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THE FUNK BROTHERS GET DELUXED
on 16 January 2005
Congraulations Motown for allowing a deluxe edition of the film soundtrack, also for giving and holding back as I will explain later. First of all is the original soundtrack of the film which although mentioned in an earlier review, the uninspiring vocal performance of Meshell Ndegeocello doesnt seem to do justice to the project. The vocals of Joan Osborne and Ben Harper more then make up for these small short comings. Just to hear that original period organ used on the classic "I Heard Through The Grapevine" in the film concert will make any hardened soul fan's hair stand on end. Also included is the Funk Brothers anthem "The Flick" which see's it's first outing on a genuine Motown CD. At the end of the first disk we are treated to three bonus tracks. The main one being the rare outing of a track by Dennis Coffey intitled "Scorpio" this heavily sampled piece of funk has been a rare groove fave for many years.
Now CD2 - yes, they are billing it as a naked instrumental remixes of the original hits but there is a lot more here then meets the eye. With Motown holding back, many of these tracks are not the originally released backing tracks. Instead they are alternate takes which really show the talents of everybody involved and would please any hardend Motown collector or any soul fan. For example the Supremes track "Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart" features a fantastic lead piano by Earl Van Dyke, but to Motown and Northern Soul fans you can detect the beginnings of the Northern Soul classic by The Contours "Just A Little Misunderstanding". On the track "For Once In My Life" you can sense that the band are really holding themselves back, knowing this is a vocal backing track, despite this you can feel a sense of soul and jazz fusing together - it's just happening. Thus to the trained and seasoned ear, here is a refreshing slant on the Motown Sound. So don't get hung up on what seems to be a same ole tracklisting belive me there are gems within the gems.