Friday, 6 March 2009

Fatback - Is This The Future? - 1983 - Spring

I LOVE Fatback - especially their 1980s material. The group, already stepped in funk embraced the new electronic, programmed synth style and turned out a whole series of albums crammed with crackin' jams and ballads. their move to Cotillion in 1984 for two albums, "So Delicious" and "Phoenix" was a great move but their Y2K efforts have been far less inspiring. This album, though, rates as one of my favourite Fatback albums and contained 5 tracks which floated my boat. The title track dallied with rap and the fresh, synthy groove is one that was very much a treatise on the day rather than what was to come. Hell, that was MUCH worse, especially where music was concerned! "Double Love Affair" is another quality fun slice of uptempo Fatback fare which still gets my bass-pins in a good work-out!

"Spread Love" remains a real gem, the dirty moog bass, flute and sassy vocals courtesy of Evelyn Thomas still work a treat today. I think it's fair to say that most will err towards the more traditional outing, "Sunshine Lady" - a classic Fatback Band mellow groove if ever there was one; a really strong summertime good-times groove with a catchy guitar hook. This is up there with the best of them! My final pick is "The Girl Is Fine (So Fine)" which is another classic in the vein of "Start It Up" or "So Delicious". Such a classy piece of early 80s Fatback, aimed at the dancefloor. This is a song that still gets me moving all these years on - and I wish the guys would get back to this kind of groove and stop mucking about with rap and ragga. Thankfully, unlike "So Delicious", this has been reissued legally and from master tapes by the good people at Ace Records via their South Bound imprint. Available very reasonably from Amazon.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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