Hustle: the Ultimate Fatback 1969-1984 CD
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The 2CD ultimate Fatback compilation includes a CD of the biggest of the bands 31 US and 10 UK hits, and a CD of their best of their incredible catalogue featuring many of the best breaks, floor-fillers, and sumptious ballads. High points include their all-time soul anthem I Found Lovin, King Tim III the first ever rap record, such disco classics as Spanish Hustle, Bus Stop and breaks that have been used by Bjork, the Beastie Boys and Groove Armada. The CD comes lavishly packaged with rare photos and an in-depth note, taken from a new interview with Fatback founder Bill Curtis.
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However this collection could have been much better if the tracks had been sequenced in date order. Like many black artists Fatback were adept at evolving their sound in response to changing musical fashions, and had changed almost beyond recognition between 1974 and 1980. So jumping from 1982, to 1977, to 1974 and then to 1983 at the close of CD1 mixes tracks which do not flow together. Another problem is that some of the classics such as (Are you ready) Do the Bus Stop and Backstrokin appear in shorter edited versions. This is a poor allocation of space given the inclusion of several average and similar sounding electro-funk tracks from 1979-84 some at full 7 minute length. The result is a less than an “ultimate” collection. The rationale seems to be that all the 7” singles are included, but on this account The Booty (1976) is missing. This approach also omits a few unique LP tracks such as loping, lazy groove, and country hick / city dweller jive dialogue of New York Style (1974) or the proto-Detroit Techno beats and textures of Concrete Jungle (1980).
That said this is still the best collection available and very good value.
The Fatback Band are capable of making some very exciting sounds. Really love the percussion takes on each of the featured tracks. Excellent selection, but wish the longer versions were included of certain tracks. This album is a real find for those interested in FB's music.
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