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GET DOWN WITH THE CHUNK O' FUNK
on 17 June 2012
This a two-CD set, selling at a bargain price and, somehow, the track list is incorrect on Amazon. The displayed list shows Disc 2 plus the last 5 tracks from Disc 1. The rest of Disc 1 consists of the album THAT MOTOWN SOUND, the legendary 1965 album of Tamla Motown classics with vocals removed and replaced by lead keyboards. The one original track, ALL FOR YOU, was a Tamla Motown single back then and is an in-demand item. The rest of Disc 1 consists of sixties non-album singles plus a few very tasty previously unreleased items. Other highly regarded Tamla Motown singles are I CAN'T HELP MYSELF and the storming 6 BY 6 which features the Motown Brass. So, you actually get 45 tracks and not what it says here.
This is a very well put together set and a great tribute to Motown's Funk Brothers. As well as king of the keyboards Earl Van Dyke, there are three tracks by bass player supreme James Jamerson, two of which haven't seen the light of day before. There are too many gems in this collection to name them all but some of the standouts include Norman Whitfield's re-working of TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY, which he re-cut in preparation for a vocal by Gladys Knight & The Pips in 1969 and dubbed-in Earl's lead instead. The instrumental version of The Velvelettes' HE WAS REALLY SAYIN' SOMETHIN' and the Northern Soul stomper ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT, an unreleased Vandellas tune complete with backing vocals, have snuck out before on the CELLARFUL OF MOTOWN series. The latter tune is so good that it became an instant collector's item when it was released on 45 a few years ago. Earl Van Dyke's own composition, OPUS AND FUNK from 1965, is another unreleased dancer made for the mod market and anyone who loves Booker T & The MGs.
Added to all this essential music is a lovingly put together 28-page booklet, stuffed with rare photos, detailed track-by-track recording details and an essay by author and music-fiend Allan Slutsky, jam-packed with new information about Motown's backing band. If you already have the highly acclaimed DVD film STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN, then this is an essential accompaniment.
Grab a copy before they are all sold out!