Once again, real life sets in, but I had to get this one up and running for you… As the 45 rpm festival continues, albeit a little sporadic, I am pleased to bring back my friend Mr. Double Down! You all should know of his mighty Hook And Sling blog (which he runs along with his comrades Hoppin’ John and The Popcorn King) and the monthly night at the Brown Sugar Bar in Holborn. For those of you residing in that part of the world, I strongly encourage you to head on over, check ’em out and of course, show your love.
Here is the second installment of what Double Down and I like to call the “Soul Exchange”. Once you’re fattened up over here, be sure to drop on by his place for even more! This time, we are being treated to another stellar selection of 45s, handpicked from DD’s very huge (and oftentimes very expensive) crates! There’s nothing more I can say here, so I’ll let the man himself do the talking…
As my good friend Vincent The Soul Chef would say “Hello kiddies”. My name is Mr Double Down and welcome to the second Fufu Stew / Hook And Sling Soul Exchange!!
It’s a serious honour and privilege to be invited back here to what I regard as one of the best blogs on the internet. Of recent, the standard of Guest posts at Fufu Stew (as well as Vincent’s very own posts) have been really truly phenomenal. Faced with the difficult task of coming up with something that would stand up next to the likes of Larry Grogan, DJ Bluewater, Planet Mondo, Devil Dick et al was pretty daunting. I opted to go for something a little different (at least from myself anyway) and try my hand at an all instrumental mix.
This made for a long dig through the crates, seeking out sides that were interesting enough and maybe not so played out or obvious. Those that know me, or pop by The Hook And Sling will know my tastes lean heavily towards the funk side of the spectrum and the majority of instrumentals in my collection, as well as my choices today fall into this category. So here we go!
Billy Cobham – Stratus Pt1 – Atlantic
4th Coming – The Dead Don’t Die Alive Pt2 – Alpha
Salt – Hung Up – Milk
Idris Muhammad – Super Bad – Prestige
The Hustlers – Soft Hustle – People
Bad Medicine – The Trespasser Pt2 – Enyx
The Soul Providers – Soul Jasper – Desco
Freedom Now Brothers – Sissy Walk – All Brothers
The Soul Toranodoes – Boots Groove – Magic City
Breakestra – Deuces Up, Double Down Pt1 – Stones Throw
Charles Earland – Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head – Prestige
First up is Billy Cobham and his Atlantic 45 ‘Stratus’. Some of you may recognise this as the hook which makes up Massive Attacks ‘Safe From Harm’. It’s a pretty tough track musically with Cobham displaying his innovative drumming over a killer bass line. I love the fact that it totally rocks out into a proper jam towards the end and multiple listens reveal something new in Cobham’s drumming each time. Quality!
4th Coming with ‘The Dead Don’t Die Alive’ are up next. This Phsyc funk synth laden instrumental on the Hollywood based Alpha Records has a slightly different arrangement to the vocal part one. Tricky but not impossible to turn up and still commanding a strong price from some dealers at the moment.
Kicking it up a gear into full on funk Breaks mode is Salt and ‘Hung Up’. Unfortunately this is taken from the (DJ Shadow owned????) Milk reissue, which itself is becoming harder to find due to its inclusion on the Brain Freeze LP. The original pressing is on Choctaw Records. I was offered first refusal on a Choctaw copy by a London dealer who had found a stash in New Orleans several months back, however, unable to raise the cash in time, I missed out on it and that particular copy went on to fetch around £1250 on Ebay, making it one of the most expensive funk 45s out there. I guess my Milk copy will have to do for now…….
Idris Muhammad’s cover of James Brown’s ‘Super Bad’ is next up and manages to retain all the raw funk of the original. Released on Bob Wienstock’s Prestige record label in 1970, it features Muhammad on drums and certainly pulls no punches. Mustard!
Following on with the James Brown theme are The Hustlers and ‘Soft Hustle’ on my favourite record label People. Brown used People as a platform to experiment with different formations of his musical extended family, often giving them different pseudonyms eg. The Progressors and The Devils. This particular cut was written and produced by James Brown himself and arranged by Fred Wesley and came towards the end of the labels short but productive run.
Another Deep funk monster up next with Bad Medicine and “The Trespasser Pt. 2. Penned and produced by Arthur Lane in 1974 this was put out on the New York based Enyx Label. It was comped by Keb Darge a while ago and was a massive track at his weekly night Legendary Deep Funk in Soho to boot! They don’t make records like this anymore and you only need to listen to the drums and horn section to realise why!!
The Soul Providers and ‘Soul Jasper’ are up next. This is a tasty little organ burner that kicks along with chicken scratch guitar and a classy horn section. Released on Desco Records, a label that was run by Gabriel Roth and Philippe Lehman. Lehman founded Soul Fire Records and Roth went on to set up Daptone. Several of the artists went from Desco (including Sharon Jones) on to release 45s with him at Daptone.
Next up is a track some of you may recognize as being ripped off and bastardized by a certain well known Brighton based Big Beat DJ. The original version ‘Sissy Walk’ by Freedom Now Brothers is featured here and the 45 is backed by a vocal version titled ‘You Did It’ by Ann Robinson, a track I’ve featured on a previous mix over at The Hook And Sling.
Ernest Burt’s Magic City Records gives us The Soul Toranodoes and ‘Boots Groove’ next. This is the flip to ‘Hot Pants Breakdown’ and has a slightly country feel to it. A nice bit of slide guitar sits over the organ groove and is pushed along by the snare led drums. Pretty hard to turn up in decent condition and a quick listen to both sides will shed light on why as this must have got some serious plays on the party scene back in the early 70s!! Note the bands name, which should have been Soul Tornadoes but was changed and apparently stuck after being misspelt.
Leaping forward a couple of decades to 2001 and Breakestra unleash the aptly named ‘Deuces up, Double Down Pt. 1’ on the Stones Throw juke box series. This comes in tidy looking picture sleeve and is a fantastic dance floor filler that always does the business at our monthly night in London.
We round things up by heading back to the Prestige label for Charles Earland’s scintillating organ fuelled version of Burt Bacharach’s classic ‘Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head’. Pure quality and a perfect way to finish up!
Please download and enjoy Lost For Words, an mp3 file, 31 MB
I want to thank you for listening / reading my contribution and I’d like to extend another massive thanks to Vincent The (Super) Soul Chef for having me here and letting me do my thing! Hopefully in the future with time and life permitting our little exchanges can become a regular feature! Until next time……
Mr Double Down
and now for the closing commentary…
I want to once again thank Mr. Double down for another power packed blessing of 45 rpm goodness. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that this will become a regular feature here so look for more in the weeks and months to come. Hopefully I can persuade John and the “King” to join in on the fun… I also want to take this opportunity to wish the entire Hook And Sling team a happy first anniversary!!! Don’t forget to get on over to their spot for my part of the Soul Exchange! I have a very extra special post coming for y’all this weekend, as well as another guest post for the Trunk Of F.U.N.K. blog so don’t go far, ‘k? In the meantime, have a good week and as always, please be safe.
Peace and blessings.