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FUNK & Soul

The most recent genre I have gotten into. Mostly thanks to the legendary Noah Safer. Check out his blog Funk a genre that is very compelling and easy to listen to.

Disco is a genre that started in the late 60s and ended really before the 80s. It produced some great tracks while it lasted, the bee gees and kc and the sunshine band are at the top for me.

Favorite albums from the funk / disco era

Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly & The Family Stone

        Hot fun in the summertime by Sly and the Family stone is such a cool song for me right now and it works as an upper for my post summer depression. A short song. but it packs such a powerfully upbeat sound. This song obviously sounds like the good times of the summertime on the surface but if you dig a little deeper into the time period of when this song was written it has sort of an alternative meaning. This song was written shortly after the race riots of 1969, could be sort of alluding to it. I kind of think of it as reminiscing about summer as a kid when you did not have to worry about real world problems (race riots). As a kid you are able to just release your responsibilities and not have to worry about hate.

         Obviously if you are reading this you are probably aware that I am not 60 years old and I am basically still in my childhood years of summer. I discovered this song about 1 week ago when I was finishing up my last week of Cape Cod. This song represents the end and start of something beautiful for me. With the poetic qualities of this song it is almost able to put you at peace for a second and forget about all else. 

Night fever - Bee Gees 


        In 1977, the Bee Gees were asked to right a song for the New York Dance Scene in the 70s, a plot for a new movie called Saturday Night Fever. SNF became a transcendental film for its iconic soundtrack and giving a start to a little know actor named John Travolta. Personally when I think of disco music I think of the Bee Gees, when they came to Miami these english men created a sound that no one had heard before. With Barry Gibbs as the lead vocalist , singing in falsetto, each brother's voice in this band complemented each other perfectly, creating a synchronized sound. This particular soundtrack sold over 15 million, one of the highest selling soundtracks of all time and it launched a revolutionary new sound.

Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker) - Parliament
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        This particular song by Parliament, I feel encapsulates the funk genre as a whole. In 1974 when this was released, P-Funk, managed by George Clinton believed that they were being shut down by the music industry, hence the lyrics, "Let us in, we'll turn this mutha out!". This song, being almost six minutes in length is a trip and a half, right around 40 seconds when the bass kicks in you can feel that in your soul. A perfect song for really anytime of year.

Cruisin' - Smokey Robinson  


        So I do not have a ton of history or facts on this song but I can take about it for days. This song, released in 1979, a soulful classic, in which Smokey wrote the lyrics having already heard the music that his guitarist, "Marv Tarplin had written previously. It took him 5 years to figure out the lyrics. Finally it all came together in while he was riding down Sunset Boulevard. 

        One of those songs that never gets old and I could sit back and listen to all day. Through this nearly 6 minute song, right around 1:05 Smokey lays down the soothing vocals with a "let the music take your mind, just release and you will find..." Then the chills start going down the spine. 

         A masterpiece that should be listened to at least 1 time a week when cruising down the coast of the cape in the summer. 

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