BLUEBIRD/COLD SWEAT RECORDS
FUNKADELIC – FREE YOUR MIND AND YOUR ASS WILL FOLLOW: The title pretty much says it all on Funkadelic’s 2nd album. Heavy grooves mixed with psych guitar lines and sociopolitical overtones were an unwelcome jab to white Amerika. A country just getting through the Civil Rights Movement of the late 60′s. Now here comes a gang of black, freaked out, drugged out motherfuckers with guitars and shit loads of soul who just couldn’t stopped!
SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE – FRESH: After the huge success of “There’s A Riot Going On.” Sly fell into a lesser commercial success, but also created one fucking groovy ass record. Based on racial unity and love, not to mention the use of the rhythm ace. This record would go on to influence many, not to mention Miles Davis’ ‘On The Corner.”
MILES DAVIS – ON THE CORNER: One of the scariest and most progressive albums of all time. Miles pulled from contemporaries like Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix to once again redefine Jazz, Rock, and music in general. ‘On The Corner’ is from the streets, about the streets, and nothing is harder and wicked than this record. This is some other shit.
JOHN COLTRANE – A LOVE SUPREME: A man coming out of darkness (aka drug addiction) to find the light. This is an album dedicated to a higher power and one of the most beautiful and heavy records of all time. Also redefining the Jazz genre and setting a new standard.
CURTIS MAYFIELD – CURTIS: Another important record recorded shortly after the Civil Rights Movement in the USA. Curtis brought a sense of black identity, power and social commentary to the commercial world. Tracks like’ Move On Up’ and “Power To The People” will forever stand as an inspiration for all races.
FELA KUTI – CONFUSION: One of the most important figures in music ever. Writer, composer, arranger, producer, musician, political radical. Fela Kuti helped create Afro Beat music for the world. Mixing James Brown funkiness with Bob Marley’s political slant. Fela tore shit up until his untimely death due to AIDS. One threatening motherfucker here, he left the world with many a great record. Confusion (released in 1975, and being one of like 20 albums he recorded) just being one of em.
JAMES BROWN – REVOLUTION OF THE MIND: Mr. Brown and The JB’s were at the top of their game here. There’s no other way to show it than live, and the JB’s just never failed (esp. when Bootsy was manning the bass). The musicianship and intensity of James Brown and the JB’s is undeniable. Their 8 minute version of ‘Bewildered’ is just too much.
ARETHA FRANKLIN – YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK: Title of this record (borrowed from Nina Simone) pretty much sums it up! Aretha’s cover of “Rock Steady’ seals the deal.
PHARAOH SANDERS – KARMA: Former John Coltrane band member, Pharaoh Sanders is most known for this exceptional record. 2 songs clock in around 40 minutes here. Thematically, Karma is a spiritual ride, taking us into a meditative journey. A slow burn, the 1st track ‘The Creator Has A Master Plan” builds and builds without tension, yet dynamically explodes at 18 minutes just to drop back into the euphoric groove. This is true meditation for the mind and soul.
STEVIE WONDER – TALKING BOOK: Written and almost entirely performed by Stevie himself, Talking Book straddles the fence on deep love songs and intense social commentary. Ever so present in my fave song of his repertoire “Big Brother.” A song based on how politicians only come to the ghetto when it’s election time. This song alone is worth the price of this amazing piece of work.
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