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What It Is! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves (1967-1977)

4.8 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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What It Is! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves [1967-1977]
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Audio CD, October 3, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

91 tracks deep and five hours long, this multi-artist, 4CD set mines rare, renowned, legendary, and little-known grooves from the vaults of Atlantic, Atco, and Warner Bros Records!

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Too many reissue compilations are content to merely slice 'n' dice familiar catalog choices in not particularly original ways. But this four-disc, 91-track trove of obscure '70s R&B and funk from Warner-distributed labels great and small argues there's still treasure to be gleaned from studio vaults--a five-hour groove-fest that's as interested in shaking booty as in opening ears. Even the genre's groundbreaking usual suspects (Wilson Pickett, the Bar-Kays, Curtis Mayfield, Earth, Wind & Fire, et al) are represented by selections that aren't immediately familiar, while Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin serves up a radically different, previously unreleased take of "Rock Steady." Still other stars contribute their sonic touches to some of the lesser-known cuts, as witnessed by the patent trippiness of Sly Stone alter-egos 6ix and Stanga on "I'm Just Like You" and "Little Sister," respectively; the stark, party-not-so-hearty contrast of the Mayfield-written-and-produced "Hard Times" by Baby Huey & Baby Sisters; and the Meters' version of "Tampin'," released under the moniker of the Rhine Oaks.

Sequenced in rough chronological order, it's a savvy window into a musical evolution as well, with the rhythmic guitars, organ swells, and horn flourishes of traditional '60s R&B giving way to sinewy synths and increasingly chunky bass lines as the decade grooves on. While savvy hip-hoppers will note that many of the rarities here have already been repurposed by shrewd mixers, it's a revelation to hear them in their original form. A compelling deconstruction of an often clichéd and too-narrowly-defined genre, this is an anthology that showcases music that has influenced such contemporary artists as Tupac, the Beastie Boys, Snoop Dogg, and Kanye West, annotated by many of the original musicians who set the dance floor in motion. --Jerry McCulley

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Product details

  • Audio CD (October 3, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Rhino Records - No SAI
  • ASIN: B000GIWS4W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,598 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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