Archive for the ‘Go Go’ Category

Redds & The Boys / Trouble Funk

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Listen: Movin’ And Groovin’ / Redds & The Boys
Movin' And Groovin' / Redds & The Boys

Back in ’79, MCA had a freak hit with Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers ‘Bustin’ Loose’. I distinctly recall our head of radio promotion being amazed at the record’s surprise success and frustrated too. Black radio wouldn’t play the single, only the white pop stations were airing it.

Fast forward a few years, Go Go is now officially a musical genre and movement, but the same tired radio resistance kept all those great singles off the urban airwaves.

But in ’85, Island was headstrong in aiding this musical cause. Signing a bunch of acts to singles deals, some to full albums, then packaging them together for a few nights of serious nasty grinding at The Ritz. I’ll never forget those shows. EU, Mass Extension, Trouble Funk.

The real truth: Redds & The Boys, they were crazy great. Even the worst dancers lost shame, made fools of themselves and did not care. I know cause I was one.

Onstage, ‘Movin’ & Groovin’ did not end, and not a soul wanted it to. Talk about a signature song. These guys were so locked it was scary. They seemed ready to take on the world. What the fuck happened?

Listen: Trouble / Trouble Funk
Trouble / Trouble Funk

When I joined Island in ’88, their mailroom was knee deep in Go Go records. Praise be. I grabbed handfuls of them all.

Like Redds & The Boys, and all the others for that matter, Trouble Funk suffered from the same curse: misguided production and mixes. The drum sounds were so wrong. To be honest, the team around these recordings were a bunch of self celebrating studio churls. Hacks basically having their moment in the sun. Damn shame. Because live, these bands ripped down anything in their way.

Real drums. That’s it. The processed drums fucked it all up. Someone should remix all these records, take off that ghastly wash of cheap studio technology. Because the foundation is here, on every last one.

Bootsy producing ‘Trouble’. Great call.

Now Bootsy, you need to remix and reclaim this.


Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Bustin' Loose Part 1 / Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers

Bustin' Loose Part 1 / Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers

Listen: Bustin’ Loose (Part 1) / Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers ConwayTwittyLorettaLynn.mp3

The first urban record that got handed to me was, in hindsight, seminal. Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers ‘Bustin’ Loose’. I had no idea how lucky I was but knew one thing: this guy’s live show was out of control. Black radio, as it was weirdly known then, really hated playing this record. It was the first Go-Go record to break national – in fact the only one other than the EU single. Like many sub-genres, it went against the homogenization known as American radio. A true street record, it was too hard to stop.

Thankfully. I saw him again about three years ago in DC. He did a show with Vivian Green. The place was heaving. He smoked like that first time, and was the same sweetheart he’d been way back then.