Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves

My wife's brother is a fantastic source for cool music. Everytime I see him, he has some album to tell me about that I've never heard of before. For example, he was the guy who turned me onto DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist's Brainfreeze and the Wattstax DVD.

Well, when I saw him at Thanksgiving, he dropped another bomb on me. A four disc set of rare soul tracks from Atlantic & Warner's vaults called What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves. 91 songs in total. The box is packed with smoking soul tunes from the 60's and 70's from artists you've heard of before (Curtis Mayfield, Little Richard, Commodores, etc.) and tons of bands you've never heard before. However, if you're a fan of Brainfreeze, you'll recognize a few of the tunes from Shadow's mix.

The Little Richard song has fully changed the way I look at the guy. I've always seen him as a cartoonish R&B/pop guy but his tune "Nuki Suki" is a filthy piece of fantastic funk.

The other nice part of the set is the packaging. Nice sturdy cardboard box that you could put on your bookshelf with a thick book inside discussing each song.

The downside to the collection are the flute songs. My brother-in-law explained it best. "Whenever you hear a flute, just hit skip." It's good advice but at least there are only a handful of flute tunes.

2006 has been a great year to be a fan of old Northern soul. Between this collection, the Eccentric Soul discs, Soul Sides, Sharon Jones, the Kashmere Stage Band re-issue and Gilles Peterson Digs America (a late 2005 release), that's over 200 songs of fun funky sweaty soul to enjoy.

Eldridge Holmes | Pop, Popcorn Children | Buy
Brute Force | The Deacon | Buy
The T.S.U. Tornadoes | Getting the Corners | Buy
Little Richard | Nuki Suki | Buy


Kate said...

ooh... top of the christmas list for me.

Flatlander said...

Have fun rockin' around the Christmas tree.

michaelmotorcycle said...

love it, love it, love it. i am so *tired* of complaint rock. this is the antidote! xm

Michael said...

This is indeed a great boxed set. Got it as an impulse buy at Pure Pop but I knew Rhino wouldn't let me down. I've been listening to it pretty much nonstop since I got it in early December.

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