Today’s Funky Friday is a mix of songs I loved from the 1980s. The 1980s, funk-wise, were a mix of continuing the growth of funk from its James Brown inspired roots, some of Parliament-Funkadelic’s loopy goofiness, and the coming onslaught of synthesizers that took the place of horns, bass guitars and drums. Some of the funk continued in the path of its early days, while some funky tunes were wholly synthesized.
I’d love to tell you that I put all my favorites in a hat and picked ten to feature in this playlist, but I’d be lying. Several of these were chosen weeks before, with no clear idea of when or how to put them together. The whole theme of this post came together when I heard Carl Carlton’s “She’s A Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked)” a couple nights ago. As always, I’ve listed all the songs in case you can’t play them here.
The Funky Friday: 80’s Funk, Vol. 1 (implies future volumes, doesn’t it?) playlist:
- “Don’t Stop The Music” by Yarbrough & Peoples
- “Here’s To You” by Skyy
- “She’s A Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked)” by Carl Carlton
- “Get Down On It” by Kool & The Gang
- “Early In The Morning” by The Gap Band
- “Feels So Real (Won’t Let Go)” by Patrice Rushen
- “No One’s Gonna Love You” by The S.O.S. Band
- “Thinking About Your Love” by Skipworth & Turner
- “Slow Down” by Loose Ends
- “Don’t Disturb This Groove” by The System
Carlton’s song basically owned the back end of 1981, even if it never hit #1 on the R&B chart. It stalled at #2 for eight weeks—which was almost a third of the number of weeks it spent on that chart (26 in all). The song was written by Leon Haywood, who may be best remembered for the song “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You,” a top 10 hit of his own in 1975, which supplied the sample for Dr. Dre’s rap hit “Ain’t Nuthin’ But A G Thang.”
The list is full of 80s R&B mainstays like Skyy, Kool & The Gang, The Gap Band, The S.O.S. Band and Loose Ends, but it also has R&B one-hit wonders Skipworth & Turner. Their lone top ten R&B hit (as well as their only single to make the R&B top 40) almost came out of nowhere in 1985. Not a whole lot of information can be found about keyboardist Rodney Skipworth and singer Phil Turner, though a Wikipedia search did turn up that the duo released two albums and had several singles, though only two charted. “Thinking About Your Love” did manage to find the top spot on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart during its run.
The Spotify playlist can be found below, for those of you who use the service.
Hope you enjoy this selection of funky 80s tunes, and that you have a great Friday! Thanks for listening and reading.