When deciding what track I’m going to bring you, I normally try to think of something that’s relevant to the news that week but more often that not, it’s dictated to by the news of the death of a soul legend. However, this week’s choice hasn’t been as a result of such sad news thankfully.
The song I feature for you today was chosen because I was listening to this cut a few days ago, and not having heard it for a while, I really enjoyed hearing it again. I thought it would be a great record for y’all to check out on the blog but I had to check back through my posts to be sure that I hadn’t already featured it (my memory isn’t my strongest point!). I was somewhat surprised that I hadn’t showcased Cymande at all since they were such a great band and penned some of my favourite ever funk records. So upon that realisation I thought they were long overdue a post of their own.
So who were Cymande? Many people have described them as a British funk group, but I’m not so sure that’s accurate given that the members of the band were all from the West Indies, although they did of course move to London in the late 60s, and it was in a club in Soho that they were discovered by the legendary producer, John Schroeder (a favourite of ours at Gazfunk HQ). Their debut single released in 1972 was the equally fantastic “The Message” which became a Top 20 hit on the US R&B chart.
Today’s selection was released the following year and was to gain huge popularity amongst the hip-hop fraternity (it was actually sampled by De La Soul on “Change In Speak” from the 3 Feet High & Rising LP) as well as the rare groove scene in London in the late 80s. It’s also featured heavily in both tv & film. The band disbanded in ’74 but by that stage their place had already been secured in the annals of funk.
Late last year it was announced that the band would be reforming and that an album was being planned as well as a new tour, However, the tour never took place, but the band confirmed that the album had been completed and that they hoped for a release sometime in the New Year. At the time of writing no album has been released, so I think it’s a case of watch this space….