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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 ... $26.99 30.99
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
CameoUgly Ego/Secret Omen ... CD
Chocolate City/Robinsongs (UK), 1978/1979. New Copy ... $12.99 16.99
A pair of killers from Cameo – both from their legendary late 70s run! Ugly Ego is one of our favorite albums ever from Cameo – the group's third release! The album's got a great approach that hints at more sophisticated soul styles, but which is still firmly in charge of the bass-driven grooves that made their early albums so great – a compressed approach to the music that was copied by countless other groups at the time, but rarely came off this well! The whole thing's great – filled with excellent cuts that include "I'll Be With You", "Give Love a Chance", "Ugly Ego", "Two of Us", "Friend to Me", "Insane", and "I Want You". Super-dope – with loads of great jams! Secret Omen is a sweet stunner from Cameo – a set that's got the group working with an even tighter, more on the money sound than before – yet never in a way that's too slick or commercial! These guys were one of the first to push the big ensemble funk sound into a leaner approach, and they really live up to that legacy here – impeccably fusing bass, drums, and everything else together – in a groove that lived far beyond disco, really influenced both hip hop and house, and which makes the album one of their real lasting treasures. Groovers include "Macho", "Find My Way", "Energy", and "I Just Want To Be" – and the album also includes the guitar-funk jammer "The Rock", and the stellar stepper "Sparkle" – which is one of our favorite Cameo cuts ever! CD

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Jimmy CastorButt Of Course/Supersound/E-Man Groovin (with bonus track) ... CD
Atlantic/Robinsongs (UK), 1974/1975/1976. New Copy 2 CDs ... $14.99 20.99
A trio of albums from Jimmy Castor – complete with bonus tracks too! First up is Butt Of Course – a funky funky classic from Jimmy Castor – a set that kicked off a tight run of records for Atlantic – and which firmly established his rep as a master of 70s funk! The sound of the set follows nicely from Jimmy's work on RCA – some of the fuzzy "Troglodyte" guitar work of those years, lots of earthy rhythms on the bottom, and Castor's trademark sense of wit – which was firmly in place even during his Latin Soul years! There's a few smoother, sweeter moments too – but these all come off nicely – and as always, Castor's a one-man soul music machine – able to handle plenty of sounds and styles with effortless ease! Titles include "Bertha Butt Boogie", "E Man Boogie", "Hallucinations", "Let's Party Now", "Potential", and "One Precious World". On Supersound, Jimmy Castor bursts forward with a groove that's different than his fuzzier work for RCA Records, but still equally funky throughout! Castor's still quite the multi-instrumentalist on the record – as in addition to singing lead, he plays plenty of soprano sax and timbales – the latter of which have this great skittish energy that really pushes the grooves forward strongly! And although the timbales are quite different than in Jimmy's earlier Latin work from the late 60s, there's a definite Latin-izing element in the way they're used – kind of an "it's not heavy enough – let's add more percussion" approach to the core 70s funk styles of the combo! Tunes are nicely quirky, and have a sense of humor in keeping with the cover – and titles include "Magic In The Music", "Supersound", "Bom Bom", "King Kong", and "A Groove Will Make You Move". E Man Groovin is a great extension of the funky style that Castor first started forging at RCA – touches with plenty of Jimmy's multi-instrumental touches on tenor, alto, and timbales – and given that great monster-inspired approach to lyrics – which ensures that the whole thing stays plenty vivid throughout! Vocals are nice and rough, and the instrumentation is heavy on basslines and clavinet – on titles that include the two part "Dracula", plus "Super Love", "I Love A Mellow Groove", "E Man Groovin", "I Don't Want To Lose You", and "Space Age". 2CD set features bonus tracks – "Space Age (12" disco version)", "King Kong (part 1)", "Supersound (7" version)", "The Christmas Song", "Merry Christmas", and "Bertha Butt Boogie (7" version)". CD

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Con Funk ShunConfunkshunizeya – The Mercury Anthology ... CD
Mercury/Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99 20.99
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 matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Wilton FelderWe All Have A Star/Inherit The Wind ... CD
ABC/Robinsongs (UK), 1978/1980. New Copy ... $12.99
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

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
JBsFood For Thought/Doing It To Death/Damn Right I Am Somebody ... CD
People/Robinsongs (UK), Early 70s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99 20.99
Essential funk in a single set – three killer albums from James Brown's legendary backing group! First up is Food For Thought – the classic first album by The JBs – James Brown's Fred Wesley-led backing band, and the force behind most of his greatest records of the early 70s! The band are incredible at this point – sharper, harder, and funkier than just about any other combo around – and that includes all the thousands of groups in the funky 45 underground who were always trying to copy their sound, but never got things this right! Not only are the rhythms the stuff of legend – but the use of the instruments is far far above the norm – as can be heard on the mindblowing "The Grunt", which was sampled heavily by Public Enemy to great fame – and which features a saxophone solo that sounds more like a whistling tea kettle! The set collects some of the group's best early singles, and includes all of the short little funky cuts that made them a legend right out of the box – "Pass the Peas", "The Grunt", "These Are The JBs", "Hot Pants Road", "Wine Spot", "To My Brother", "Blessed Blackness", "Theme From King Heroin", "Escapism (parts 1 & 2), and "Gimme Some More" – all together here in one tight little album of massive funky hard beats and breaks! Doing It To Death is an incredible album – a landmark piece of funk that nobody should be without, funk fan or not! The album is the second to feature James Brown's famous backing combo of the early 70s – and unlike their first one, which was really more of a collection of singles, this album has the group playing hard, long, and loud, in the free funk improvisational mode that was James' real contribution to the music at the time. The tracks are all incredibly long, with James at the forefront, egging the band on with shouts and comments – but also letting them open up large instrumentally, playing in a mode that's as much jazz as it is funky soul. The whole thing's peppered with some nice shorter segues between tracks – but the long cuts are the winners, and are some of the best funk ever recorded! Titles include "Mo Peas", "Doing It To Death", "La Di Da La Di Day", "You Can Have Watergate, Just Gimme Some Bucks & I'll Be Straight", and "Sucker". Last up is Damn Right I Am Somebody – quite possibly our favorite record by the JBs, ever! The set starts with a wonderful conversational bit – rapping and musing on the idea of "Damn Right, I Am Somebody" – showing the group in a political and righteous mode for the first time ever. The grooves then kick in – with the same heavy funk as on earlier records, but also a nice nod towards experimental production – from strange fade ups and fade downs, to stark time and rhythm changes, and even bits of electronics used to create some very cool moments in the grooves! The whole thing's as dead funky as can be, and is stuffed with insane classics like "Blow Your Head", "Same Beat", "Damn Right I am Somebody", "I'm Payin' Taxes, What am I Buyin'", and a great cover of Marvin Gaye's "You Sure Love to Ball"! CD

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
KleeerKleeer – The Atlantic Collection 1979 to 1985 (I Love To Dance/Winners/License To Dream/Taste The Music/Get Ready/Intimate Connection/Seeekret/bonus tracks) (8CD set) ... CD
Atlantic/Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 8CD ... $44.99 65.99
A great collection – 7 full albums from Kleeer, plus a full disc of bonus material too! First up is I Love To Dance – the first-ever album from Kleeer – and a set that's already got them head and shoulders above most of their contemporaries! The set's got just a bit of the keyboards that would later really define the Kleeer sound – and has some surprising disco elements, too – used by the quartet as a way to step away from the overblown mainstream of the time, into a groove that's leaner and cleaner for the next generation! Winners is a record that really has the group solidifying their sound – compressing keyboards, guitar, and grooves together in a sublimely boogie-heavy mode! Kleeer were really at the forefront of the coming 80s groove scene – and Woody Cunningham and the group draw heavily here from their previous experience with Patrick Adams, yet move into a smoother, tighter finish that set a new standard for the coming generation. License To Dream is seminal 80s work from Kleeer – a really wonderful record with a sound that's a heck of a lot more soulful than some of the group's contemporaries! A lot of the credit here goes to singer/songwriter Woody Cunningham – whose lead vocals really give the album a wonderfully solid feel, and push Kleeer away from the cliches of the keyboard-heavy generation – into a mode that sports tight lyrics, heartfelt leads, and a well-rounded sound that mixes equal parts ballads and groovers. Taste The Music is a classic from Kleeer – one of the best groups of their sound at the time – as they always have a perfect blend of new-style rhythms and keyboards with old school approaches to deeper soul grooves! The album's nicely heavy on that extended keyboard vibe that seems to have added that extra "e" to the group's name – and the keys are often used to punctuate the chorus of the tunes, then lay things down for the next round of grooves – all in a style that's very much the group's own! Get Ready is a record that nicely balances their funkier side with a better talent for more soulful styled numbers! The cover's got an 80s "workout" look that makes you worry that the record might be some aerobic material – but the grooves are often far more complicated than that, and stream out with some nice keyboard lines on the best numbers. Intimate Connection is one of the group's standout classics, and a set that's produced with kind of a jazzy finish by Deodato, who also plays some nice keyboards on the record! The Kleeer sound is at its height here – tight, warm, and filled with great harmonies on the vocals – which are then underpinned by a lot of keyboards and bass pedal work, yet in a way that never overwhelms the vocals. On Seeekret, the triple "e" is the key to the album's sound – as Kleeer are still very much at the top of their game, and opening up nicely with that string "wheeet" sound they get on their keyboards! The album's one of their key 80s partnerships with Deodato – who really helps them balance their sound, and come across with a style that's surprisingly rich and soulful – way more so than some of the other beats and keyboard acts of the time! The set also features a bonus CD – with 15 more tracks that include single mixes, remixes, and instrumentals! CD

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Stacy LattisawCotillion Years – 1979 to 1985 (Young & In Love/Let Me Be Your Angel/With You/Sneakin Out/Sixteen/Perfect Combination/Not The Same Girl) (7CD set) ... CD
Cotillion/Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 7CD ... $42.99 59.99
All the best early years of Stacy Lattisaw – served up in one nice little set! And when we say "early", we mean early – given that Stacy was just in her teens when she sang a good number of the tunes on this collection! But although young, Lattisaw already had a depth that went beyond most of the older soul singers of her time – a mature, deep-voiced way of putting over a tune with a lot more careful balance of emotion than you might expect for such a youthful talent – and the big hit potential of these records really illustrates just how much Stacy could break past familiar girl soul modes, to a point where she was one of the most popular female singers of the 80s. CD features the full albums Young & In Love, Let Me Be Your Angel, With You, Sneakin Out, Sixteen, I'm Not The Same Girl, and her duet album with Johnny Gill, A Perfect Combination. The set also features bonus tracks from singles too! CD

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Level 42Complete Polydor Years Vol 1 – 1980 to 1984 (Level 42/Pursuit Of Accidents/Standing In The Light/True Colors/bonus tracks) (10CD set) ... CD
Polydor/Robinsongs (UK), Early 80s. New Copy 10CD ... $69.99 87.99
An insanely big collection of work from Level 42 – a British group from the 80s who were equal parts soul and pop, but also had a strongly jazzy current as well! These guys leapt onto the international scene from the British one in the mid 80s – thanks to a soulful core that not only made them a nice change from some of the lighter English pop of the period, but which also made the group play surprisingly well with American soul audiences too – thanks in part to the currents of jazz and richer elements that they brought to their music. Level 42 clearly have a love of fusion, but find a way to fit it into a tighter groove that's topped with bright blue-eyed soul vocals – all of which really comes through strongly here on this huge first chapter of the group's career. They were clearly working like mad during the early 80s – as the set features the full albums Level 42, The Pursuit Of Accidents, Standing In The Light, and True Colors, plus lots more 12" singles, remixes, 7" singles, b sides, live recordings, and even some early tapes from 1980 too. The package features 94 tracks in all, plus great notes too! CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Joe SampleRainbow Seeker/Carmel/Voices In The Rain (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Robinsongs (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99 20.99
A trio of early solo albums from Joe Sample – with bonus cuts too! First up is Rainbow Seeker – a sublime solo set from the great Joe Sample – a set recorded right at a time when his work with The Crusaders was breaking very big, and Joe was becoming one of the hottest fusion keyboardists of the 70s! This set gives Sample a nicely different focus than The Crusaders – more keyboards in the lead, with a great mix of acoustic piano and electric modes – over these really well-crafted arrangements that feature key Crusaders members, but also allow for great work from David D Walker on guitar, Fred Jackson on tenor, and some other great west coast studio talents too. The vibe is great – almost a Steely Dan jazz album, and we mean that in the best way possible – on titles that include "Rainbow Seeker", "Fly With The Wings Of Love", "In All My Wildest Dreams", and the classic "There Are Many Stops Along The Way". Carmel is a masterpiece of smooth fusion, and a landmark album of easy jazz that spawned countless imitators that could never hope to match Sample's simple and elegant use of funky riffing and lyrical chords – coming in with just the right dash of darkness when the record's in danger of sounding too light. Most of the rest of the Crusaders had a hand in the record, and the set's got the smooth west coast sound you'd expect from the title. Tracks include "Carmel", "Cannery Row", "Sunrise", and "More Beautiful Each Day". Voices In The Rain has an approach that has Joe hitting some more sophisticated acoustic passages at points, while still opening up into the soulful groove we'd expect from his legacy as a core member of The Crusaders! Sample plays both acoustic and electric keys on the album – and the whole thing's a perfect part of that mighty run that Joe gave us with his solo work on MCA – music that's every bit as great as Crusaders albums of the time, and which we continue to love a lot more than some of Sample's later albums. The sound is never overdone, or too commercially produced – and there's a balance of acoustic elements that later 80s fusion always seemed to forget. Flora Purim sings a bit on the record – but most of the set is instrumental – and titles include "Shadows", "Burnin Up The Carnival", "Greener Grass", "Eye Of The Hurricane", and "Dream Of Dreams". 2CD set features three bonus tracks – single versions of "Melodies Of Love", "Dream Of Dreams", and "Burning Up The Carnival". CD

Close matches11
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 ... $14.99 20.99
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 matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ WhispersWhispers – The Definitive Collection 1972 to 1987 (4CD set) ... CD
Robinsongs (UK), 1970s/1980s. New Copy 4CD ... $29.99 38.99
A tremendous testament to one of the greatest soul groups of the 70s – one with a legacy that goes far beyond the music in this set, but which is really captured here during the golden years of The Whispers on record! The group has roots that start in the vocal group underground of the late 50s and 60s – and spent most of that second decade perfecting their harmonies and vocal interplay – to a point where they emerged in the early 70s with real hit-making power, thanks to their effortless interpretation of mellow tracks and ballads! Yet the group were not without a groove – and as the decade moved on, they also proved to be equally great at clubbier tracks too – able to pick up the pace while still delivering meaningful lyrics, a quality that really set them apart from so many others at the time. As the 80s move in, the group continue to grow and develop their sound – staying sophisticated, but down to earth too – at a level that maybe gave The Whispers a longer run of all-great records than so many artists of their generation. This well-done package does a wonderful job of picking out all the best cuts from the long run of recordings covered inside – 63 tracks that provide a perfect place to start, if you're just getting into the group – and which together will offer you up a fantastic package if you're a longtime fan. CD

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
ZappNew Zapp IV U/Vibe (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Warner/Robinsongs (UK), Late 80s. New Copy 2CD ... $14.99 20.99
A pair of albums from Zapp – back to back, and with bonus tracks too! New Zapp IV U is the group's fourth album – and it captures Zapp at the height of their powers – a bit more focused than before, but every bit as funky! Roger's production here is impeccable – done with a great ear for the most soulful side of the group's talents, which keeps them far from some of the more commercial groups who were copping their vibe, but never got things right. Great proof of this is the mellow cut "Computer Love" – a slow stepper that has the group showing their sweeter side, but never losing their cool – a bit like some of the best Fatback ballads of the early 80s. Other cuts are mostly funky – filled with tight basslines, keyboards, and electro bits – and tunes include "It Doesn't Really Matter", "Radio People", "Rock N Roll", "Make Me Feel Good", and "Ja Ready To Rock". Vibe is a set that's late in the classic Zapp run from the 80s, but a record that's still very much head and shoulders above the competition – including the many acts who were trying to cop Roger Troutman's groove, but never got things this right! There's still plenty of bass at the bottom, re-fitted to more of a late 80s funk mode – and some of the trickier turns have the group really serving up that link to P-Funk that's always made them so great – and at a level that maybe even George Clinton couldn't even match at the time. Vocoder bits continue that great Zapp vocal legacy too – used in sparing amounts, but still a wonderful touch – and titles include "Ooh Baby Baby", "I Play The Talk Box", "Fire", "Been This Way Before", "Back To Bass-iks", "Ain't The Thing To Do", "Rock Star", "Jesse Jackson", and "Jake E Stanstill". CD features bonus tracks "Computer Love (ext version)", "California Love (feat Dale DeGroat & Big Robb)", "Computer Love (inst)", "Chocolate City", "I Play The Talk Box (ext)", "Ooh Baby Baby (12" version)", "I Play The Talk Box (dub)", and "Fire (inst jazz version)". CD

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Con Funk ShunTouch/7/To The Max (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Mercury/Robinsongs (UK), 1980/1981/1982. New Copy 2CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A trio of early 80s efforts from Con Funk Shun in a 2CD set – with bonus tracks! Touch is a killer from the group – one of the few mainstream funk groups who actually managed to sound better and better with each new record – and on this set, they really seem to come into their own! Titles include "Too Tight", "Lady's Wild", "Give Your Love To Me", "Kidnapped", "Welcome Back To Love", "Touch", and "Play Widit". Includes 2 bonus tracks: "Lady's Wild (12" Version)" and "Body Lovers (12" Version)". 7 is not the group's 7th album, but a bold statement of the unity they feel as a 7 piece ensemble – perfectly lived up to in the record's well-crafted grooves! The album's one of Con Funk Shun's best overall – really solid, but never too slick, very tight in the bass department, but still soulful on the vocal tip, and never afraid to slip into a sweeter, more mellow tune. Titles include "Straight From The Heart", "Bad Lady", "Promise You Love", "I'll Get You Back", "A Song For You", and "California 1". To The Mix has snapping grooves and a sweet clubby sound. The bass is tight, the keyboards are electric, and the rhythms are great – never forced or stiff, and always flowing with a sense of soul that's head and shoulders above most of the group's contemporaries. Vocals are strong too – especially on the numbers that step things down a few notches – and titles include "Ms Got The Body", "Let's Ride & Slide", "Everlove", "Hide & Freak", "You Are The One", "Take It To The Max", "The Freak", and "Love's Train". Includes the bonus "Ms Got The Body (12" Version)" and an instrumental version. CD

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ DeodatoNight Cruiser/Happy Hour (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Warner/Robinsongs (UK), 1980/1982. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A pair of early 80s gems from this Brazilian keyboard legend – back to back on a single CD! Night Cruiser is a key record in Deodato's move from funky jazz in the 70s to modern soul in the 80s – and one that showcases the best of his talents in both genres! The approach here is more tightly arranged and produced than that of his earlier CTI sides – but in a mode that's still plenty nice to our ears – as Deodato's uncanny sense of rhythm and timing is still very firmly in place, making the set way way more than just a smooth jazz album – and pushing it strongly into the realm of soulful spacey fusion! There's some really great tracks on the set – like the amazing "Skatin", a sweet keyboard number that's a perfect roller skating jam (in case you couldn't guess from the title) – plus "Love Magic", "Uncle Funk", "East Side Strut", and "Night Cruiser". Happy Hour is a classic from Deodato's soul-based years with a nice little R&B-inspired groove! Happy Hour was done at a time when Deodato was really getting into a lot of modern soul production and arranging work with other groups – and here, he tries his hand wonderfully at the style himself – transforming his 70s jazz funk groove into a tightly snapping 80s soul approach! Most tracks on the set feature vocals – by singers who include Kelly Barretto, Eban Kelly, and Candi Staton – but the instrumentation behind them is still plenty jazzy too, thanks to some nice work by Deodato on Fender Rhodes, mini moog, Arp, and other keyboards. Titles include "I Never Get Enough", "Keep On Movin", "Happy Hour", "Just This One Night", "Tears Of A Clown", "Sweet Magic", and "Keep It In The Family". CD features two bonus tracks – "Uncle Funk (7" mix)" and "Keep On Movin (7" mix)". CD

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Level 42Complete Polydor Years Vol 2 – 1985 to 1995 (Physical Presence/World Machine/Running In The Family/Staring At The Sun/bonus tracks) (10CD set) ... CD
Polydor/Robinsongs (UK), Late 80s/Early 90s. New Copy 10CD ... Out Of Stock
A huge package of work from this seminal UK group of the 80s – a combo who managed to bring together an earlier fusion influence with all these strands of soul and pop at the time – in a way that made them a surprisingly big hit on the global scene with work like this! The set features a number of full albums – including the double-live record Physical Presence – which has the group getting nice and jazzy in front of a large concert audience; the crossover classic World Machine, which is filled with catchy classics in a Britpop mode; the equally great Running In The Family, part of the group's big late 80s run; and Staring At The Sun, a record that balances equally catchy tunes with some nods back to their roots. Plus, the group issued many singles and remixes during this time – so the last five CDs in the set are filled with all these many strands of their music, including some b-sides and rare live tracks too. 97 tracks in all – in a well-done box set! CD

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✨✧ VariousDisco 75 (3CD set) ... CD
Robinsongs (UK), 1975. New Copy 3CD ... Out Of Stock
1975 was a crucial year in the history of disco music – the moment when sounds that had been bubbling under on the east coast in the early part of the decade finally hit both the radio and the record racks in a really massive way! And while the music might soon be bogged down in commercialism and cash-in recordings, the cuts here represent a key moment when all sorts of different artists were picking up the pace, learning the lessons of some of the super-sharp funk groups of the underground scene, and blending those modes with soaring vocals and impeccable production! The collection offers a really great overview of styles here – not just some big hits of the time, but also some overlooked gems, and a number of tracks that feature older artists sounding surprisingly strong in the new disco modes – mixed with just a few very unusual tracks that we're not sure we've ever seen on CD before. The 3CD box features a massive 55 tracks in all – with cuts by Seldon Powell, Armada Orchestra, Black Stash, Doris Duke, Herbie Mann, Moses Dillard, Rhythm Makers, Frankie Valli, Major Lance, Jesus Alvarez, Gene Page, Seeds Of The Earth, Chuck Jackson, Calendar, Rhetta Young, Joe Bataan, Derek Martin, Sylvia, The Reflections, Pat Lundi, Moments & Whatnauts, Glitter Band, Banzai, Brother To Brother, Al Matthews, Universal Mind, Johnny Otis, Soul Train Gang, Beeeny Groy, Juggy Murray Jones, Dooley Silverspoon, and many others! CD

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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 ... Out Of Stock
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
 
 
 



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