Paris DJs Soundsystem presents 1975 - Standards, Versions & Revamps Vol.16
The majority of what's in the music history books about the year 1975 is about rock. Disco is now big in clubs and starts to make big waves in the charts too. But there'sz lot of other cool stuff in the margins. Our selection here is rather classic, with soul, funk and jazz mostly.
Paris DJs Soundsystem presents 1975 - Standards, Versions and Revamps Vol.16
(MP3 Podcast on www.ParisDJs.com) 2016-02-24
[comment faire?/how to?]
01. Oscar Toney Jnr - Is It Because I'm Black
(from 'I've Been Loving You Too Long To Stop Now...' album, 1975 / Contempo)
SYL JOHNSON cover, more info on wikipedia
Oscar Toney Jr. is one of the great voices of Southern soul, even though he's often forgotten from history books. He released in early 1974 this rather funky version of the old Syl Johnson 1969 Twinight 125 hit 'Is It Because I’m Black', collected along with other singles on a 9-track Contempo LP released at the very beginning of 1975, the only one he did for the British label, failing to sell big in the UK and unissued in the US.
02. Ultrafunk - Use Me
(from 'Ultrafunk' album, 1975 / Contempo)
BILL WITHERS cover, more info on wikipedia
'Use Me' was a big hit for Bill Withers in 1972, it's an eternal classic covered by many. We already played a version by The JB's (here) and another by Gentle Rain (here). Isaac Hayes' take on the 1975 album of the same name nearly made it to this mix, but we opted for 'Feel Like Making Love', and kept UltraFunk's blaxploitation-inspired rare bit of funk from the mid 70s UK scene instead. The band was most likely a studio group assembled for the session, but they're tight and plenty funky!
03. Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media - Funky Stuff
(from 'Funky Stuff' album, 1975 / Columbia)
KOOL & THE GANG cover, more info on wikipedia
Extracted from a Japanese jazz-funk-soul LP from saxophonist/flutist/producer Jiro Inagaki with his Soul Media band, this Kool & the Gang cover — originally on their 1973 'Wild & Peaceful' album — is pure syncopated jazz-funk. The rest of the LP is half smooth/half funky but all great. Alas even the 2015 Japan-only reissue is very hard to find now…
04. Isaac Hayes - Feel Like Makin' Love
(from 'Use Me' album, 1975 / Stax)
EUGENE MCDANIEL cover, more info on wikipedia
Soul Icon Isaac Hayes left Stax records in 1974 to launch his own Hot Buttered Soul label, and in 1975 a "new" album was nevertheless released on Stax, collecting some outtakes and unreleased recordings from the 1970s. A few months later Stax closed down due to bankrupcy and strangely, this 'Use Me' album from 1975 seems now to be voluntarily forgotten from all Isaac Hayes discographies. It shouldn't be, cos' it's really a great "album"… well collection of tracks. The Bill Withers cover opening the album ("Use Me") is superb — and we already have the Ultrafunk version of the same tune in this mix — but it's the epic 13mn version of the Eugene McDaniel classic 'Feel Like Making Love' (made famous by Roberta Flack) that we picked here: 13 minutes long but eternally timeless!
05. Hugo Montenegro - Caravan
(from 'Others By Brothers' album, 1975 / RCA)
DUKE ELLINGTON cover, more info on wikipedia
American orchestra leader Hugo Montenegro is quite famous for his movie soundtracks, easy listening albums and electronic/Moog works. In the mid-1970s he released a funky album with a crew of great musicians (James Jamerson from Motown on bass, Hal Blaine on drums, Larry Carlton on guitar…) and lots of ARP synths. From this LP we picked the Duke Ellington standard 'Caravan', which Montenegro had already arranged and recorded in 1958. This 1975 psychedelic version is just outstanding.
06. Brian Dee - The Look Of Love
(from'Hammond Excitement' album, 1975 / Polydor)
BURT BACHARACH/HAL DAVID cover, more info on wikipedia
First recorded by Stan Getz as an instrumental in December 1966, followed by the vocal version by Dusty Springfied in january 1967 for the 'Casino Royale' soundtrack, 'The Look Of Love' is the kind of ultimate classic that's been covered so many times, while being also one of the hardest ones to cover. Most of the times the versions are boring, but this Hammond instrumental arrangement nails it with class. There's also a cool funk/mod organ version of 'Light My Fire' on the LP but we might have heard The Doors' tune too much already at this point…
07. Sir Walter - Who's Been Warming My Oven?
(recorded 1975, from 'Memphis 70' compilation, 2008 / BGP)
MACK VICKERY cover, more info on wikipedia
This soulful gospel/blues cover by Sir Walter Raleigh was produced by Goldwax's founder, Quinton Launch, who was clearly fond of the tune, having recorded it twice previously with both James Carr and Spencer Wiggins. Previously unissued, it was finally released on the Dean Rudland-selected compilation 'Memphis 70: The City's Funk And Soul In The Decade After Otis 1968-1978' on BGP in 2008.
08. Melba Moore - Sunshine Superman
(from 'Peach Melba' album, 1975 / Buddah)
DONOVAN cover, more info on wikipedia
Originally one of the first psychedelia hits by Scottish singer/songwriter Donovan way back in 1966, 'Sunshine Superman' becomes a sweet, tight & funky, psychedelic soul gem in the hands of Eugene McDaniels, who produced the critically acclaimed fourth LP from singer Melba Moore, her first on the Buddah Records label. Featuring 10 year old twins Wendy and Susannah Melvoin on backing vocals.
09. Phil Flowers & The United Family - Smarty Pants (First Choice)
(from 'Some A Dis Some A Dat' album, 1975 / Longwood)
FIRST CHOICE cover, more info on wikipedia
Opening the 'Armed And Extremely Dangerous' LP from Philadelphia female vocal trio First Choice on Philly Groove Records in 1973, 'Smarty Pants' is a truly infectious tune, a bit cheesy at first until you realize what the lyrics are about. Phillip John Flowers was a Washington area singer and composer who released some privately pressed album in the 1970s, including 'Some-A-Dis/Some-A-Dat' recorded with his own family with whom he was touring at the time. Their take on 'Smarty Pants' isn't that far from the original version but a cool funky disco rarity anyway.
10. Akira Ishikawa - Pick Up the Pieces
(from 'Back to Rhythm' album, 1975 / Columbia)
AVERAGE WHITE BAND cover, more info on wikipedia
'Back to Rhythm' is a fantastic jazz-funk/fusion with african influences album by japanese drummer Akira Ishikawa and his Count Buffalo band, with many cool covers (The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, B.T. Express, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Incredible Bongo Band, Fela Kuti), and especially a huge version of 'Pick Up The Pieces' by the Average White Band. Same as for the Jiro Inagaki LP mentioned above, this one was reissued on vinyl in 2015, but getting harder and harder to find every day.
11. Jackie Moore - Make Me Feel Like A Woman
(from 'Make Me Feel Like A Woman' album, 1975 / Kayvette)
CLARENCE REID cover, more info on wikipedia
American musician, songwriter and producer Clarence Reid, also known as Blowfly, passed away last month so weve picked a nice composition of his to feature in this mix. Penned for soul singer Jackie Moore, this sexy mid-tempo Southern soul piece is just one of the many aspects of Clarence Reid's talents.
12. James Last - Summertime
(from 'Well Kept Secret' album, 1975 / Polydor)
GEORGE GERSHWIN cover, more info on wikipedia
We close this 1975 mix with German composer and big band leader James Last, who's put out too many albums to count between 1959 and 2011, two of which getting recognition in the funk circles: 'Voodoo Party' from 1973 (played by in this Paris DJs mix, and 'Well Kept Secret' from 1975. Extracted from the latter is a funky soundtrack-ish cover of the Gershwin classic 'Summertime'.
Total time : 56mn 52s
Selected by Djouls (parisdjs.com)
Mixed and mastered by Grant Phabao (grantphabao.com)
Artwork by Ben Hito (facebook.com/benhito)
Paris DJs : parisdjs.com | bandcamp | facebook | pinterest | soundcloud | twitter | youtube
Ben Hito : official | discogs | facebook