Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Older We Get

When I was a kid we were - there's no other word for it - racist. Our parents fed us this stuff and, there being no contrary voice raised, we pretty much bought.

We also believed it was worth an Armageddon-level nuke strike on Moscow to preserve our God-given right to something - oh yeah, now I.remember, our right to capitalism.

But, for all the Pat Boones, there were singers and writers who stayed with the tried and true - with the blues. They made unforgettable music - just like this by Joan Osbourne. (psss. up the bass, now)

And, if you liked that, I'm pretty sure you'll be swept away with this:

Do let me know if I'm wrong.

These clips are courtesy of a bunch of southern musicians who were carried north to work in factories, in particular the car plants in Detroit. They worked their musical way out of the factories slowly and almost under the radar.

Yet, when Motown evolved it needed a pop/blues "orchestra" that would write it's own music to the tune. That group of exceptional musicians became known as The Funk Brothers.

Time passes, memory fades. The Funk Brothers I knew and understood in the late 60's/early 70's were lost to us just a couple of years after they had really taken off. Once Motown became the music focus for Michael Jackson, any remaining hope of jazz and blues became one dark farce.

Only today are we recognizing the Funk Brothers. That's long overdue.


Anonymous said...

Why not post the originals?
While Joan Osbourne is a fine performer, the clips that you show are just reinterpretations.

The Mound of Sound said...

That's the whole point, CWTF. These recordings are a tribute to the Funk Brothers, the guys who did all the backup for Motown artists and others. This showcases their talent, the idea being that these singers are replaceable but the music remains great.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I missed the point.

While I agree that the Funk Brothers are irreplaceable and contributed greatly to the music scene.

Maybe it's because my musical taste and curiosity keeps growing.

In an earlier post you stated "Guess what? You're never gonna get it - just as our parents, thank God, didn't get it in our turn." - while I agree about your observation, I'm not sure about the possible conclusions.

There is a sort of musical myopia by too many that leads to musical ignorance. Some of my generation, only praise what they listened to in high school but miss out on many great new bands.

I'm more a fan of Booker T and the M.G.'s as a backing band (love their work with Otis Redding).
While tributes are good, I don't dismiss the singer as the most important part of a song.
Can you imagine "Satisfaction" being a hit if the Beatles had sung it?

There are a few versions of the same song that is a hit for one singer but not another - I'm thinking of "Respect" in particular...

(and no I'm not going to call you a Connie if we disagree)

The Mound of Sound said...

Booker T and the MGs. "Green Onions" Wow, mighty fine stuff that.

And no, I can't even begin to imagine what the Beatles would have done to "Satisfaction." Ouch.

Anonymous said...

And no, I can't even begin to imagine what the Beatles would have done to "Satisfaction." Ouch.
It would not have been worst than what DEVO did....
Although, DEVO did a good version of "Working in a coalmine"...