Category: Funk

Philip Bailey ‘Chinese Wall’

Posted 08 May 2014 in 80s, Albums of 1984, Albums of the 80s, Funk, Funk Rock

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#930 in the Series) is Philip Bailey, Chinese Wall. Chinese Wall is Earth, Wind and Fire vocalist Philip Bailey’s second solo album. It was released in 1984 and it follows Continuation from the previous year. Continuation did…. OK, but not great. It peaked at #72 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart.  Chinese Wall reached #22.  Why the difference? Well, mainly it was because of Phil Collins, but we’ll also say that it did have a bunch of good songs on it too. So what did Phil Collins have to do with the success? For one, he produced the album. Secondly, he plays drums on the entire album, but he also sang the...

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Terence Trent D’Arby ‘Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby’

Posted 15 Mar 2014 in 80s, Albums of 1987, Albums of the 80s, Funk, Soul/R+B

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#915 in the Series) is Terence Trent D’Arby, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby. Terence Trent D’Arby arrived on the scene in 1987 and found immediate success.  This album, his debut, peaked at #4, TWICE! His second single “Wishing Well” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.  He won a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Then…. Not much. He would never see success like that again. That first album though is definitely worth looking back upon.  The first single was my favorite on that disc. That was the hard funk of “If You Let Me Stay.”  I don’t think anything on the album came close to that...

Kool and the Gang ‘Wild and Peaceful’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Jungle Boogie” by Kool & The Gang When Kool & The Gang topped the charts with “Celebrate” in 1980, they were at the peak of their success, but as far as I was concerned, they were long past their prime. To many, that prime happened seven years earlier with the 1973 album, Wild And Peaceful and its clutch of super funky singles. Kool & The Gang hailed from Jersey City, New Jersey and formed in 1964 as The Jazziacs. They then changed their name to Kool & The Flames, and later settled on Kool & The Gang so as not to be confused with James Brown and His Famous Flames. Their...

The Jackson 5 ‘Get it Together’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Dancing Machine” by The Jackson 5 They were growing up…and the world liked their Jacksons young. By 1973, The Jackson 5 were becoming somewhat of a spent force around Motown. It had been a few years since the group scored a bona-fide top ten hit, and there was plenty of dissatisfaction to go around. Brother Michael was no longer the pint-sized dynamo that he once was. He was now a pimply 15 years old geek with a much deeper voice. Motown had been grooming him as a solo star much to the detriment of his singing brothers, and between 1971 and 1973 he scored several substantial solo hits including the top...

Billy Martin & Wil Blades ‘Shimmy’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman- “Toe Thumb” by Billy Martin and Wil Blades Another dynamic duo! He’s the Martin who pounds the skins for the Jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Wood, and has recorded with the likes of John Scofield, John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards, Chris Whitley and Iggy Pop. Blades is a Hammond B-3 extraordinaire from Chicago, whose made a name for himself in the San Francisco Jazz scene and has lent his skills to the works of John Lee Hooker and fellow organist Dr. Lonnie Smith. The two joined forces for a one-off late night summit at the New Orleans Jazz Festival last year, and from that one gig, they knew they would...

The Golden Toadstools ‘Silly Savage’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Silly Savage” by The Golden Toadstools “Chuck Berry, strawberry, cranberry and dingleberry, baby!” And so begins one of the most funked-up romps I’ve ever heard this side of the Godfather Of Soul himself!  Next to nothing is known about The Golden Toadstools, who originally released this one-off record written by Merlin Jones and Wayne Branham back in 1966. After doing much research I couldn’t come up with any information about who Jones and Branham are, who the group was or where they were from. All I could find is information about the record label that released this one of a kind record, which duly follows. The record was released on...

Prince “Controversy”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#629 in the Series) is Prince, Controversy I have wanted to do a piece on one of these early Prince albums for a while now. In fact I started doing Dirty Mind a while ago and decided to do an about-face and present a piece on Controversy instead. We’ll get to Dirty Mind someday as I consider that also one of his best, but today it’s Controversy. Controversy was released in 1981 just a year after the previously mentioned Dirty Mind. Did have some controversial pieces in it? You could say somewhat, but there is nothing totally outrageous here in my opinion. He takes a look at social protest in three tracks,...

Was (Not Was) “Born to Laugh at Tornadoes”

Posted 17 Jan 2012 in 80s, Albums of 1983, Albums of the 80s, Funk, Funk Rock

  Today’s Cool album of the Day (#608 in the Series) is Was (Not Was), Born to Laugh at Tornadoes.  You can look for years and years and all kinds of music and you’d be hard-pressed to find a band and a sound more interesting than that of Was (Not Was.) They brought a combination of so many different things that their uniqueness may never be topped. What makes these guys interesting and unique? Well, how about the fact that they’re a hard-funk band led by two white Jewish guys from Detroit. There’s a great start. The unbelievably high level of talent of the two bandleaders Don Was and David Was was just fantastic. Don Was has gone well...

Chic “C’est Chic”

Posted 23 Oct 2011 in 70s, Albums of 1978, Albums of the 70s, Dance, Funk

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#532 in the series) Chic, C’est Chic (Atlantic) I have a feeling that this post might take a few people by surprise. What’s he doing here, isn’t this disco? Well, yeah, Chic indeed did have some disco hits, some huge disco hits. Who can forgot “Good Times” or “Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah? Or from this album, “Le Freak?” The reason I bring a Chic album to this party is for one reason, talent. Not long ago I mentioned that Fleetwood Mac had a great rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.  I do think that was one of the best for pop and of course for blues as well. However, if you want...

Was (Not Was) “What Up, Dog?”

——————————————————————————————- Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#506 in the Series) is Was (Not Was), What Up, Dog? Have you heard this one? I’m guessing many of you have not. Well, you may have heard one of the singles, “Walk the Dinosaur” or “Spy In the House of Love,” but like many great albums, the singles don’t tell the story. Was (Not Was) is the brainchild of Don Was and David Was. Two outstanding producers/musicians. Don Was has done many things you’ve heard. From the great Bonnie Raitt album, Nick of Time to The Rolling Stones. The majority of this album is a hard funk/ jazz sound, with a couple great ballads tossed in. The band’s sense of humor...

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