Wilson Pickett – Engine Number 9

wilson-pickett-engine-number-9

A lot of the time I bring you a record it’s because it fits a theme at that particular moment in time or (as is becoming more common these days) as a tribute to an artist who had recently passed away. Today’s selection fits neither category – it’s just a damn good song courtesy of a legendary soul star.

I’d probably be insulting you somewhat to go into a whole biography of the “Wicked Pickett” such is his popularity, so I’ll give it a miss. What I will say is this particular 45 is arguably one of the funkiest tracks he ever cut. Released in 1970, this song featured on the album “Wilson Pickett In Philadelphia” and perhaps unsurprisingly was produced by the legendary Gamble & Huff partnership, so you know full well it’s gonna have a groove!!

 

 

The Commodores – Rise Up

The Commodores  - Rise Up

O.k., I know some of you might be looking at the title of my latest post and are thinking “The Commodores, is he losing his mind?!?!” Well you see as much as The Commodores may be well-known for their god-awful middle of the road love songs (which also  give “rise” to Lionel Ritchie’s equally nauseating solo career) the band were once a respected funk outfit.

I’ve no doubt some of you would be only too well aware of some of their funk offerings during the 70s including “Brick House” (which has featured in many a Hollywood movie) and “Machine Gun” (which featured in the rather excellent “Boogie Nights”) amongst others. Today’s selection is actually the band’s first single from waaaayyy back in 1969 and like many bands in their early career, the single pretty much flopped.

The flip side of this track is the often covered Alvin Cash classic “Keep On Dancing”. I’ve heard many different takes on Cash’s original and this one doesn’t particularly stand out any more than the others if I’m honest, but you can’t destroy a stone cold classic, huh?. Partly due to this being the band’s debut single and also because it didn’t become a hit, it ended up being a record that a lot of funk collectors sought after. The version I have is the European release – I often prefer being European releases as the record normally has a nice little picture sleeve as opposed to the white or bland company sleeve that you get with most U.K./U.S. releases (this normally ensures that the European release is more valuable too!)

Enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget that I’ll be dj’ing at the checkemlads charity mod all-dayer this Saturday at the Lexington in North London. There will be a selection of great bands and some of the top djs on the mod scene, so please drop by if you can for some fantastic music and to help raise some money for this much-needed cause.

The Fabulous Counts – Jan Jan

Fabulous Counts- Jan Jan

I’m sure you have noticed that this week’s update is a little later than normal – well it wasn’t because I was finding it difficult to follow last week’s Dennis Coffey interview (although how do you follow something like that??) but more down to the fact I’ve had a winter cold that’s kept me off my feet for almost a week now!! Though hopefully it’s finally starting to subside.

Anyway that’s enough about my health, on to this week’s update. I have to admit that this track was something I thought I’d heard a long time ago (and I’m pretty sure I did) but when I heard the song again in the recent past I realised what a great record it was, so I began looking through my record collection for it and to my surprise I never owned a copy. Well, I had to put that right and almost immediately sourced a copy from the internet, so thankfully I’m able to bring it to you on the blog (as you know, we here at Gazfunk only bring you tracks that are actually from my own personal vinyl collection and only 45s at that)

So what of The Fabulous Counts? Well they formed in Detroit in 1968 and appeared as the backing band for many touring solo acts. This selection was their debut single released that same year and would lend it’s name to the title of their debut LP which came a year later in ’69. The LP wasn’t much of a success and so they parted company with their label (Cotillion) and with a name change in place (they were to be known simply as “The Counts”) they signed to the Westbound label. Due in no small part to being the junior members on the label, the group left the Westbound stable soon after and signed for yet another label (Aware Records) with whom they recorded what turned out to be their last LPs before calling it a day in 1976.

Today’s selection is a lovely mid-tempo funk instrumental with an organ led sound backed up by some nice guitar & saxophone. In my opinion this cut would go down well at a laid back Sunday evening funk session. I hope you dig it. 

James & Bobby Purify – I Take What I Want

When thinking of what I was going to bring you this week I had a bit of a shifty through my record collection and I came across this selection – however, I wasn’t sure whether to use this as I have 2 other versions of this actual song.

The first version (and undoubtedly best known) is Sam & Dave’s original released on Stax back in ’65. John Phillips also released a version of this called “The Soul Strut” but this was an instrumental which had a rather big band sound about it though it’s still funky and has a fantastic b-side too (which may well get featured at some stage here on the blog)

James & Bobby Purify started out as a singing duo back in 1965 and continued right through until the 80s, however they did have a change in line-up during that time with the original Bobby Purify (Robert Lee Dickey) quitting the group in ’71 due to health reasons before being replace by Ben Moore around ’74.

As well as this version of Sam & Dave’s original which they recorded in ’67, they also scored a minor hit with their take on Shake A Tail Feather around the same time.