WHAT IT IS! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves [1967-1977]

What It Is! a


”Too many reissue compilations are content to merely slice ‘n’ dice familiar catalog choices in not particularly original ways. But this four-disc, 91-track trove of obscure ’70s R&B and funk from Warner-distributed labels great and small argues there’s still treasure to be gleaned from studio vaults–a five-hour groove-fest that’s as interested in shaking booty as in opening ears. Even the genre’s groundbreaking usual suspects (Wilson Pickett, the Bar-Kays, Curtis Mayfield, Earth, Wind & Fire, et al) are represented by selections that aren’t immediately familiar, while Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin serves up a radically different, previously unreleased take of “Rock Steady.” Still other stars contribute their sonic touches to some of the lesser-known cuts, as witnessed by the patent trippiness of Sly Stone alter-egos 6ix and Stanga on “I’m Just Like You” and “Little Sister,” respectively; the stark, party-not-so-hearty contrast of the Mayfield-written-and-produced “Hard Times” by Baby Huey & Baby Sisters; and the Meters’ version of “Tampin’,” released under the moniker of the Rhine Oaks.

Sequenced in rough chronological order, it’s a savvy window into a musical evolution as well, with the rhythmic guitars, organ swells, and horn flourishes of traditional ’60s R&B giving way to sinewy synths and increasingly chunky bass lines as the decade grooves on. While savvy hip-hoppers will note that many of the rarities here have already been repurposed by shrewd mixers, it’s a revelation to hear them in their original form. A compelling deconstruction of an often clichéd and too-narrowly-defined genre, this is an anthology that showcases music that has influenced such contemporary artists as Tupac, the Beastie Boys, Snoop Dogg, and Kanye West, annotated by many of the original musicians who set the dance floor in motion.” — Jerry McCulley



”This is a pretty sick compilation. It’s funkin’ awesome. You will be funkin’ all night to it. Alright no more shtick. Get it, if you love funk.”

”I am 1% cooler for having listened to this.”

”Quite possibly the finest compendium of funk one could possibly lay their ears on. Takes a while to get through and digest, but is high on accessibility and nearly perfect in quality and diversity (big names as well as guys I’ve never heard of before). Mark this one as essential.”

 ”Pimpin, Simply pimpin.”
”Basically the Nuggets of R&B, except it consistently beats its mainstream competition.  If you’re into the style, this is essential.  A good number of these are instrumentals, but that’s not a bad thing.”
What It Is! b
Funky Surfadelic, Dig!!!




”A History of Garage and Frat Bands in Memphis, 1960-75 is a Memphis garage rock compilation that was released in conjunction with the book ‘Playing for a Piece of the Door’, by Ron Hall. The book is a candid history and discography of over one hundred garage rock bands who recorded at least one record in Memphis between1960-1975.”

Hmmm… More appropriate title would be ‘History of Garage and Soul Bands in Memphis’ as approximately 30% of the stuff are R&B tunes [especially on vol.2]. It’s a pretty interesting collection of some fine rare 60’s recordings transferred directly from original vinyls [not master trax], so the sound is bit raw & grainy here and there but anyway cool [I’ve fixed some cliks & crackles]. Some of the bands could be heard on other comps as Flash & The Casuals on ”Uptight, Tonight” comp, Danny Bunk And The Invaders on ”Hang It Out To Dry!”, The Escapades and The Breakers on ”Pebbles”, The Scepters on ”Everywhere Chainsaw Sound” etc. but some tunes can be find only here as The Coachmen ”Possibility”,  great Sci-Fi instrumental ”The Mysterians” by Jimmy Tarbutton And The Memphis Sound or rare garage gem Los Angeles Smog Division ”Blue Green” with ”borrowed” Pretty Things ”LSD” riff. Ok, check my favs below ‘n’ Dig!!!




SHORTY LONG – Here Comes The Judge [1968]


“Alabama singer, musician and composer Shorty Long relocated to Detroit, after touring with The Ink Spots. He was signed to Harvey Fuqua’s Tri-Phi label, where he released three singles that did not chart. When Fuqua sold his business to Berry Gordy, Long became a Motown artist. More singles followed with little success on the subsidiary label Soul, starting in 1964 with “Devil in the Blue Dress”, which Mitch Ryder covered and turned into a huge hit. Long had to wait until 1968 for a change of luck, when his funky composition “Here Comes the Judge” went to the Top 10. Motown rush-released an album, with all the singles and new songs. The following year, after recording his second album (which he also produced, a privilege that only Smokey Robinson had at Motown, by then), Long died in a boating accident on the Detroit river.”

Now! Here’s pretty fine slice of sweet 60’s R&B/Soul music for your sweet summer vacation. Vinyl Rip! Ain’t no justice? Here comes Mr.Eliminator, Dig!!!

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”Dyke & the Blazers were one of the first acts possibly the first notable act to play funk other than James Brown. Indeed, they often sounded like a sort of junior version of Brown and the JB’s, playing songs in which the rhythms and riffs mattered more than the tune. Similarly, vocalist Dyke Christian sang/grunted words that mattered more for the feeling and rhythm than the content. Their best-known track, “Funky Broadway, ” was covered for a bigger hit by Wilson Pickett, though Dyke & the Blazers got a few more R&B hits before Dyke was shot to death in 1971.”
Subtitled The Ultimate Broadway Funk, no one’s going to beat this as the ultimate Dyke & the Blazers compilation. The two-CD, two-hour-and-20-minute set has everything they released on 45 or LP between 1967-1970, including unedited full-length versions of seven of their singles, no less than 13 previously unissued tracks, and even some radio station promos.

It could be that less intense funk/Dyke fans might wish for a more succinct single-disc comp concentrating on the official singles, especially as, like many single-artist funk anthologies, the grooves get a little similar-sounding over the course of two-plus hours. Then again, if you like the group enough to get a Dyke & the Blazers collection in the first place, you might well be the type who thrives on such lengthy dwellings on the primeval funk groove. And as such grooves went, few were better (and very few artists, if any other than James Brown, did them earlier) or earthier than Dyke & the Blazers, even if it turns out that session musicians (including members of the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band) often played the parts of the Blazers in the studio.

The anthology is conveniently divided into one disc of their 1966-1967 sessions (all held in Phoenix, where the band was based at the time) and a second of their 1968-1970 sessions (which all took place in Hollywood), though the quality remains consistent throughout. That counts the many unreleased tracks, which are generally up to the standard of what the band officially released, including some (like the ultra-kinetic — if marred by some out-of-tune horns — &”She Knows It,” the upbeat “Let’s Do It Together,” and the untypical serious ballad “Why Am I Treated So Funky Bad?”) that would have ranked among their more interesting efforts had they been issued at the time.” [Richie Unterberger]
If you want your funk long, dirty & uncut, this is fer ya. Dyke gonna funk you long time. Stay in the groove!

LITTLE RICHARD – Get Down With It: The Okeh Sessions [1966/67]

While Little Richard Penniman is well known for his Specialty, Mercury, Veejay, and Modern recordings (though many of the sides on the latter two labels were merely redos of his Specialty hits), he is little celebrated for these wonderful sides recorded for Okeh in 1966 and 1967. The Little Richard on these sessions is a seasoned R&B singer whose feet are deeply rooted in modern-era Southern soul. That said, there are a few traces of Motown that creep in as well despite the fact that the material was all recorded in Hollywood.
For Okeh, Little Richard recorded devastatingly fine versions of “Function at the Junction,””I Don’t Want to Discuss It,” Berry Gordy’s “M-O-N-E-Y,””Poor Dog,””Hurry Sundown,” and Sam Cooke’s “Well All Right” to mention a few. To help him pull it all off this was seen as a last-ditch survival effort for the singer. Little Richard’s sidemen for these dates include Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Larry Williams, Eddie Fletcher, and Glen Willings a crack studio band if there ever was one.
In sum, the Okeh material yielded one fine, 11-track album ”The Explosive” Little Richard released in 1967, and three issued B-sides for its singles. Appearing on this comp. for the very first time are three leftover tracks that include smoking raw versions of Fats Domino’s “Rocking Chair” and Leiber & Stoller’s “Hound Dog.” There isn’t a loser in the bunch, and these performances are truly inspired, burning from start to finish; they are startling even today. [Thom Jurek]
Get Down ‘n’ Dig!

BOOKER T. & THE MG’s – Doin’ Our Thing [1968]

“Eight of the album’s 11 songs are covers, including “Never My Love,””Ode to Billy Joe” and Sonny Bono’s “The Beat Goes On,” which show the MG’s moving in a more streamlined, pop-oriented direction. Here the band’s sound begins to undergo a transformation from its edgier origins toward the smoother, jazzier feel that would characterize their later work, “Expressway to Your Heart” and the title track being cases in point. This is not to say that the MG’s don’t still kick it. “I Can Dig It” and a version of “You Keep Me Hanging On” show the band capable of both go-go grooves and pounding rock.”

Booker T’s 6th slab o’ superfine organ driven R&B instro Soul music. Few originals [I Can Dig It, Doin’ Our Thing, Blue On Green] and lotsa covers ofSoul Survivors, The Association, Sonny Bono, The Coasters, The Supremes etc. Hammond B-3 Dig!  

IT’S HAPPENING Vol.1,2,3 [Forgotten Dancer Treasures]

Interesting mix of some rare late 60’s/early 70’s Mod, Soul, Funk, Bubblegum, Lounge dance tunes. There are more volumes in this fun vinyl only series but I got only these. Well, IT’S what’s HAPPENING!!!
01. Rick Mcphail – Introduction
02. Paul Revere & The Raiders – It’s Happening
03. Ernie Garrett – Eleanor Rigby
04. Cliff Nobles – The Horse
05. Luther Ingram – I Spy (For The F.B.I.)
06. Roland Kirk – Making Love After Hours
07. Georgie Fame – Seventh Son
08. The Nirvana Sitar & String Group – The Letter
09. Jonathan King – Let It All Hang Out
10. Jack Mcduff – Wade In The Water
11. Oscar Brown Jr. – The Snake
12. The Capitols – Tired Running From You
13. Chubby Checker – (At The) Discotheque
14. Jacques Dutronc – A La Queue Les Yvelines
15. Unknown Artist – Harter Tag (Bonus Track)


01. Rick McPhail – Introduction
02. Eddie Carlton – Things Are Getting A Little Tougher
03. Trax 4 – Coming Home Baby
04. The Shadows Of Knight – Run Run Billy Porter
05. Mose Allison – I’m Not Talking
06. Lonnie Satin – Soul Bossa Nova
07. Knut Kiesewetter – Stop Stop Stop
08. James & Bobby Purify – I Take What I Want
09. Brian Bennet – Sunny Afternoon
10. Alexander Stone – Man In The Suitcase
11. Bobby More – Hey Mr. DJ
12. The Cavaliers – Hold To My Baby
13. Bob Seger & The Last Heard – East Side Story
14. HET – Keije Nagan
15. Unknown Artist – Bonus Track
01. The Impressions – The Young Mods Forgotten Story
02. Chuck Jackson – I Only Get This Feeling
03. The Village Callers – I Don’t Need No Doctor
04. Billy Hawks – Let Me Love You Before You Go
05. The Redcaps – Talkin’ Bout You
06. Little Esther Phillips – Cherry Wine
07. Jackie Wilson – Light My Fire
08. New Dawn – Slave Of Desire
09. The Zombies – Summertime
10. Pucho – Cantaloop Island
11. Billy Larkin – Hold On I’m Coming
12. Roy Hamilton – You Shook Me Up
13. Shirley Ellis – Sugar Let’s Shing-A-Ling
14. Unknown Artist – Bonus Track