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The Funk, in the Golden Age
April 26, 2007 7:29 PM   Subscribe

Tha interweb have the 70's funk you need: Stevie Wonder. Sly & the Family Stone. James Brown. Ohio Players. Bootsy Collins. Edwin Starr. And the documentary Make It Funky, parts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
posted by flapjax at midnite (51 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
And just for the helluvit, you might wanna watch Dick Cavett interview a very obviously substance-altered Sly Stone.

And now, let the "WHAT? No [insert favorite 70's funk link here] ?"s begin!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:30 PM on April 26, 2007


Man, I'm getting stoned just looking at Stone in that interview.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:34 PM on April 26, 2007


Sorry for the snark, but didn't you mean to say: "Tha YouTube have the 70s funk you need"?
posted by davidmsc at 7:43 PM on April 26, 2007


To be REALLY funky you gotta spell it with an H someplace.

Fuhnky.

Funkhy.

Fhunkhy.

But thanks! I guess tomorrow's work day is a bust...


also -- WHAT, NO FATBACK BAND??
posted by unSane at 7:47 PM on April 26, 2007


Thank you for the mouse-over text. (And the videos.)
posted by bodega at 7:49 PM on April 26, 2007


oh, yeah, I missed the mouseover text. That's awesome. I hope everyone does that from now on. Including me.
posted by unSane at 7:54 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Halleluwah (on a funky tangent).
posted by Burhanistan at 7:59 PM on April 26, 2007


I Want More
posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 PM on April 26, 2007


Also, why does it have to be a black tag? While a strong case can be made for funk being an afroamerican creation, Funk transcends all distinctions.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:11 PM on April 26, 2007


Good lord. Bootsie's got to be about the same age as my dad, but

The.
FUNK.
don't.
STOP!
posted by lekvar at 8:13 PM on April 26, 2007


You've opened a Can of worms there, Burhanistan.
posted by unSane at 8:14 PM on April 26, 2007


[This is badass]
posted by googly at 8:17 PM on April 26, 2007


Git downnnn! Shake that bootie.

Nice post, packed with great stuff! Yes!

Having some okra tonight for dinner, goes perfectly with funk. mmmm. God I love funk, that music makes me get up and dannnce! Wooo!

And What, no Electric Flag? The Mike Bloomfield riff gives me the thrills. woo hoo. So it's funkadelic, funk is generous, it accomodates different stylistic variations under its umbrella.

And *swoon* Otis Redding, singing a funky rendition of My Girl, Try a Little Tenderness, Ready Steady Go.
posted by nickyskye at 8:18 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Afro Overload!
posted by unSane at 8:35 PM on April 26, 2007


That Otis Redding clip nickyskye linked to is pretty amazing. If you haven't watched it yet please do now.
posted by marxchivist at 8:37 PM on April 26, 2007


nickykye, that last Otis Redding track is 'I Can't Turn You Loose'. The show is Ready Steady Go. And Otis is soul rather than funk but who can complain.

And, good lord, but he had the HOTTEST dancers I've ever seen.
posted by unSane at 8:39 PM on April 26, 2007


unSane, You're right, thanks for the correction about the song name.

Anyone can complain. :) Yes, Otis is supposed to be soul but he has so many funk elements, the strong electric bass, big brass section, the strong beat. James Brown is also considered a soul musician but he's way more funk to me. Otis has both going on, funk and soul, don't you think?
posted by nickyskye at 9:01 PM on April 26, 2007


To be REALLY funky you gotta spell it with an H someplace.

To be REALLY, REALLY funky you have to pronounce it "funk-AY"...

These are great, flapjax, thanks!
posted by amyms at 9:12 PM on April 26, 2007


Oh man, that Stevie Wonder clip is beautiful.

If you like The Funk, You owe it to yourself to check out Wattstax.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:12 PM on April 26, 2007


I agree soul vs. funk is in the eye of the beholder. Musically I think of funk as having a super-tight meter and being much more of a groove-based (as opposed to song-based) form. So you have an ostinato bass line and a really consistent, hypnotic groove (very tight, very swung) that goes into middle 8/bridge someplace in the song, and then right back to the groove. Also soul seems to be much more about those off beat guitar chops and the stomp drumbeat. But it's a sliding scale to be sure.
posted by unSane at 9:13 PM on April 26, 2007


On the black/white thing, it is fascinating how many of the Golden Age funk musicians were white. Donald 'Duck' Dunn is the most obvious example but the trumpet player in the Stevie Wonder clip is white and so were many others. Much less so in the case of soul, much more so in the case of disco.
posted by unSane at 9:20 PM on April 26, 2007


... and now for something completely white.
posted by unSane at 9:23 PM on April 26, 2007


You owe it to yourself to check out Wattstax.

Damn, you took what was gonna be my next FPP! Figured I'd do it in a few days or so... but now that the cat's outta the MeFi bag, check out Rufus Thomas at Wattstax, and Isaac Hayes (introduced by a dashiki-wearing, afro-sporting Jesse Jackson, no less) at Wattstax.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:23 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


And I'd say unSane's delineations on soul and funk are spot-on. And his Jodie Foster link is making my brain trickle out of my ears a little bit. That shit is avant-garde.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:27 PM on April 26, 2007


Hot dammmmn, Edwin Starr singing War (the lyrics), is sizzlin'. Definitely a timely song.

Wattstax is so cool. The Make It Funky vid has the added culture flavor of the Japanese narrative, a little soy sauce on the okra. Love that one world thang.
posted by nickyskye at 9:30 PM on April 26, 2007


a little soy sauce on the okra.

Funny you should say that, nickyskye: okra is a very popular vegetable here in Japan: so much so that many here think it's native, and unique to Japan. They're often surprised when I tell them I grew up in Alabama eating okra! "Ah! Honto desu ka?"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:40 PM on April 26, 2007


what, no larry graham?

part 1
part 2

(thanks flapjax - great posts all, i do love me some waaaaaaaay back yonder funk. even can!)
posted by the painkiller at 9:40 PM on April 26, 2007


youtubefilter.

(which is kinda okay, because youtube desperately needs filtering.)
posted by jdfalk at 9:53 PM on April 26, 2007


...and Larry Graham did beget Level 42. Mark King was my friend's milkman for a while.
posted by unSane at 9:55 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


because youtube desperately needs filtering

At your service, jdfalk!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:55 PM on April 26, 2007


huh, flapjax, you're from Alabama? Now from Alajapan...or Japanabama. Yup, I can see the Japanese liking okra, they like some pretty funky stuff. :) East-West recipes make for some interesting enjoyment. Otis played in Japan. In this YouTube version there is some Eastern subscript, is it Japanese? Otis said Mick Jagger was "in the house", so Otis sang Satisfaction.
posted by nickyskye at 10:15 PM on April 26, 2007


That funked me like I don't funkin' know.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:28 PM on April 26, 2007


Also, funk comes down on the one. It might go all over the place in other respects, but it's always gonna come down hard on the one. That's one good way to tell. It's the irrefutable law passed down from the Godfather and George Clinton.
posted by First Post at 12:21 AM on April 27, 2007


Oh... I was just singing "Fire" in the shower this morning. Throw some water on me.
posted by pracowity at 12:50 AM on April 27, 2007


But do you know how the funk was found and lost?
posted by salmacis at 1:12 AM on April 27, 2007


Where all the women at?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:22 AM on April 27, 2007


What we gonna do right here is go back...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:27 AM on April 27, 2007


And for those who like their funk blue eyed...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:33 AM on April 27, 2007


When I was a kid I remember hearing a mind blowingly trippy funk song by the Commodores called "Captain Quickdraw", from the album Hot on the Tracks. Shame its so hard to get ahold of today.
posted by andihazelwood at 2:01 AM on April 27, 2007


Parliament Funkadelic could be included in a post about funk.

Funk:

Used to be a bad word. Irre-ducible essential pulse, life force, hyperventilatin' Groove. Not only moves, it can re-move; will sit and sit and never go sour. "If you got Funk, you got style
posted by asok at 3:22 AM on April 27, 2007


Billy Cobham George Duke Band, Live 1976. Wowsers!

These links are heaven, thanks. I'm a huge funk and soul fan, mainly thanks to being completely blown away first by "Blue Lines" then by "Endtroducing" all those years ago and trying to work out where all the samples came from...

Now, I know we're not supposed to talk about illegal ways of obtaining music here....

...but lets just suppose that some people here were to visit a website with the words "mini", "nova" and "org" in it. Then, lets imagine they were to search for "hit the beaks" and "breakonomics". Now I'm not saying that anyone who likes the music in this thread should do this (wink, wink), but if they were to do so, they might just find 130 albums worth of funk, soul and electro tracks wrapped up in 12 handy torrents packets.

(The "Hit the Breaks" series is better than "Breakonomics").
posted by davehat at 4:16 AM on April 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


nickyskye writes: Otis played in Japan. In this YouTube version there is some Eastern subscript, is it Japanese? Otis said Mick Jagger was "in the house", so Otis sang Satisfaction.

Yes, that is Japanese on the subtitles there, but the shots of the audience at the beginning of the clip indicate that the footage is not from a gig in Japan: totally western audience there, mostly white with a smattering of black folk. My guess would be England. Especially if Jagger was in the audience, it'd probably be an England gig.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:40 AM on April 27, 2007


Brick House. Another example of the Commodores laying down a mighty slab of funk. Lionel Richie on sax. Shake it down, shake it down down! Boom shackalacka!
posted by unSane at 5:51 AM on April 27, 2007


Wow, Davehat... just wow. Time for a bigger iPod.
posted by unSane at 5:56 AM on April 27, 2007


Glory be. The Funk's on me.

As an avid funk collector for years now, thanks for the links! The documentary was something I hadn't seen and since it's in Nihongo, my wife and I can watch it! wooo....

"You've got....all that is really needed...."
posted by Dantien at 6:59 AM on April 27, 2007


hi flapjax, my bad grammar there...I knew that vid wasn't Otis in Japan, could see the Western faces, as you did, just that he'd been there and there was a vid of him with Eastern subtitles.

Still soaking in the goodness of your post's links.
posted by nickyskye at 8:28 AM on April 27, 2007


Wow! [on the one; insert bass break here]
posted by languagehat at 8:51 AM on April 27, 2007


Trivia: Bootsy (supposedly) lives in my town (though I've never seen him).
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:59 PM on April 27, 2007


whatno="meters, ToP";
posted by Eothele at 1:23 PM on April 27, 2007


Thanks for the Meters clip, eothele. I'm a huge Meters fan. I actually knew about that one, but didn't include it due to a certain purist idea of "funk" that I had in mind for the FPP, which is also why I didn't include the Wattstax stuff at first, either. The Stax artists featured at that festival tended to fall into a little more of a "Southern roots/R&B" vibe than the straightup funk of, say, Ohio Players. But of course, as mentioned upthread, it's a sliding scale, for sure. Now, the New Orleans wing of Southern funk/soul/R&B is where I think of the Meters as residing, and actually, I'd say they kinda fall into a category of one (albeit with cousins like Booker T and the MGs). They aren't "the funk" like James Brown is "the funk". Needless to say, the Meters were one of the funkiest units to ever cook up a groove. The ultimate New Orleans funkiness. I guess that's at the heart of my sense of where to draw the line: the difference between "funk", and "funky". When referring to the Meters, I guess I'd say "New Orleans funk". When referring to the Ohio Players, it'd just be "funk".

Anyway, I'm really glad that you and other folks added so many new links to the thread: the focus widened, and that's a good thing: all the kids bring their own toys to play with and to show their little friends! I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's one of the best things about MeFi.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:16 PM on April 27, 2007


Interesting article.
posted by mesmerx at 4:43 AM on April 29, 2007


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