its success to two men. First, there's Philippe Wynne, the sweet-voiced lead tenor who joined the Spinners not long before the album was recorded in 1972. And second, there's Thom Bell, the songwriter, producer, and arranger who, at Philly International, had already worked with the O'Jays and the Blue Notes. This historic teaming resulted in the soul-pop smashes "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," "One of a Kind (Love Affair)," and "Ghetto Child," each of them matching Wynne's sweet leads with Bell's lush and delicate, but always deep-in-the-groove, arrangements.
1. Ain't It Hell Up in Harlem 2. Easin' In 3. Big Papa 4. Love Never Dies (Helen's Love Theme) 5. Don't It Feel Good to Be Free 6. Runnin' 7. Jennifer's Love Theme 8. Airport Chase 9. Mama Should Be Here Too 10. Like We Used to Do 11. Ain't It Hell Up in Harlem [Instrumental]
Hell up in Harlem is an oddity among black cinema soundtracks of the early 70's. Whereas the classic Curtis Mayfield score (Superfly in case you asked) was filled with a socially conscience undercurrent that made the songs relevant, this Edwin Starr sung and Freddie Perren/ Fonce Mizell produced soundtrack to the entertaining- if flawed sequel to Black Ceaser, is almost devoid of the cautionary messages that made its aforementioned rival a timeless classic. Hell up in Harlem instead seemed intent in presenting 70's gangster life in its raw unfiltered glory by not delivering a profound message, but a surface reality in which there are no consequences nor any attempt to find answers for its actions. This approach may have gone over the heads of many listeners at the time since the early 70's was a socially conscience time- which probably explains the limited appeal and success of the soundtrack. Not to mention the movie was a relative disappointment at the box office compared to its predecessor -further detracting listeners from the score.
That being said, the Hell up in Harlem soundtrack is one of the shiniest gems of its era for a couple of reasons. One, the production is marvelous, giving listeners a well rounded glimpse into 70's criminal life in the inner city, while doing it with a great sense of humanity that makes it easy for mature listeners to absorb (none of the cheap exploitation that you will find in the worse hardcore rap albums). Second, the soundtrack has lived on as a sampling source and reference for dozens of rappers. Since the subject matter is something a lot of rappers can relate to, it's easy to see why they would gravitate towards this album as a source of musical inspiration. If Ice T, Ice Cube, and 2Pac were 70's soul singers, they would've most likely made an album that sounded like this.
Highlights include the adrenaline pumping ghetto soul of the title track in which a picture can be painted of Tommy Gibbs covering the city in red as he rise to the top of New York's underworld. Easin' In with its sneaky and slinky bass line is equally as gangsta as it's the fitting soundtrack for someone looking to snatch someone's criminal turf when they least expect it. Also worth mentioning is the sugar daddy anthems "Big Papa" in which middle age players are having fun but are reminded of the perils of playing a young man's game.
There are also standouts in its soft moments. "Don't it Feel Good to Be Free" will bring a sense emancipated bliss as you think about chains being broke that bonded you to obligatory helplessness (unemployment, imprisonment, bad marriage, etc). "Like We Used to Do" is one of the best Father and Son songs you'll ever hear with its warm floating groove and Edwin's nicely refrain plea to reunite with his son (you won't find too many songs like this in today's jaded black music atmosphere). "Mama should be here Too" is almost as good as it could qualify as the "Dear Mama" (that 2Pac record) of its day. Then there's the necessary slow jams of" Our Love Will Never Die" and "Jennifer" which showcases the reflective and intimate side of thug love respectively- but can also be universal in its own merit.
While there are a few filler cuts that don't go anywhere musically- namely "Runnin", "Airport Chase", and an unnecessary instrumental of the title track, it doesn't detract from the overall experience.
Next time you come across a used copy of "Hell up In Harlem- the Soundtrack" don't hesitate to pick it up rather you a 70's soul lover, beatdigga, or a soundtrack buff. The album succeeds in not only capturing a spirit of the conflicted world of a gangsta (which is Tommy Gibbs in these movies if you ever saw it), but also crossing boundaries by venturing into a world that few were bold enough to travel and has became influential in hip hop as a result- making it one of the most endearing black cinema soundtracks ever produced. I would say this album is a stone cold classic with a bullet. While hell can very well be in Harlem, the songs and its influence will make this a heavenly addition to your collection.
9. Who Do You Think Your Funkin' With? (Hip Hop Mix)
10. What Time Is It (Live Version)
11. Funk You (LP Version)
I've waited for a compilation of Bam's hit sides since they were still fresh. There's not a wack track in the bunch.
The music is not only amazing, but artistically forward. While the rest of the burgeoning hip-hop nation was just rhyming over looped disco tracks, Bam borrowed from Stockhausen and put the music miles ahead of its competition artistically. The idiom of hip-hop, or any pop music, has rarely been so avant garde.
Also, extra props are due as these sides commemorate an era when hip-hop and rock were just part of the same game, with either side able to dance to the other.
Run-DMC get all the props from the early 80s, and they do deserve it, but Afrika Bambatta was a real revolutionary. Any hip-hop record today can trace its roots back to Bam.
Eramus Hall was an obscure funk/soul group that recorded two rare albums released on Westbound in the early '80s. Despite the misleading name, Eramus Hall was indeed a group and not a solo artist; the group took its name from a historical building located in Chicago. They recorded their debut album (Your Love Is My Desire) in late 1978 but Westbound, their Detroit-based label, didn't release it until 1980. Hardly any copies of the minimally pressed album made it outside of Detroit, so several soul fans and insiders wondered whether or not it actually existed. Go Head, the group's second and final album, was released on Capitol in 1984. Like its predecessor, it failed to make much of an impression. As the years carried on, interest in the band's debut, specifically the title cut and "Just Me 'n' You," picked up. The U.K.-based Ace label reissued the album on vinyl -- and then later on CD -- in the late '90s.
01 - All Night Long
02 - Special Lady
03 - Always On Your Side
04 - Splendorland
05 - Take Me To Your Disco
06 - Sunny Side Up
07 - Follow Your Dream
08 - A Brighter Day
09 - Carnival
Brilliant and sought after disco LP, which features (amongst others) the talents of Earth Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey. The front cover also has great artwork, showing shoes in the shape of animals falling from the sky over the countryside.
Every track is great. Philip's soaring vocals grace "All night long", a great uptempo track. "Take me to your disco" follows the theme of many records of that era, with a story of aliens landing and wanting to be taken to a disco rather than "Take me to your leader". My favorite track on the LP is the mostly-instrumental "Carnival" at the end of Side 2, again uptempo and just simply a great tune.
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1. In Time 2. If You Want Me To Stay 3. Let Me Have It All 4. Frisky 5. Thankful N' Thoughtful 6. Skin I'm In 7. I Don't Know (Satisfaction) 8. Keep On Dancin' 9. Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) 10. If It Were Left Up To Me 11. Babies Makin' Babies
Fresh est le dernier grand disque avant la dégringolade de Sly Stone. Sa dépendance à la cocaïne aura en effet raison de sa créativité, puisque après ce brillant album publié en 1973, les décevants Small Talk et High On You, sortis dans la foulée, ne rencontreront pas plus le succès public que la reconnaissance critique. Pour l'heure, Sly continue de produire cet electro-funk ultrapersonnel, brassage d'influences aux forts relents de psychédélisme. Liberté, sexe et politique, thèmes récurrents des 70's, sont à l'ordre du jour. Mais aussi l'amour, sur ce qui se présente comme un disque étonnamment apaisé, plus soul que les brûlots funk précédents. Probablement car Sly vient de rencontrer Kathy Silva, ex-petite amie d'Isaac Hayes, qui inspire quelques morceaux et qu'il épousera un an plus tard – on la voit sur la pochette de Small Talk avec leur fils. La suite, malheureusement, sera une longue descente aux enfers
Coming as it did on the heels of the utterly whacked There's a Riot Goin' On, 1973's Fresh surprised a lot of Sly fans by actually living up to its name. The weariness and paranoia of Riot are totally missing in action, replaced by a relaxed optimism that seems to shine from every note of tracks like "If You Want Me to Stay" and "In Time." The band--newly buttressed by the rhythm section of Rusty Allen and Andy Newmark--plays it loose and funky, and Sly's oddball sense of humor resurfaces on a cover of Doris Day's "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)." Sadly, Sly would never again make a record even half as fresh as Fresh
1. Boogie Nights (Single Version) 2. Too Hot To Handle (Album Version) 3. The Groove Line (Album Version) 4. Always And Forever (Album Version) 5. Mind Blowing Decisions (Album Version) 6. Ain't No Half Steppin' (Album Version) 7. Happiness Togetherness (Album Version) 8. Central Heating (Album Version) 9. Eyeballin' (special disco version) 10. Gangsters Of The Groove (Album Version) 11. Where Did I Go Wrong (Album Version) 12. Lettin' It Loose 13. Look After Love (Album Version)
Heatwave was an international Rhythm and blues/Funk band featuring Americans Johnnie Wilder, Jr. and Keith Wilder (vocals) of Dayton, Ohio, Englishman Rod Temperton (keyboards), Spaniard Mario Mantese (bass), Czechoslovakian Ernest "Bilbo" Berger (drums), Jamaican Eric Johns (guitar) and Briton Roy Carter (guitar). They were known for their hits "Boogie Nights" and "Always and Forever" (from their 1977 debut album, Too Hot To Handle), and "The Groove Line" (from their 1978 follow-up album, Central Heating).
Too Hot To Handle (1976) Central Heating (1978) Hot Property (1979) Candles (1980) Current (1982)
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