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Genre > Soul, R&B, Funk
Betty Davis (Awaiting Repress)One can hardly imagine the genre-busting, culture-crossing musical magic of Outkast, Prince, Erykah Badu, Rick James, The Roots, or even the early Red Hot Chili Peppers without the influence of R&B pioneer Betty Davis. Her style of raw and revelatory punk-funk defies any notions that women can’t be visionaries in the worlds of rock and pop. In recent years, rappers from Ice Cube to Talib Kweli to Ludacris have rhymed over her intensely strong but sensual music.
There is one testimonial about Betty Davis that is universal: she was a woman ahead of her time. In our contemporary moment, this may not be as self-evident as it was thirty years ago – we live in an age that’s been profoundly changed by flamboyant flaunting of female sexuality: from Parlet to Madonna, Lil Kim to Kelis. Yet, back in 1973 when Betty Davis first showed up in her silver go-go boots, dazzling smile and towering Afro, who could you possibly have compared her to? Marva Whitney had the voice but not the independence. Labelle wouldn’t get sexy with their “Lady Marmalade” for another year while Millie Jackson wasn’t “Feelin’ Bitchy” until 1977. Even Tina Turner, the most obvious predecessor to Betty’s fierce style wasn’t completely out of Ike’s shadow until later in the decade.
Ms. Davis’s unique story, still sadly mostly unknown, is unlike any other in popular music. Betty wrote the song “Uptown” for the Chambers Brothers before marrying Miles Davis in the late ‘60s, influencing him with psychedelic rock, and introducing him to Jimi Hendrix — personally inspiring the classic album ’Bitches Brew.’
But her songwriting ability was way ahead of its time as well. Betty not only wrote every song she ever recorded and produced every album after her first, but the young woman penned the tunes that got The Commodores signed to Motown. The Detroit label soon came calling, pitching a Motown songwriting deal, which Betty turned down. Motown wanted to own everything. Heading to the UK, Marc Bolan of T. Rex urged the creative dynamo to start writing for herself. A common thread throughout Betty’s career would be her unbending Do-It-Yourself ethic, which made her quickly turn down anyone who didn’t fit with the vision. She would eventually say no to Eric Clapton as her album producer, seeing him as too banal.
In 1973, Davis would finally kick off her cosmic career with an amazingly progressive hard funk and sweet soul self-titled debut. Davis showcased her fiercely unique talent and features such gems as “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up” and “Game Is My Middle Name.” The album Betty Davis was recorded with Sly & The Family Stone’s rhythm section, sharply produced by Sly Stone drummer Greg Errico, and featured backing vocals from Sylvester and the Pointer Sisters.1. If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up
2. Walkin Up The Road
3. Anti Love Song
4. Your Man My Man
5. Ooh Yeah
6. Steppin In Her I. Miller Shoes
7. Game Is My Middle Name
8. In The Meantime
$20.99Vinyl LP - SealedAWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
They Say I'm Different"Betty Davis' 1974 sophomore album They Say I'm Different features a worthy-of-framing futuristic cover challenging David Bowie's science fiction funk with real rocking soul-fire, kicked off with the savagely sexual ''Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him'' (later sampled by Ice Cube). Her follow up is full of classic cuts like ''Don't Call Her No Tramp'' and the hilarious, hard, deep funk of ''He Was A Big Freak.''
Deluxe vinyl pressing housed in old school tip-on gatefold jacket1. Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him
2. He Was a Big Freak
3. Your Mama Wants Ya Back
4. Don't Call Her No Tramp
5. Git In There
6. They Say I'm Different
7. 70's Blues
8. Special People
$20.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
The Columbia Years 1968-1969All Tracks Previously Unreleased (Except Track B5/8)
Production By Miles Davis & Teo Macero
Featuring Performances From Hugh Masekela, Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience), John Mclaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Harvey Brooks, Wayne Shorter, Billy Cox (Band Of Gypsys), Larry Young, And Members Of The Jazz Crusaders
Remastered From The Original Analog Master Tapes
New Interviews, Rare Photos, And Unseen Historical Documents From The Teo Macero Archive
One can hardly imagine Prince, Erykah Badu, or Outkast without the influence of Betty Davis. Her style of raw and revelatory punk-funk defies any notions that women can't be visionaries in the worlds of rock and pop. In recent years, rappers from Ice Cube to Talib Kweli have rhymed over her intensely strong but sensual music. Betty penned the song ''Uptown'' for The Chambers Brothers and wrote the tunes that got The Commodores signed to Motown. The Detroit label soon came calling, pitching a Motown songwriting deal, which Betty turned down. Motown wanted to own everything. Heading to the UK, Marc Bolan of T. Rex urged the creative dynamo to start writing for herself. A common thread throughout Betty's career would be her unbending DIY ethic, which made her quickly turn down anyone who didn't fit with the vision. She would eventually say no to Eric Clapton as her album producer, seeing him as too banal. In 1968, she married Miles Davis and quickly influenced him on the magic of psychedelic rock along with introducing him to Jimi Hendrix-personally inspiring the classic album, Bitches Brew.
Miles and Betty fans have long debated the truth of a near mythological session recorded in Studios B and E at Columbia's 52nd Street Studios on May 14th and 20th, 1969. The landmark session was produced by Miles and Teo Macero and featured Betty on vocals, accompanied by Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, guitarist John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock on keys, and Dylan/Miles session bassist Harvey Brooks. Other players included bassist Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys), saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and organist Larry Young. Now, Light In The Attic, with full support from Betty herself, presents these recordings to the public for the very first time. These historic sessions-never heard, never bootlegged-predate Miles' revolutionary album, Bitches Brew, and are the true birth of Miles' jazz-rock explorations, along with the roots for Betty's groundbreaking funk that came years later, starting with her self-titled debut in 1973. While, ultimately, these recordings would go unreleased for nearly half a century, they would greatly shape each of their careers.
The vibe is intrinsically unique, fresh, and futuristic-jazz heavyweights playing psychedelia, rock, and jazz-fusion long before the term became commonplace. The songs include Betty originals and covers of classics by Creedence and Cream. The concepts explored on these previously unheard sessions fueled concepts that wouldn't be fully realized until years later with Miles' seminal On The Corner.
Additionally, included here is the first time rerelease of a 1968 Columbia single, recorded in October 1968 at Columbia Studios in Los Angeles. The session was produced by Jerry Fuller and featured South African maverick Hugh Masekela on trumpet and arrangements, plus members of jazz-funk pioneers The Crusaders-including trombonist Wayne Henderson and pianist Joe Sample. Two of the three tracks included here from this session are previously unreleased.
This deluxe package is a treasure trove for both Betty and Miles fans, including rare documents from the pen of co-producer Teo Macero, rarely seen photos from legendary photographer Baron Wolman, and new interviews with Mrs. Davis herself, Harvey Brooks, and Hugh Masekela-the entire project overseen with Betty's full blessing.1. Hangin' Out
2. Politician Man
3. Down Home Girl
4. Born On The Bayou
5. I'm Ready, Willing & Able (Take 1)
6. I'm Ready, Willing & Able (Take 9)
7. It's My Life (Alternate Take)
8. Live, Love, Learn
9. My Soul Is Tired
$25.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Wheedle's Groove: Seattle Funk, Modern Soul & Boogie: Volume II 1972-1987In 2004, the first volume of Wheedle’s Groove shone a light on the formerly unheralded soul scene in 1960s and ‘70s Seattle, followed by a new album in 2008, and then an award winning feature-length documentary film. The on-going Wheedle’s Groove series continues to present a vast chapter of the city’s musical heritage that has little to do with long-haired rock dudes with guitars. No – in the world of Wheedle’s Groove, platform shoes and pimp hats were the order of the day.
But unlike Volume I, Seattle’s soul scene did not stop in 1975. A new volume, Wheedle’s Groove Vol. II, documents the period from 1972 to 1987, when funk was superseded by disco and modern soul. Heading into the ‘80s, artists in the Emerald City caught wind of the hip-hop and electro scenes that were growing in bigger cities across America, and gave the music their own distinct spin.
As the years unfurl in the tracks of Wheedle’s Groove Volume II, so does the recent history of American music, the songs tracing technological changes and social change, and music’s move from the club to disco as live bands moved aside for DJs. Witness Septimus, on the cusp of both, blending a live drummer with a Roland drum machine and cutting ‘Here I Go Again’ on a disco-friendly 12” single.
Separated from the major centers of soul music, Seattle was a scene that developed out of the gaze of the mainstream music industry, but one that moved just as fast. As John Studamire of the band Priceless remembers, “A lot of the groups around town would have to incorporate that disco sound or you’d sound totally dated.”
Seattle’s size and location had a great effect on its sound. Artists on the scene were accustomed to playing small, discreetly segregated club shows and pressing short runs of 45s for local radio stations. Touring happened mostly on a regional scale and artists popped up in a variety of different bands. Fans of Volume I will recognize some familiar names here: Robbie Hill’s Family Affair turn in the soul-jazz gem ‘Don’t Give Up’ and Cold, Bold & Together present the undeniable vocal beauty of ’Let’s Backtrack.’
Compiled and sequenced by Seattle’s DJ Supreme La Rock, this 18-track compilation will also introduce you to the long-forgotten blue-eyed soul boy Don Brown (‘Don’t Lose Your Love’) and frustrated talents Push, overlooked for record deals on account of singer “Big Joe” Erickson’s larger-than-life heft (‘You Turn Me On’). There’s Frederick Robinson III and his gospel-funk protest tune ‘Love One Another’, Tony Benton of Teleclere being Seattle’s answer to Prince (‘Steal Your Love’) and Seattle Mariners baseball star Lenny Randle recording a tribute to their infamous stadium.1. Epicentre - Get Off The Phone
2. Priceless - Love In Your Life
3. Don Brown - Don't Lose Your Love
4. Deuce featuring Clevon - Your Love Is Fine (Lovin' Fine)
5. Push - You Turn Me On (Portland Session)
6. Seattle Pure Dynamite - I Wonder Love
7. Septimus - Here I Go Again
8. Priceless - Look At Me
9. Lenny Randle & Ballplayers featuring "Rashawna" - Kingdome
10. Malik Din - Trouble In Mind
11. Romel Westwood - I'm Through With You
12. Teleclere - Steal Your Love
13. Steppen Stones - Darlin Oh Darlin
14. Cold, Bold & Together - Let's Backtrack
15. Unfinished Business - Holding On
16. Frederick Robinson III - Love One Another
17. Bernadette Bascom - I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love
18. Robbie Hill's Family Affair - Don't Give Up
$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
I'm Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-70Compilation And Notes By Alec Palao
An Exclusive New Interview With Sly Stone Himself
In-depth Liner Notes With First-hand Reminiscences Of The Stone Flower Era From Many Of The Participants
Features All Five Stone Flower Produced Singles Plus Ten Previously Unissued Cuts From The Label Archives
All Tracks Newly Remastered From The Original Tapes
In 1970, The Family Stone were at the peak of their popularity, but the maestro Sly Stone had already moved his head to a completely different space. The first evidence of Sly’s musical about-turn was revealed by the small catalog of his new label, Stone Flower: a pioneering, peculiar, minimal electro-funk sound that unfolded over just four seven-inch singles. Stone Flower’s releases were credited to their individual artists, but each had Sly’s design and musicianship stamped into the grooves–and the words “Written by Sylvester Stewart/Produced and arranged by Sly Stone” on the sticker.
Set up by Stone’s manager David Kapralik with distribution by Atlantic Records, Stone Flower was, predictably, a family affair: the first release was by Little Sister, fronted by Stone’s little sister Vaetta Stewart. It was short lived too–the imprint folded in 1971–but its influence was longer lasting. The sound Stone formulated while working on Stone Flower’s output would shape the next phase in his own career as a recording artist: it was here he began experimenting with the brand new Maestro Rhythm King drum machine. In conjunction with languid, effected organ and guitar sounds and a distinctly lo-fi soundscape, Sly’s productions for Stone Flower would inform the basis of his masterwork There’s A Riot Goin’ On.
The first 45 came in February 1970: Little Sister’s dancefloor-ready “You’re The One” hit Number 22 in the charts–the label’s highest showing. The follow-up, “Stanga," also by Little Sister, made the wah pedal the star. The third release came from 6IX, a six-piece multi-racial rock group whose sole release, a super-slow version of The Family Stone’s “Dynamite," featured only the lead singer and harmonica player from the group. Joe Hicks was the final Stone Flower stablemate; his pulsing, electronic "Life And Death In G&A” is one of the bleakest moments Sly Stone ever created on disc (Hicks’ prior single for Scepter, “Home Sweet Home,” the first released Stone Flower production, is also included).
This long overdue compilation of Sly’s Stone Flower era gathers each side of the five 45s plus ten previously unissued cuts from the label archives, all newly remastered from the original tapes. In these grooves you’ll find the missing link between the rocky, soulful Sly Stone of Stand! and the dark, drum machine-punctuated, overdubbed sound of There’s A Riot Going On. I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-70 opens up the mysteries of an obscure but monumental phase in Stone’s career.1. You're The One (Parts 1 & 2) - Little Sister
2. Just Like A Baby - Sly
3. Home Sweet Home (Part 2) - Joe Hicks
4. I'm Just Like You
5. Somebody's Watching You (full band version) - Little Sister
6. Life & Death In G & A (Parts 1 & 2) - Joe Hicks
7. Trying To Make You Feel Good
8. Stanga - Little Sister
10. You're The One (early version) - Little Sister
11. Africa - Sly
12. I'm Goin' Home (Part 1) - Joe Hicks
13. Somebody's Watching You - Little Sister
14. You Can, We Can
15. Spirit - Sly
16. I'm Just Like You (full band version)
17. Scared - Sly
18. Dynamite (alternate version)
$26.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now