Oct 25, 2014

RhoDeo 1442 Grooves

Hello, my computer OS has gotten from bad to worse at a certain point i entered a loop with re-installation ended up crashing and a bluescreen suggesting i disable bios memory options such as caching or shadowing, unfortunately these options are no longer part of a modern mobo..hello microsoft...anyway i did manege to to adjust start up order so i could run my linux life disk and you lot get another dose of grooves, as it happens i had a number of posts preprepared but it remains troublesome as linux can't open my rtf files... all in all depressing shite

Initially a funky instrumental soul combo on Stax/Volt, the Bar-Kays were nearly destroyed when most of the band perished in the same plane crash that claimed Otis Redding. Amazingly, the Bar-Kays not only regrouped but prospered, evolving into a popular funk ensemble over the course of the '70s. They continued to score hits on the R&B charts through much of the '80s as well, making for a career longevity that no one would have predicted for Stax's formerly star-crossed number-two house band.   ......N'joy

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The Bar-Kays were formed in Memphis, TN, in 1966, growing out of a local group dubbed the Imperials. Modeled on classic Memphis soul instrumental outfits like the Mar-Keys and Booker T. & the MG's, the Bar-Kays originally included guitarist Jimmy King (not the famed bluesman), trumpeter Ben Cauley, organist Ronnie Caldwell, saxophonist Phalon Jones, bassist James Alexander, and drummer Carl Cunningham. Adopting a mutated version of their favorite brand of rum (Bacardi) as their name, the band started playing heavily around Memphis, and eventually caught the attention of Stax/Volt, which signed the sextet in early 1967. With help from house drummer Al Jackson, Jr., the label began grooming the Bar-Kays as a second studio backing group that would spell Booker T. & the MG's on occasion. That spring, the Bar-Kays cut their first single, "Soul Finger," a playful, party-hearty instrumental punctuated by a group of neighborhood children shouting the title. "Soul Finger" reached the pop Top 20 and went all the way to number three on the R&B chart, establishing the Bar-Kays in the public eye (although the follow-up, "Give Everybody Some," barely scraped the R&B Top 40). Producer Allen Jones began to take an interest in the group and became their manager and mentor; even better, Otis Redding chose them as his regular backing band that summer.

Unfortunately, disaster struck on December 10, 1967. En route to a gig in Madison, WI, Redding's plane crashed into frozen Lake Monona. He, his road manager, and four members of the Bar-Kays were killed. Trumpeter Ben Cauley survived the crash, and bassist James Alexander had not been on the flight; they soon assumed the heavy task of rebuilding the group. Adding insult to injury, the third and final single released by the original lineup, a cover of the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night," was virtually ignored. Nonetheless, with Allen Jones' help, Cauley and Alexander assembled a new Bar-Kays lineup featuring guitarist Michael Toles, keyboardist Ronnie Gordon, saxophonist Harvey Henderson, and drummers Roy Cunningham and Willie Hall. At first, their sound was similar to the original lineup, and they were used as the house band on numerous Stax/Volt recording sessions; they also backed Isaac Hayes on his groundbreaking 1969 opus Hot Buttered Soul. Still, they were unable to land a hit of their own, and Cunningham and Gordon both left the group in 1970; the latter was replaced on keyboards by Winston Stewart.

With 1971's Black Rock album, the Bar-Kays debuted their first-ever lead vocalist, Larry Dodson, and incorporated some of the psychedelic-inspired rock/funk fusions of Sly & the Family Stone and Funkadelic. After playing on Isaac Hayes' hit Shaft soundtrack, Cauley and Toles both joined his backing band permanently, and were replaced by trumpeter Charles "Scoop" Allen and guitarist Vernon Burch. This new lineup took a more mainstream funk direction, scoring a minor hit with a takeoff on Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" dubbed "Copy Cat." The follow-up, another good-humored goof on a recent hit, was "Son of Shaft," which in 1972 became the group's first Top Ten R&B hit since "Soul Finger." That summer, the Bar-Kays played a well-received set at Wattstax (the black answer to Woodstock), but it wasn't enough to keep their commercial momentum going, especially as Stax/Volt headed toward eventual bankruptcy in 1975.

Armed with new guitarist Lloyd Smith (who'd joined when Burch left in 1973), new drummer Michael Beard, and trombonist Frank Thompson, the Bar-Kays signed with Mercury in 1976 and began the most commercially productive phase of their career. Writing most of their own material and using more synthesizers, their label debut, Too Hot to Stop, was a hit, powered by the smash R&B single "Shake Your Rump to the Funk." The group consolidated their success by opening for George Clinton's P-Funk machine on an extensive tour, and that loose, wild aesthetic was now a more accurate reflection of the Bar-Kays' brand of funk, although they were more easily able to bridge into disco. Follow-up Flying High on Your Love (1977) was the band's first gold record, and Money Talks -- a Fantasy reissue of some previously unreleased Stax material -- produced another Top Ten hit in "Holy Ghost" the following year. Drummer Sherman Guy and keyboardist Mark Bynum subsequently joined the band, and a string of hit albums followed: 1979's Injoy (which featured the Top Five R&B hit "Move Your Boogie Body"), 1980's As One, 1981's Nightcruising (which spawned two hits in "Hit and Run" and "Freaky Behavior"), and 1982's Propositions (more hits in "Do It (Let Me See You Shake)" and "She Talks to Me With Her Body"). All of those albums, save for As One, went gold.

In 1983, Sherman Guy and Charles Allen left the group, presaging a more commercial direction in keeping with the urban sound of the early '80s. 1984's Dangerous produced one of the group's biggest hits, "Freakshow on the Dancefloor," and a couple more R&B chart hits in "Dirty Dancer" and "Sex-O-Matic." Their sound was becoming derivative, however, and although the group kept recording for Mercury through 1989, the changing musical landscape meant that the hits dried up. By 1987, only Larry Dodson, Harvey Henderson, and Winston Stewart remained; that same year, Allen Jones died of a heart attack, and the group scored its last R&B Top Ten hit with "Certified True." When their contract with Mercury was up, the Bar-Kays called it quits with 1988's Animal. Dodson and original bassist James Alexander put together a short-lived new version of the Bar-Kays for the 1994 album 48 Hours, released on the small Basix label.


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The Bar-Kays spent much of 1976 as the opening attraction supporting the Parliament-Funkadelic traveling circus, and the P-Funk influence seeps into every pore of Too Hot to Stop. While lacking the cosmic reach and freak-show genius of George Clinton, this is nevertheless The Bar-Kays' last stab at greatness, delivering hard-driving funk with all the energy and conviction of their classic Stax sides. The grooves here are vacuum-packed, exhibiting the telepathic interplay born solely from years of collaboration. Indeed, the quality of the performances more than makes up for Too Hot to Stop's often pedestrian melodies, although to its credit the band covers a wide stretch of ground spanning from breakneck funk ("Whitehouseorgy") to slow jams ("You're So Sexy") to ballads ("Summer of Our Love").



Bar-Kays - Too Hot to Stop (flac 205mb)

01 Too Hot To Stop (Part 1) 6:27
02 Cozy 3:31
03 Bang, Bang (Stick'em Up) 3:44
04 Spellbound 5:04
05 Shake Your Rump To The Funk 3:49
06 You're So Sexy 3:48
07 Summer Of Our Love 4:22
08 Whitehouseorgy 4:00

Bar-Kays - Too Hot to Stop (ogg 85mb)

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Although the Bar-Kays stuck with the Stax Records until its demise in 1976, the label stopped releasing the group's recordings after 1973. However, when they re-emerged as a success on the Mercury label with hits like "Shake Your Rump to the Funk," some unreleased recordings they made between 1974 and 1976 were released as an album entitled Money Talks. Although this repackaging was obviously designed to cash in on the group's success, Money Talks stands up as a solid and consistent album in its own right. This material lays the groundwork for the Bar-Kays' post-Stax style by trading live-in-the-studio jams for a carefully produced sound and blending in standout pop hooks into the funky grooves. The best example is "Holy Ghost," a hard-grooving monster of a jam where elaborate horn arrangements dance around a thick synthesizer bassline as Larry Dodson lays down a salacious vocal about his lover's otherworldly romantic skills. It became a big R&B hit when released as a single in 1978 and was later sampled by M/A/R/R/S on their club classic "Pump Up the Volume." Other memorable tracks include the title track, a high-stepping tune that showcases the chops of the horn players, and "Mean Mistreater," an unlikely but effective Grand Funk Railroad cover that transforms the minimalist original tune into a spooky yet sexy mood piece built on some languid keyboard work. None of the other tracks are as strong as "Holy Ghost" (which is so good that it bookends the album in two versions), but they are all listenable and flow together surprisingly well as an album. All in all, Money Talks is a fine slab of vintage funk that will please anyone who loves old-school grooves.



Bar-Kays - Money Talks (flac 195mb)

01 Holy Ghost 3:56
02 Feelin' Alright 4:56
03 Monster 6:51
04 Money Talks 6:51
05 Mean Mistreater 5:45
06 Holy Ghost (Reborn) 6:01

Bar-Kays - Money Talks  (ogg 85mb)

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Its title a snazzy double play, the Bar-Kays' 1979 classic Injoy LP was the first and most successful of a quintet of albums that swept the band to the top of the charts and into the stratosphere of superstardom for half a decade. An energetic and primarily funk-driven set, Injoy was dominated by the supreme "Move Your Boogie Body," an eminently danceable, pop-friendly slab that cut the bass with strings, powered home the excellent vocals, added some Euro-disco synth, and soared into the Top Five to give the Bar-Kays their highest-to-date spot on the charts. But while that track may have captured the public heart, the bandmembers had even better tricks up their very flashy sleeves, powering through the classic funk of "More and More" and "Up in Here" -- a song of unmitigated old-school proportions that reprises the Moroder-isms deep in the mix. Elsewhere, the band toned it down with several ballads, including "Girl I'm on Your Side" and "Running In and Out of My Life." With the Bar-Kays at the top of their form, there was little that could detract from this set. And, while Injoy just missed the top spot on the R&B chart, it still got a nation off the couch and onto the dancefloor.



Bar-Kays - Injoy (flac 273mb)

01 More And More 4:34
02 Move Your Boogie Body 6:18
03 Running In And Out Of My Life 4:49
04 Girl I'm On Your Side 4:03
05 Loving You Is My Occupation 5:03
06 Today Is The Day 3:14
07 You've Been 4:06
08 Up In Here 5:17

Bar-Kays - Injoy  (ogg 96mb)

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1 comment:

Rho said...

Bar Kays flacs have been re-upped in case you got a messed up zip