Before I discovered all the great music blogs that post rips of old vinyl funk, soul and R&B records, one of my main sources for this material was compilation CDs – which like good blogs have the added benefit of regularly exposing you to stuff you might not otherwise have given a listen.
Fortunately, I live near a really great record store, Amoeba Music, which has hooked me up with a lot of compilation CDs and collections over the years. Amoeba is so big it’s kind of intimidating. If you go in just to browse, you can quickly get blown out, stunned – there’s too much. You need a focus, a plan that will help you navigate the row upon row of racks of records. For a couple of years, I would just pop in and head straight to the Soul section, and to the end of that section, where the compilations are filed.
Some of my favorite music was found here – like the Movin’ On Up compilations. But the best find I ever made in these racks was the four-volume compilation series Blaxploitation: Soul, Jazz & Funk from the Inner City.
You can stream volume 1 here: Blaxploitation Vol.1 : Soul, Jazz & Funk (From The Inner city) « SHAKAKAN: Musica.
Each volume in this series was a 2 CD set with more than 20 songs – 96 tracks in all, from a wide range of artists – from household names like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder to less well-known jazz-fusion musicians like Alphonse Mouzon to cult figures like Gil Scott-Heron and Esther Phillips. The songs are equally diverse, with big hits that everyone knows (Isaac Hayes, “Shaft”), minor songs from well-know artists, cult favorites (William DeVaughn’s “Be Thankful for What You Got,” Joe Quartermain’s “(I Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind”), lost classics, and stuff that seems pretty obscure now (like Deodato) or from soundtracks to largely forgotten blaxploitation movies like Shaft in Africa (theme).
Listening to these collections was, for me, a wonderful combination of familiar pleasures and new discoveries. In the latter category, is today’s song of the day, your funk for Friday:
The Headhunters were brought together by Herbie Hancock in 1973, when he recorded Head Hunters, one of the best-selling jazz/fusion records of all time. Survival of the Fittest was recorded without Hancock, which may account for the more serious hard funk, less fusion sound of “God Made Me Funky.” Whatever – it’s a knockout.
Got to Get It…
- Blaxploitation v1 – Amazon.com
- Blaxploitation v2: The Sequel – Amazon.com
- Blaxploitation v3: The Payback – Amazon.com
- Blaxploitation v4: Harlem Hustle – Amazon.com
- Funk-o-ringa: Blaxploitation x 3 – Taringa – mediafire downloads for v1, 3 and 4
- Best Of Blaxploitation (2006) hotfile, rapidshare, megaupload download – a different compilation, 3 volumes, with a lot of overlap and some different tracks
- Herbie Hancock, Head Hunters – Amazon.com
- Herbie Hancock Head Hunters 1973 klasyka net – Download from rapidshare.com – Filestube.com
- The Headhunters, Survival of Fittest (24bt) – Amazon.com
- Headhunters 1975 Survival Of The Fittest – Download from rapidshare.com – Filestube.com
- Blaxploitation Pride – these cats are too cool for school – they don’t appear to have ever posted this particular set of CDs, but they have a ton of great funk and blaxploitation movie soundtracks