Once again, it’s time to play You Play The Songs. If you weren’t here last month for the last edition or you’ve forgotten how it goes, I’ll tell you all about it. We’re making a mixtape of songs, based on whatever you’re feeling, whatever mood you’re in, or whatever whatever. Doesn’t matter whether it’s an original or a remake, fast or slow, happy or sad. It also does not matter what genre or style you pick. Just find your song or songs, and leave them in a comment.
Here’s what you do: go to YouTube and find your song. When you find the video you want to share, click Share. When you see Share, Embed, Email, click on Embed (though I understand that share works as well). Copy the code that shows underneath where you clicked and paste it in your comment. You can also do the same if the song is on Soundcloud. Click Share on your Soundcloud song, choose Embed, click the box that says WordPress code, copy and paste the code into your comment. Real simple, isn’t it? Feel free to say a few words about your song: why you picked it, what it means to you, etc.
My first song is from Cameo. “It’s Serious” was made when the group had eight members—horn players, real guitar and bass, an actual drummer and singers. You know, when funk bands were fleshed out. Not the more famous “Word Up” version when there were only three members. The song is mostly instrumental except for a few brief vocal sections, and a “Hey Hey” chant. But dig that bass and guitar and those horn interjections though!
Next up, I’m taking the BlackByrds. Formed at Howard University, under the tutelage of one Donald Byrd, this group had some great songs during the 1970s, notably “Walking In Rhythm,” which was their biggest hit. One of their funkiest songs was “Do It, Fluid”—a song that doesn’t really go very far, but where it does go, it sounds like a whole lot of fun. There’s a whole lot of chanting of “I likes to party,” and “Do It, Fluid” on the choruses. Don’t ask me about the lyrics: I guess they make some kind of sense.
Now, if you just so happen to be the backing band for James Brown, there’s got to be some funk around, right? This version of the J.B.’s, led by trombone player Fred Wesley cut some really good stuff in the 70s. One of their best was “Givin’ Up Food For Funk.” Hopefully they didn’t starve themselves making this slab of goodness. Written Mr. Brown and Wesley, it features an organ solo, that I figure is none other than Soul Brother Number One himself.
Last but not least, I’m giving it up for Cleveland’s own Dazz Band. They featured a couple weeks ago in my O-H-I-O funk playlist, and they are back to “Keep It Live (On The K.I.L.)”. The song, the follow up to the smash “Let It Whip,” wasn’t quite as successful, but it is a good example of synth-based funk. There is real bass on the track too; as R&B was in the transition of moving from horn and stringed instruments to synthesized music, you could find a few songs that had both elements in them. This is one of those, and it kicks.
Those are mine, let me see yours! Remember, they don’t have to be funk jams; they can be whatever you want. Feel free to drop your songs in the comments. Enjoy your Friday, and thank you for listening and reading.