KING FLOYD / “Baby Let Me Kiss You”
It’s been a while since we put some straight-up, old school funk in the jukebox. This week, we’re going to remedy that with six funky love songs that date back from 1969 to 1976. The Meters – “Cissy Strut” – From The Meters (Josie, 1969) Let’s start off a record from the homeboys, New Orleans’ funky, funky Meters. “Cissy Strut” was the first track from the first album of the Meters long career. It’s an attempt to recreate in sound the soulfulness and funkiness of a New Orleans woman’s walk. I say they hit the nail right on the head. Betty Davis – “Your Mama Wants Ya Back” – From They Say I’m Different (Just Sunshine, 1974) Next is a track named “Your Mama Wants Ya Back” by the inimitable ‘Mademoiselle Mabry’ herself, the high priestess of hardcore funk, Betty Davis. Truthfully, this young woman was so damned funky, I could’ve picked just about any song from her three studio albums. I only went with this one because that sick bassline is an all-time favorite of mine and coming behind the Meters you have to bring a bassline or you’re going to sound weak. Back in the early seventies, Ms. Davis brought the funk so hard and so consistently that she actually scared people. King Floyd – “Baby Let Me Kiss You” – From King Floyd (Chimneyville/Atco, 1971); Available on Choice Cuts (Waldoxy, 1994) We’re going to keep the bad, bad bassline theme going with this week’s feature track by New Orleans’ own King Floyd. Obviously, Floyd is best known for his massive hit “Groove Me” (which happens to be the first track on this same LP), but my favorite Floyd record is “Baby Let Me Kiss You,” a horn-laden funk fest during which Floyd repeatedly begs the object of his affection for a kiss. So to speak. David Nuñez – “Times Are Gettin’ Hard” – From Uprising (Koala, 1976) Let’s move from the not particularly well known to the positively obscure. David Nuñez’ 1976 LP Uprising is a favorite among the thrift-store-scrounging, garage-sale-haunting vinyl collector crowd. Other than those dusty-fingered folk though, not many people are likely to known who this guy is. Honestly, I don’t know much about him either, but his lament “Times Are Gettin’ Hard” is pretty funny, and funky too. It’s about a guy who’s so broke, he can’t afford to put gas in his car to go see his girl. The thing is, she only lives a mile away. Last time I checked, walking was free. BTW, if you like the tune, this CD was recently reissued by the artists themselves. It’s available at cdbaby.com. Isley Brothers – “Lay-Away” – From Brother, Brother, Brother (T-Neck/Buddah, 1972) Let’s sweeten up the mood a little. “Lay-Away” is a track from Brother, Brother, Brother, the Isleys’ last indie-label venture before moving over to Epic. Similarly to Nuñez’ situation, the song finds the Isleys too broke for full-time loving, but they at least decide to get on a payment plan. Smart move. Funkadelic – “I Bet You” – From Funkadelic (Westbound, 1971) We’re going to end with the kings of psychedelic funk, the aptly-named Funkadelic. Their eponymous debut is a collection of sprawling funk/soul/blues jams that sound like what might happen if a really good doo-wop band hooked up with a really good soul band and they all got a little too high before hitting the studio. Which, come to think of it, is pretty close to what actually happened. Funk on, y’all. Funk on… —Mtume ya Salaam Your Love What can one say but like what we used to say: Right On! ;>) I do have an amen to add: “Your Love Means Everything To Me" by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. Taken from Express Yourself: The Best of Charles Wright, this is just about the funkiest, drum happy, drop down and break-it-down-to-the-floor song in the entire history of nasty music. My man Charles is shouting and chortling like he is in the deepest throes of, well, you know what he sounds like is happening. Or like Millie J. say, ain’t no man pretty when he comes. It’s that kind of song. And if you don’t fully understand what I’m talking about, you probably don’t like the song anyway. (But I feel sorry for you.) For those in the know… —Kalamu ya Salaam
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