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Genre > Soul, R&B, Funk
Doin' It To DeathFor starters, this platter begins with one of the great intros of all time: “Ladies and gentlemen, there are seven acknowledged wonders of the world. You are about to witness the eighth…”
Lodged in a deep groove between the JB’s’ debut LP Food For Thought (1972) and the more complex and at-times political Damn Right, I Am Somebody (from 1974) sits the ridiculously vampy and infectious classic, Doing It To Death. First moving hips and making heads nod in 1973, the James Brown-produced, 5-song album is one big funk lick, broken up into many delicious moving parts.
As with pretty much everything produced by the JB’s – led by Fred Wesley with heavy help from a supporting cast that included saxophonist Maceo Parker, guitarists Jimmy Nolen and Hearlon “Cheese” Martin and drummer John “Jabo” Starks – all songs began and revolved around a devastating riff. The title track is most certainly guilty-as-charged, as it starts strutting right out of the gate and continues for just over 10 minutes, driven by a guitar lick and MCed by the inimitable James Brown, with soloists stepping up and out while the song chugs on.
The other centerpiece of the album is the 8-minute “You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I’ll Be Straight,” whose groove is interestingly teased two times before it arrives in full form. The song title itself is provocative, and the music keeps a stone-cold groove despite the less than cheery undertones. Again driven by an infectious guitar morsel, the breakdowns in this song gave sampling producers and DJs sweet dreams in the ‘80s, and Fred Wesley’s trombone solo rides beautifully over the group’s cries of “We need some money.”
Beyond the aforementioned sure-shots, the twitchy “More Peas,” “La Di Da La Di Day” and the much jazzier, solo-heavy “Sucker” round out this incredible album. It’s just another perfect example of how James Brown’s funk machine could stop the world when they hit a groove.1. Introduction To The J.B.'s
2. Doing It To Death - Part 1 & 2
3. You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight
4. More Peas
5. La Di Da La Di Day
6. You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight
8. You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
UsBundled With A 22”x 22” Poster Of The Cover Art
Maceo Parker was one of the most revered and loved members of James Brown’s famed J.B.’s band from the late ‘60s to the mid-1970s. Alongside his instantly-recognizable alto saxophone solos, he occasionally performed as comedian before James Brown shows, in addition to playing MC.
He was a true renaissance man. And while other members of The Godfather of Soul’s inner circle – most notably trombonist Fred Wesley – had solo albums at the advent of Brown’s People Records, Maceo had to wait his turn for a couple years. By the time 1974 rolled around, this talented musician and personality could not be denied, and he burst onto the scene as a group leader with one of the most impressive albums in the People catalog: the simply titled, but deeply felt, Us.
Maceo’s group (occasionally called The Macks) and Fred Wesley’s J.B.’s were essentially the same unit – including guitarists Jimmy Nolen and Hearlon “Cheese” Martin, drummer John “Jabo” Starks, saxophonist St. Clair Pinckney and of course Fred Wesley on trombone. Unsurprisingly, the material here is never-endingly funky. But as shown in the song selection (presumably by Parker, with heavy-handy assistance from the Godfather himself), there are as many ballads and soul groovers as there are straight-up funk workouts. Cases in point include the mellow, Gamble & Huff-penned “Drowning In The Sea Of Love” (with organ, most likely played by James Brown, slithering in the background) and the syrupy “Show and Tell.” The album’s closer is also on the slower side, going very deep and striking a chord, as Maceo and Brown talk about conditions in the Black American landscape of the day over the course of 10-plus minutes.
And there is, of course, plenty of diesel funk here as well: singles like “Soul Power 74” and “Parrty” are downright nasty grooves, known well by James Brown fans old and new. “Soul Power 74” additionally features very early proto-sampling, with a baby’s cry as well as Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have Been To The Mountain Top” speech. And Maceo’s take on the J.B.’s classic “Doing It To Death” is a unique version, more muted and of course featuring Maceo’s gorgeous horn front and center.
Appearing at the apex of both James Brown’s and People Records’ power, Us is a treasured jewel in the J.B. catalog, and rightfully so. This 150 gram vinyl LP comes in a Stoughton Jacket, housed in a custom People Records poly bag, and includes 24” x 24” poster.1. Soul Power ‘74
3. Show And Tell
4. Drowning In The Sea Of Love
5. I Can Play For (Just You & Me)
6. Doing It To Death
7. The Soul Of A Black Man
$29.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Poison (Out Of Stock)In 1988 KRS One made the poignant declaration of never trusting a “big butt and a smile” on Boogie Down Productions song “Jimmy”. Truer words have never been spoken. Fast forward 2 years later, Bell Biv DeVoe are smashing the charts (Urban to Pop) with their debut single “Poison”, and in taking KRS's words of wisdom the exact phrase - “never trusting a big butt and a smile” has a major part of the chorus. The world over was singing it. Where once Hip Hop was borrowing from R&B, here the tables were turned, and for good reason : Bell Biv DeVoe weren't making your typical New Jack Swing of the day, the music sounded closer to a Public Enemy or Ice Cube album. This wasn't your parent’s R&B.
With help from Public Enemy producers Eric Sadler, Hank and Keith Shocklee, and several others, Bell Biv Devoe had crafted their debut album Poison which went number 1 on Billboard's R&B/HipHop chart. Poison also spawned other significant hits which include the title track, “Do Me”, "B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)?" "When Will I See You Smile Again?" and "She's Dope”. The success this album had on R&B and Pop Culture was unimaginable. By this point other R&B artists tried their best at emulating the sound, style and (hate to say it) ‘swagger’ of BBD, but by then it was too late. What BBD was doing is not something many (even their former bandmates) could easily duplicate. And now listening to this album 23 years later it sounds just as fresh and exciting as it did the day it dropped.1. Dope!
2. B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)?
3. Let Me Know Something!?
4. Do Me!
5. Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph And Johnny
6. (Word To Mutha)!
8. Ain’t Nut’in Changed!
9. When Will I See You Again?
10. I Do Need You
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedTemporarily out of stock
Don't Be Cruel (Out Of Stock)When Bobby Brown left New Edition at the peak of their fame in 1986 he was staying true to his rules of “really not giving a damn” and doing what felt right to him. And while his solo debut King of Stage (1986) wasn’t bad, it wasn’t what fans were really yearning for - “Hopefully he just goes back to New Edition” one fan wrote in a 1987 issue of Word Up! Magazine. Little did we all know by the time King of Stage was dying down he was already hard at work on the follow up, Don’t Be Cruel, and no one was even prepared for what was coming.
Don’t Be Cruel immediately was a smash hit, to any naysayers this was the punch in the face, to NE fans this was a game changer, and honestly to many this was their first time even hearing him. Don’t Be Cruel crafted the perfect match of amazing songwriting and the newly christened New Jack Swing sound that was flooding the streets. Bobby Brown proved why he was “good to go solo” as he owned each track on this album. The new ‘King of R&B” was here. The albums singles: “Don’t Be Cruel”, “My Perogative”, “Every Little Step” & “Roni” all were number 1 singles. “Rock Wit’cha” made all other R&B ballads at the time pale in comparison. The album was one of the best selling albums of the 80’s (33 to be exact). Don’t Be Cruel over-exceeded what any R&B fan would expect. The albums producers L.A Reid, Babyface and Teddy Riley all did outstanding work channeling the right mix for Brown to finally take center stage. And after 20 + years this album still has a strong hold as the R&B blueprint for making hit albums.1. Cruel Prelude
2. Don’t Be Cruel
3. My Prerogative
5. Rock Wit’cha
6. Every Little Step
7. I’ll Be Good To You
8. Take It Slow
9. All Day All Night
10. I Really Love You Girl
11. Cruel Reprise
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedTemporarily out of stock
Candy Girl (Out Of Stock)When Maurice Starr uncovered the talents of a Roxbury vocal group in the early '80s at a talent show at Dorchester’s storied Strand Theater he saw the second coming of the Jackson 5. The boys didn’t win the completion (they came in second) but they did win a deal with Starr & Streetwise records. Starr came up with the name New Edition (as in a new edition of the Jackson 5) and started recording with the boys the day after the talent show at the Strand. This group of kids (all under 15) had their first single “Candy Girl” shoot to #1 on the Billboard R&B Charts. This led them to their debut album, also titled Candy Girl, which had a lot of pop/early hip hop influences, yet still has a classic R&B feel. Other hits such as “Popcorn Love” and “Ohh Girl” and the slow burner of “Is This the End” make this album well rounded and no surprise as to why they went on to become one of the biggest R&B groups ever. The success of New Edition led to Bobby Brown’s solo career, the success of Bell Biv DeVoe and served as a template for the “boy bands” that followed. But don’t let that last line fool you, this album packs a bite with solid production and hooks for days.1. Gimme Your Love
2. She Gives Me A Bang
3. Is This The End
4. Pass The Beat
5. Popcorn Love
6. Candy Girl
7. Ooh Baby
8. Should Have Never Told Me
9. Gotta Have Your Lovin’
10. Jealous Girl
$18.99Vinyl LP - SealedTemporarily out of stock
James Brown's Funky People Part 1 (Out Of Stock)Some have made the claim that Get On Down may love James Brown just a little too much. To which the label replies, it’s not possible to love James Brown too much. The label’s welcome obsession with Mr. Brown and the incredible line-up of talent found on his People Record imprint continues with the reissue of Funky People Part 1.
Long out of print on vinyl, Funky People Part 1 features the top tier of artists from Brown’s People Records label, including The J.B.’s, Lyn Collins, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. Some of the James Brown organization's all-time best material is collected here, including The J.B.’s “Pass The Peas” and “Hot Pants Road,” Fred Wesley’s in your face politics through funk statement “Damn Right, I Am Somebody,” Lyn Collins smash hit “Think (About It)” and many more.
Newcomers and diehard fans alike continue to dig into the James Brown and People Records vaults, and the more they do so, the more they realize that it’s a nearly never ending source of truly next-level funk and soul music. And you can be sure this aural goodness will keep flowing to the public, thanks to the exhaustive efforts of Get On Down.1. Gimme Some More (The J.B.’s)
2. Pass The Peas (The J.B.’s)
3. Lyn Collins Think (About It)
4. Givin’ Up Food For Funk (Part 1) [The J.B.’s]
5. Mama Feelgood (Lyn Collins)
6. Hot Pants Road (The J.B.’s)
7. Rock Me Again & Again & Again & Again & Again & Again (Lyn Collins)
8. Damn Right, I Am Somebody (Parts 1 & 2) [Fred Wesley & The J.B.’s]
9. Take Me Just As I Am (Lyn Collins)
10. If You Don’t Get It The First Time, Back Up And Try Again (Party Fred Wesley & The J.B.’s)
11. Parrty (Part 1) [Maceo & The Macks]
12. (It’s Not The Express) It’s The JB’s Monaurail (Part 1) [Fred & The New J.B.’s]
$29.99Vinyl LP - SealedTemporarily out of stock