En 77, j’avais un lancer en fibre de verre et même si on préfairait sortir avec les filles, c’était l’époque des grandes virées en R16, les K7 à fond les ballons pour aller sortir les truites de l’Aubrac. Après avoir écumé la Truyère, la Rimeize, le Bès, on finissait au Menestrel, la boite de La Canourgue, où on était, le temps de la nuit, les rois du monde avec notre musique de sauvages! Vous voulez du pur groove, cette mixtape 1977 – Standards, Versions & Revamps Vol.18 concoctée par nos potes de Paris DJ est une merveille du genre et vous devriez déjà être en train de danser en l’écoutant à fond la caisse ! Ce soir, le roi du dancefloor, c’est vous !
1 -Houston Person – I No Get Eye For Back
(from ‘Harmony’ album, 1977 / Mercury)
FELA KUTI cover, more info on wikipedia
There aren’t that many interesting Fela covers out there. Phirpo y sus Caribe did « Let’s Start » in 1971, which Jungle Fire re-did in 2012. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble did « Water No Get Enemy » in 2010. Wganda Kenya or Lizandro Meza did « Shakara » in the mid 1970s. And that’s nearly all. There’s another one from 1977 which you might haven’t heard yet: « I No Can Get Eye For Back ». Originally released by Fela in 1974 as the B-side to « Alagbon Close », its cover version is saxophonist Houston Person 1970s jazz-funk recordings’ main attraction. A truly great dig, sampled by nasal rapper and p-funk lover Kendrick Lamar.
2. Paul Zaza – Le Payback (Instrumental)
(from ‘Le Payback’ album, 1977 / Baby Grand)
JAMES BROWN cover, more info on wikipedia
Canadian film music composer Paul Zaza released his first album in 1977. A sought-after cosmic jazz funk affair, in the same plastic disco vein as Jean-Pierre Massiera, in includes a nice funk-with-a-small-taste-of-boogie cover of the godfather of funk, available in vocal and instrumental versions, the latter being our pick here.
03. Fred Wesley & The Horny Horns feat. Maceo Parker – Up For The Down Stroke
(from ‘A Blow For Me, A Toot To You’ album, 1977 / Atlantic)
PARLIAMENT cover, more info on wikipedia
Produced by George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, with heavy participation by the P-Funk musical collective (including Garry Shider, Michael Hampton and Jerome Brailey), this first album from the former James Brown sideman is pure p-funk, guaranteed to please all P aficionados. The smashing cover of Parliament opening the record (and title track to their 1974 album of the same name) was one of the first compositions to feature the songwriting team of George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell (along with Fuzzy Haskins).
04. Mandré – Money (That’s What I Want)
(from ‘Mandré’ album, 1977 / Motown)
BARRETT STRONG cover, more info on wikipedia
« Mandré » is Andre Lewis’ debut album, exploring a more electronic/disco sound — with some obvious Frank Zappa kind of eccentricity — than with his previous band Maxayn (named after his wife Maxayn Lewis). The Zappa cover « Dirty Love » was indeed our first pick of the album here, but the Barrett Strong one, « Money (That’s What I Want »), made famous by The Beatles in 1963, finally works so much better with the tune which follows-up in this mix…
05. Rosebud – Money
(from ‘Discoballs: A Tribute to Pink Floyd’ album, 1977 / Flarenasch)
PINK FLOYD cover, more info on wikipedia
Following up on the previous track, which stated that Money is what we want, here’s some conceptual continuity with a rare cover of Pink Floyd’s « Money » hit, recorded with the cream of French musicians in 1977: Jannick Top on bass, André Sitbon on drums, Claude Engel on guitar, René Gary on harmonica, Jean Schulteis on percussion, Claude Sahakian on the orchestration and mix, etc.
06. Patti Labelle – Funky Music
(from ‘Patti Labelle’ album, 1977 / Epic)
EDWIN STARR cover, more info on wikipedia
Written by Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield, « Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On » was a psychedelic soul hit for Edwin Starr in 1971, The Temptations in 1973, and Yvonne Fair in 1974. Patti Labelle’s take from her 1977 self-titled album doesn’t contradict the fact that this is one of those killer heavy funk songs leaving nobody sitting down!
07. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Everybody’s Talkin’
(from ‘Let’s Clean Up the Ghetto’ compilation, 1977 / Philadelphia International)
FRED NEIL cover, more info on wikipedia
The compilation LP « Let’s clean up the Ghetto » from july 1977 by the Philadelphia International All-Stars, is a whole lot of Philly soul’s big hitters joining forces to raise social awareness, fight povery and attract attention to relevent issues of the times. All the tracks are exclusive to this album full of gems, which closes with a heart-rending soulful cover of Fred Neil’s « Everybody’s Talkin' », made famous by Harry Nilsson in 1969 in the soundtrack to « Midnight Cowboy ».
08. Caetano Veloso – Olha o Menino
(from ‘Bicho’ album, 1977 / Philips)
JORGE BEN cover, more info on wikipedia
After spending a month with Gilberto Gil in Lagos, Nigeria, Brazilian composer, singer, guitarist, writer, and political activist Caetano Veloso recorded a beautiful album influenced by juju, highlife and afrobeat, from which we’ve picked this uplifting samba soul cover of Jorge Ben’s « Olha O Menino ».
09. U-Roy – Babylon River
(from ‘Brent Dowe – Rivers Of Babylon’ 12 inch, 1977 / TR Groovemaster)
THE MELODIANS cover, more info on wikipedia
Everybody knows the Boney M version of « Rivers Of Babylon ». Less know it’s a cover of a 1970 song from Jamaican band The Melodians. And probably even fewer have heard of this cool deejay version by the Jamaican vocalist and pioneer of toasting U-Roy from 1977…
10. Philly Rollers – Strawberry Letter 23
(from ‘Super Soul’ album, 1977 / Springboard)
SHUGGIE OTIS cover, more info on wikipedia
The best known version of Shuggie Otis’ « Strawberry Letter 23 » (originally recorded it for his 1971 album Freedom Flight) is the one recorded by The Brothers Johnson and produced by Quincy Jones in 1977 (on their « Right On Time » album). A more upbeat funky instrumental version was recorded by Phil Upchurch around the same time. But it’s the one from West coast outfit Philly Rollers, also from 1977 which we ended up digging for this mix.
11. Biddu & The Orchestra – Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon
(from ‘Eastern Man’ album, 1977 / Epic)
NEIL DIAMOND cover, more info on wikipedia
Today, everybody knows the song « Girl, You »ll Be A Woman Soon » from Urge Overkill’s 1992 version featured in Quentin Tarantino’s « Pulp Fiction » two years later. The tune was first a US pop hit for Neil Diamond in 1968. Nearly a decade later it was covered by Indian-British music producer Biddu, one of the pioneers of disco, Euro disco and Indian pop — and also the man behind Carl Douglas’ 1974 mega-hit « Kung-Fu Fighting ».
12. Eddie Hazel – California Dreamin’
(from ‘Games, Dames, And Guitar Thangs’ album, 1977 / Warner Bros.)
THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS cover, more info on wikipedia
We close this mix with a masterpiece from P-funk guitar wizard Eddie Hazel, extracted from his essential solo album « Games, Dames, And Guitar Thangs », a concentrated dose of guitar-driven psychedelic soul and loping funk-rock, co-produced by George Clinton and featuring the full Mothership crew.
Total time : 56mn 23s