Funky Friday: 80’s Funk, Vol. 2

I’ve written countless times on this blog that the 1980’s were a decade of transition of R&B. Funk went through the transition from being performed by self-contained bands full of horns, guitars, and keyboards to become synthesized. This transition wasn’t always met with success, but one thing remained: a funky groove. Be it boogie, remnants of disco, hard funk, sophisticated funk or some mish-mash of them all, the funk remained.

This post is a continuation of the previous Funky Friday post that celebrated funky songs from the 1980’s. Some of these are well-known to many; others are only known to R&B/Dance music diehards. Many of them were popular from 1980-1983, though a few were released later in the decade. This list got a bit long because I got carried away. Before I knew it, I had twenty (yes 20!) songs on the list. And I couldn’t bear to part with any of them.

The playlist is below if any of the videos don’t work on the site.

The song listing for 80’s Funk, Vol. 2:

  1. “Risin’ To The Top” by Keni Burke
  2. “Outstanding” by The Gap Band
  3. “Take Your Heart Away” by Kleeer
  4. “Just An Illusion” by Imagination
  5. “Turn The Music Up” by Lakeside
  6. “You Are The One” by AM-FM
  7. “Body Moves” by Rare Essence
  8. “Let’s Do It” by Convertion
  9. “I’m In Love” by Evelyn “Champagne” King
  10. “Thighs High – Grip Your Hips And Move” by Tom Browne
  11. “Act Like You Know” by Fat Larry’s Band
  12. “Dance Wit Me” by Rick James
  13. “Searching To Find The One” by Unlimited Touch
  14. “On The Beat” by The B.B. & Q. Band
  15. “The Very Best In You” by Change
  16. “Show Me The Way” by Skyy
  17. “What’s Missing” by Alexander O’Neal
  18. “Encore” by Cheryl Lynn
  19. “Doo Wa Ditty – Blow That Thing” by Zapp
  20. “I Like” by Guy

I think this list covers just about every style of funk that existed during the decade. By the end, R&B had begun turning into New Jack Swing, which emphasized hip-hop beats and grooves in the music. The example of that in this list is the closing track by Guy. Teddy Riley was one of (some say the main) architect of the sound, and this was his group.

I even managed to find a go-go record from the group Rare Essence. I had forgotten about “Body Moves” until I heard it the other day. The song was one of their first releases from way back in the day. The group (with various personnel changes) is still going strong today and released a new album last year. They also play live dates around the Washington, DC area.

A couple of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis productions made the cut. “Encore” by Cheryl Lynn I’ve written about before on the blog, but Alexander O’Neal’s “What’s Missing” is new here. O’Neal was reportedly the original lead singer of The Time, but Prince cut him out of the band and replaced him with Morris Day. Jam and Lewis never forgot O’Neal, and a few years after they left the group and became hit record producers, they managed to craft a few hit songs for their former bandmate.

Enjoy these 80’s classics; these are some more of my favorites from the decade. Have a great Friday! Thanks for reading and listening.

7 Replies to “Funky Friday: 80’s Funk, Vol. 2”

  1. DEAD! LOL!!!!
    So…you know I love this list! Went asystole when I saw “Dance with me” by my boy Rick.
    The other day I was listening to this kid do a cover of “Mary Jane” on guitar. I love listening to each instrument broken down. I like seeing if I can hear the elements in the actual song.
    You know I listened to the bass cover but, believe it or not, I was a bit more intrigued with the rhythm guitar.
    Naturally, it is, at times repetitive, but that’s what songs do; they repeat! LOL!
    Check this out:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello there, Twin! So glad to see you! I’ve got to get over to the goodness at your blog!

      I knew you would like this one! Hope you got a chance to see the first part of this. The list on that one is half as long but just as good.

      I listened to a bass cover of Rufus & Chaka Khan’s “Better Together” and it was pretty cool. I would think hearing the guitar cover of the same song would be just as good.

      Hope you are well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have you ever made a list that I didn’t like Twin? It has never happened and I suspect that it never will 🙂 LOL!!!!
        I will have to go back and check out the first list; good looking out!


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