Saturday, 28 January 2012

Otis Redding - In Person At The Whisky A Gogo (1968)

There's a reason they call him Mr. Pitiful. Following in the tradition of James Brown's Live at the Apollo ('63), Sam Cooke's Live at the Harlem Square Club ('63), and Ray Charles' Live in Concert ('64), Otis Redding recorded this performance live from the Sunset Strip LA at the Whiskey A Go Go club on March 30, 1966. Like the R&B giants who preceded him, Redding was looking to make the switch from the Rhythm & Blues Scene to the more popular 'crash pop scene' (think Sinatra and the Beatles), and this recording proves such. Redding belts out the classics: "Mr. Pitiful", "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag", "Respect" and the Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" with a heart that's clearly been broken and mended many times over.

Redding died in a plane crash in 1967 and is most commonly known for his sedentary "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" - which was written and recorded less than a week before his untimely death and proved to be his post popular song. This album is of note because it shows Otis trying to appeal to the pop audience before his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival (organized by Jerry Wexler) in June 1967 - which is commonly acknowledged as signifying Redding's switch from R&B to Pop. That being said, the album was released a year after his performance at Monterey which shows it may have taken a while for the record execs to catch on to the fact that Redding appealed to all audiences.

Redding drops some of his R&B swagger but doesn't sacrifice intensity. Listen to the ferocity of his band. The album reached #7 on the US R&B charts and is soaked in soul, blues and pure emotion.

Vinyl ripped @ 320

On loan from J.M - many thanks!

Link in comments...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Earth Wind & Fire - All 'N All (1977)

All 'n All features some of the, "most intense and gutsy funk", of the 1970's. Recorded at Hollywood Sound and The Burbank Studios, California, the album is super tight to the point that the whole band seems to morph into one mighty Power Ranger with Marice White as it's head.

The speed of the interplay between the horns and the percussion rivals that of a well tuned engine block and will certainly blow the lid off your head. Featuring singles such as "Serpentine Fire", "Jupiter" and "Magic Mind", this is a funk classic you do not want to miss.

So strip down to your skivvies, crank up the bass and get ready to dance around your apartment (not that I do).

@320 kbps

Link in comments...

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Deniece Williams - This is Niecy (1976)

This funky gem comes from Gary Indiana native Deniece Williams. This is Niecy came out at the same time that Williams was performing as a backup singer for Stevie Wonder and Minnie Riperton - which is amazing because it is full of original and unique material.  It's also interesting to note the album credits as they pretty much list off all the members of Earth Wind and Fire.

This is Niecy came out a year before EWF's All 'n All - a veritable funk classic - and it's no surprise that the White's (the main family of EWF) were testing out some of their ideas on it. The album features Al Mckay on guitars, Jerry Peters on piano and Freddie, Maurice and Verdine White on percussion, drums and bass respectively. The album starts strong and arguably has one of the best B sides of any funk album from 1976 closing out with the smooth "Free", driving "Watching Over", and soulful ballad "If You Don't Believe." Look out for the similarities in groove between the EWF track "Serpentine Fire" and Williams' "Watching Over." Produced by Maurice White and Charles Stepney, this is a must listen to for any fan of EWF. The album is great sample material and even better to just groove to.

Ripped @ 320

Link in comments...

Also be sure to check out: