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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Donald Byrd & The BlackbyrdsJazz Funk Collection (3CD set) ... CD
Robinsongs (UK), 1970s/Early 80s. New Copy 3 CDs ... $24.99
An amazing tribute to some of the greatest jazz funk of the 70s – the groundbreaking work of trumpeter Donald Byrd, both as a solo act on his own, and as the inspiration for the mighty Blackbyrds group – both of whom are featured on this set! Byrd first broke into new territory in the early 70s with a string of amazing records on Blue Note – all done with help from genius producer Larry Mizell, who helped Byrd's trumpet find a way to groove in an electric space, but at a level that was very different (and a lot more soulful) than any sort of Miles Davis electric modes! This work quickly inspired a young group at Howard University, who chose the name Blackbyrds as a nod to Donald – who quickly became their mentor and producer, and helped them forge a great blend of jazz and funk before they took off on their own. This set features 39 tracks from both artists, illustrating a fantastic partnership and shared musical inspiration – with work from Byrd's Blue Note and Wea albums, and all the great Blackbyrds records for Fantasy in the 70s. Titles include Donald Byrd tracks "Dominoes", "Black Byrd", "Lansana's Priestess", "Wind Parade", "Flying High", "Thank You For Funking Up My Life", "Onward Til Morning", "Dance Band", "Science Funktion", "Dominoes", "Flight Time", "Witch Hunt", "Stepping Into Tomorrow", "Sexy Dancer (12" mix)", "Star Trippin (12" mix)", "Pretty Baby", "Giving It Up", and "Dancing In The Street". Blackbyrds cuts include "Blackbyrd's Theme", "Do It Fluid", "Flying High", "Cornbread", "Time Is Movin", "Happy Music", "Rock Creek Park", "Walkin In Rhythm", "Lookin Ahead", "Street Games", "Gut Level", "Party Land", and "Supernatural Feeling". CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Con Funk ShunConfunkshunizeya – The Mercury Anthology ... CD
Mercury/Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $12.99
Super-sharp work from Con Funk Shun – one of the best of the mainstream funk acts to emerge in the second half of the 70s – working with the sort of style that was trained in the funky 45 underground, then given a bigger, fuller push to album-length glory! The set is a superb selection of their work for Mercury records – and the tracks here also really show why Con Funk Shun were always a cut above – as they had a way of bringing strong soul vocals to play that often illuminated the tunes very strongly – especially when the group would harmonize together. The set features 32 tracks in all – including "So Easy", "Chase Me", "Ffun (12" mix)", "Confunkshunizeya", "Loveshine", "Shake & Dance With Me", "Sure Feels Good To Me", "Electric Lady", "Burnin Love", "Can You Feel The Groove Tonight", "Ms Got The Body", "By Your Side", "Bad Lady", "California 1", "Too Tight", "Lady's Wild", "Let Me Put Love On Your Mind", "Who Has The Time", "Ain't Nobody Baby", and "Got To Be Enough". CD

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
LakesideYour Wish Is My Command/Keep On Moving Straight Ahead/Untouchables (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Solar/Robinsongs (UK), Early 80s. Used 2CD ... $9.99
A trio of classic albums from Lakeside – representing the second slice of their work for the Solar Records label! First up is Your Wish Is My Command – great stuff from the glory days of the LA bass-pedal funk era! The tracks manage to mix an 80s groove and soul without sounding cloying, and the band's vocals are always better than we remember them – with a strong harmony sound in the best moments that keeps things real. Tracks include "Your Wish Is My Command", "The Urban Man", "I'll Be Standing By", "Special", and "Magic Moments". Keep On Moving Straight Ahead is a really well-titled album from the mighty Lakeside – as the record makes you think that the group were going to keep on going for many years – working in their own unique version of earlier funk modes – almost a tightening up of the Funkadelic style of the late 70s! The basslines are very much in charge, but like the George Clinton groups, they also have a great way of really bringing everything together at once – sly vocals, riffing guitar, sweet keyboards, and everything else that comes to groove – all hitting right on the money on titles that include "It's You", "Be My Lady", "All For You", "Anything For You", and "We Want You (On The Floor)". For Untouchables, the gangster image on the cover might be a tipoff to the sound – as Lakeside help forge the roots of g-funk with their classic bass-heavy sound on the album! The record's great – every bit as funky as previous Lakeside work in all the right parts, but also showing a greater development of the group past their funk roots – able to mix mellower moments with groovers, at that sublime level that Fatback hit when the 80s began! There's plenty of greatness here for everyone – and titles include "Real Love", "Untouchable", "So Let's Love", "Turn The Music Up", and "Raid". Bonus tracks include "Keep On Moving Straight Ahead (12" version)", "Raid (7" version)", "We Want You On The Floor (7" version)", "Turn The Music Up (inst dub)", and "Turn The Music Up (7" version)". CD
Also available Your Wish Is My Command/Keep On Moving Straight Ahead/Untouchables (with bonus tracks) ... CD 12.99

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
LakesideYour Wish Is My Command/Keep On Moving Straight Ahead/Untouchables (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Solar/Robinsongs (UK), Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $12.99
A trio of classic albums from Lakeside – representing the second slice of their work for the Solar Records label! First up is Your Wish Is My Command – great stuff from the glory days of the LA bass-pedal funk era! The tracks manage to mix an 80s groove and soul without sounding cloying, and the band's vocals are always better than we remember them – with a strong harmony sound in the best moments that keeps things real. Tracks include "Your Wish Is My Command", "The Urban Man", "I'll Be Standing By", "Special", and "Magic Moments". Keep On Moving Straight Ahead is a really well-titled album from the mighty Lakeside – as the record makes you think that the group were going to keep on going for many years – working in their own unique version of earlier funk modes – almost a tightening up of the Funkadelic style of the late 70s! The basslines are very much in charge, but like the George Clinton groups, they also have a great way of really bringing everything together at once – sly vocals, riffing guitar, sweet keyboards, and everything else that comes to groove – all hitting right on the money on titles that include "It's You", "Be My Lady", "All For You", "Anything For You", and "We Want You (On The Floor)". For Untouchables, the gangster image on the cover might be a tipoff to the sound – as Lakeside help forge the roots of g-funk with their classic bass-heavy sound on the album! The record's great – every bit as funky as previous Lakeside work in all the right parts, but also showing a greater development of the group past their funk roots – able to mix mellower moments with groovers, at that sublime level that Fatback hit when the 80s began! There's plenty of greatness here for everyone – and titles include "Real Love", "Untouchable", "So Let's Love", "Turn The Music Up", and "Raid". Bonus tracks include "Keep On Moving Straight Ahead (12" version)", "Raid (7" version)", "We Want You On The Floor (7" version)", "Turn The Music Up (inst dub)", and "Turn The Music Up (7" version)". CD
Also available Your Wish Is My Command/Keep On Moving Straight Ahead/Untouchables (with bonus tracks) ... CD 9.99

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Mass ProductionWelcome To Our World Of Merry Music – The Definitive Collection (3CD set) ... CD
Cotillion/Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 3 CDs ... $22.99
A fantastic collection of grooves from Mass Production – one of the best of the large funk ensembles to hit the mainstream at the end of the 70s – even though they didn't always get the success they deserved! That doesn't stop these guys from giving their all, though – super-sharp, super-tight instrumentation that comes down on the groove right from the get-go – and which moves with a fast funk energy that's a nice contrast to some of the stiffer, clunkier modes that were floating around at the time! These guys inherit the best impulses of Earth Wind & Fire and Kool & The Gang – and find a way to make their large lineup sound nice and lean, never too overcooked – with shifting vocals that really help keep things interesting throughout. The 3CD package features 45 tracks from their seven year stretch recording for Atlantic/Cotillion Records – and titles include "Sky High", "Groove Me", "Our Thought", "Bopp", "Turn Up The Music", "Diamond Chips", "Inner City", "Sun Dancer", "Victory 83", "Magic", "I Like To Dance", "Welcome To Our World", "Slow Bump", "Time Bomb", "Keep My Heart Together", "Cosmic Lust", "I Believe In Music", "Fun In The Sun", "Just Wanna Make A Dream Come True", "Firecracker", and "Eknuf (inst)". CD

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
WhispersWhisper In Your Ear/Whispers/Imagination (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Solar/Robinsongs (UK), 1979/1980. New Copy 2CD ... $12.99
A trio of classic albums from The Whispers – with bonus tracks too! On the first set, the mighty group does way more here than just Whisper in your ear – as they're completely on top of their game, ending the 70s with a wickedly sharp sound that would help them stand strong for years to come! The group started in fragile harmony soul modes, grew with confidence in the 70s, hit a bit of a dancefloor mode – and here step off with this mature style that's totally wonderful – the best of all worlds together as one – shaped by arrangements from Tom Tom 84, Gene Page, and Keni Burke! Titles include "Whisper In Your Ear", "Homemade Lovin'", "If I Don't Get Your Love", "Love At Its Best", "Can't Do Without Love", and "Pretty Lady". The 1979 Whispers album was one of a few to bear the group's name as its title – and it's also one of our favorite albums by The Whispers – a later gem with some really great songs, and a sound that shows the group strongly moving into hit territory! In some way, the album's almost a return to the mellow harmony soul of the group's roots – slowing down the pace from the disco years to craft some extremely great ballads and midtempo numbers. There's still a bunch of great club tracks too – like the classic "And The Beat Goes On" – but in a way, our favorite tracks are the mellower ones, like "Lady", "I Love You", and the sublime, "A Song For Donny", a tribute to the late Donny Hathaway, written around the music of his classic "This Christmas". On Imagination, the group takes off from the Philly groove style of their late 70s work, moving into a style that picks up all the best touches of the early 80s LA sound – electro keyboards, but not too much; quiet storm production, but not so much so that the album's smothered in it; and a professional approach to harmonies and songwriting that showed that the group was still an unstoppable force in soul music! Includes "Imagination", "It's A Love Thing", "Say You", "I Can Make It Better" and "Up On Soul Train". Bonus tracks include an instrumental of "Song For Donny" – plus 7" mixes of "Can't Do Without Love", "Can You Do The Boogie", "And The Beat Goes On", "It's A Love Thing", and "I Can Make It Better". CD

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Rodney FranklinIn The Center/You'll Never Know/Rodney Franklin/Endless Flight (bonus track) ... CD
Columbia/Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Four soulful fusion classics from keyboardist Rodney Franklin – all together in a single set! First up is In The Center – wonderful keyboard work from the amazing Rodney Franklin – a player who sounds equally great on acoustic and electric piano! This album does a wonderful job of mixing them both – showing Rodney's more sensitive side on a few acoustic numbers, but then really taking off in a much more groove-based mode for the electric ones – which have a soaring, spacious style that's in that best blend of fusion and soul that was going down at Columbia in the late 70s – but with some spacier Bob James touches too! Most of the cuts were arranged by Byron Olsen, who's got an equally sensitive ear as Franklin – and although there's a bit of vocals on the record, most of the focus is on instrumental grooves – especially Rodney's work on the keys. Titles include the classics "I Like The Music Make It Hot", "Spanish Flight", and "On The Path" – plus "Yours", "Life Moves On", and the extended "Spring Suite". You'll Never Know is fully-formed genius from the amazing Rodney Franklin – one of the best keyboard stars to emerge from the late 70s scene! Franklin's got a great talent for balancing influences from jazz and soul in ways that are similar to contemporaries George Duke and Bobby Lyle – and like both of those players, he still stands strong in jazz, but makes some key nods to soul music on this set – adding in a bit of vocals where needed, and moving into some R&B-drenched fusion lines that all sound pretty darn hip! As on previous records, Rodney plays both acoustic and electric keys – blending them wonderfully for a very deep sound – and the group behind him features some especially nice work on reeds, which bring sharper edges to some of the best tracks on the set. There's a wonderfully deep feel to the whole thing – way more than you'd expect for a major label release at the time – and titles include "Felix Leo", "The Watcher", "The Groove", "Journey", "You'll Never Know", "Return", and "Parkay Man". Next is the self-titled Rodney Franklin – tremendous work from Rodney Franklin – one of our favorite soulful fusion players from the end of the 70s! The album's a keyboard delight through and through – and Rodney plays both acoustic and electric piano, often on the same track – which creates this nicely expanded sound that works well with the album's tight arrangements! There's a fair bit of soul in the mix too – some rhythms that make a few numbers great groovers, courtesy of Tom Tom arrangements – and some other full moments handled by Patrick Williams. Titles include a wonderful version of "Windy City" – the cut you might know from a classic Carl Davis recording – plus "On The Path", "I Like The Music Make It Hot", "Life Moves On", "Creation", and "In The Center". Endless Flight is a brilliant mix of jazz, soul, and fusion – smoothed together nicely, but never in a way that's slick or commercial! Franklin's got a keen ear that lets him sit on both sides of the fence wonderfully – in a way that so many other players tried in later years, but never managed to do without losing their groove or selling out too much. Part of the strength of the album is the way that it mixes together acoustic and electric keys from track to track – deepening the spirit of the album through a good sense of pacing and mood, and also offsetting vocal tracks with some key instrumental numbers. Tom Washington produced and heavily helped in the arrangements – and titles include "Vibrations", "Benetta", "Cancion Para Mi Mama", "Dance Tonight", "Endless Flight", "Return To The Source", "Mensaje De Dios", and a surprisingly great funky take on "Hill Street Blues". Includes one bonus track – "The Groove (single version)". CD

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Wilton FelderWe All Have A Star/Inherit The Wind ... CD
ABC/Robinsongs (UK), 1978/1980. Used ... Out Of Stock
A pair of albums from saxophonist Wilton Felder – back to back on a single CD! We All Have A Star offers up solo sounds from Crusaders reedman Wilton Felder – a really great set that's very much in the best vibe of his larger group at the time – yet one that also offers up a stronger focus on Wilton's sublime solo work on tenor! The album's got plenty of Crusaders help on board – given that Stix Hooper and Joe Sample produced the set along with Wilton – and the vibe's a wonderful blend of electric backings, with especially great keyboard lines, and Felder's well-phrased saxophone lines over the top! A few cuts feature vocals – sung by Angela Bryant or Debbie Demoia Ross – and titles include "We All Have A Star", "I Know Who I Am", "The Cycles Of Time", "Why Believe", "Ride On", and "You & Me & Ecstasy". Inherit The Wind is one of the best Crusaders-related solo projects – a soulful bit of fusion from saxophonist Wilton Felder, co-produced with his fellow Crusaders! The album's got the best sunny finish of the group's late 70s albums – traces of Latin, funk, and soul bubbling through a warm jazzy mix – staying soulful all the way through, and coming up with a sound that's smooth, but never sleepy. The blueprint for a million other records – none of which ever sounded this good! Titles include "Insight", "LA Light", "Until The Morning Comes", "Someday We'll All Be Free", and "Inherit The Wind". CD
(Out of print.)

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Dee Dee BridgewaterDee Dee Bridgewater (1976)/Just Family/Bad For Me/Dee Dee Bridgewater (1980) ... CD
Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s. New Copy 2CD ... Out Of Stock
Four great albums from Dee Dee Bridgewatwer – a hell of a jazz singer, and also a great soul talent too! First up is a self-titled set from 1976 – Dee Dee Bridgewater's first album as a soul singer – recorded a few years after she first broke on the scene as a righteous jazz vocalist on hip early 70s classics! The sound here is different than the material Bridgewater started with, but still plenty great from a soul perspective – tightly-crafted, sophisticated work that features both uptempo and mellow cuts – in a mode that's quite similar to the Columbia work of Marlena Shaw – another former jazz vocalist who made a 70s shift to soul. Production is by Gene Page, Jerry Wexler, and Stephen Scheaffer – and the set was recorded in a variety of different setting that spin out over the course of the tracks. We're most partial to the mellow cuts – which trip along with some great spacey edges – and titles include a great version of "He's Gone", plus "My Prayer", "You Saved Me", "Goin Through The Motions", "It Ain't Easy", and "Every Man Wants Another Man's Woman". Just Family is a sweet funky fusion album that Dee Dee recorded for Elektra in the late 70s. The set was produced by Stanley Clarke, and has a soul/fusion sound that's not that different than his own work of the time, and which works very well with Dee Dee's sweet vocal approach. Players include Bobby Lyle, Ronnie Foster, George Duke, and other strong 70s fusion players – and overall, the record's probably Dee Dee's best non straight jazz album of the 70s. Tracks include "Sweet Rain", "Open Up Your Eyes", "Just Family", "Melody Maker", and "Children Are The Spirit (Of The World)". Bad For Me is one of Dee Dee Bridgewater's standout sets as a soul singer in the 70s – a mode that's quite different than the sound of Bridgewater you may know from her mostly-jazz career – but one that gets plenty of sharp help from the great George Duke! Duke produced the set – and really knows how to balance Dee Dee's jazz roots with some of the modern soul impulses of the set – letting her really soar on some mellower moments, while hewing to the groove on the more upbeat cuts – which may well be some of the strongest on the album. Throughout it all, Bridgewater is a model of care and class – very different than most mainstream R&B singers of the time – and titles include "Streetsinger", "For the Girls", "Love Won't Let Me Go", "Back Of Your Mind", and "Is This What The Feeling Gets". Last up is the second self-titled Dee Dee Bridgewater album, from 1980 – recorded during a brief break from jazz at the end of the 70s, and done with some sweetly grooving from Thom Bell! The sound here's a bit like that of some of the later Philly International work from the same stretch – a maturing style that still has a bit of the earlier groove in place, yet which also takes on a more sophisticated approach, especially on the mellower cuts and ballads. In a way, the format's a bit like that used for Jean Carn or Phyllis Hyman at the time – and like those singers, Dee Dee seems to work best here when she's got a nice gentle groove to bring out the jazzier inflections in her voice! Titles include "When You're In Love", "That's The Way Love Should Feel", "Give In To Love", "Lonely Disco Dancer", "One In A Million Guy", and "Jody (Whoever You Are)". CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ LTDSomething To Love/Togetherness/Devotion/Shine On ... CD
A&M/Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s. New Copy 2 CDs ... Out Of Stock
4 classic records from LTD on 2CDs! Something To Love is a great little groover with arrangements by Philly Soul maestro Bobby Martin – who mixes together funk, club grooves, and smooth soul. Jeffrey Osborne's vocals really shine on this one, too! Osborne's emerging strongly in the mellow soul mode on Togetherness, too – especially on the album's two great ballad cuts, "Concentrate On You" and "We Both Deserve Each Other". Devotion is one of LTD's biggest from the 70s – a sweet mix of mellow soul and boogie. Shine On features more solid boogie sounds – with the group still grooving beautifully in their best late 70s mode at the cusp of the next decade! 37 tracks on a 2CD set that compiles their last few years of the 70s! "Back In Love Again", "Stay With Me", "We Party Hearty", "Material Things", "Age Of The Showdown", "Stranger", "Share My Love", "Say That You'll Be Mine", "One On One", and "Dance N Sing N", "You Gave Me Love", "Lovers Everywhere", "Holding On", "Jam", "Don't Stop Loving Me Now", and "Let's All Live & Give Together", "Don'tcha Know", "Shine On", "Where Did We Go Wrong", "Getaway", "Lady Love" and more. CD
 
 
 



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