SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #99
Welcome to R'nR with Rylo and for those of you who don't know what we do here, it's a blog where my family and I spin records from our collection each Sunday afternoon and record this time capsule for the week that was. This album selected for the 99th Sunday spin was an instant purchase for our collection after hearing but a few bars of the opening track. I was lucky enough to be a member of Vinyl Me, Please (VMP) record of the month club a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised to receive 'Money Talks' by The Bar-Kays as one of the month's selections. I would have remained a monthly member of the club but the US dollar compared to the Australian dollar just isn't feasible each month. I regard this as a hidden gem album and if you like the Funk genre, then you'll appreciate what you hear.
Funk has a requirement for good speakers with low end bass and if you don't want to play it loud, make sure you use a decent set of headphones for this album. I would recommend Beats Studio 3 or Pro and Sennheiser's for this one. We will be spinning 'Money Talks' on our front room turntable and relaxing after another busy week. Our front room set-up consists of an Audio-Technica turntable and Marshall Woburn II speaker that will match the output that this album demands. Look at these funky characters below and love this photo that is also on the album jacket.
Image: The Bar-Kays
It's time to #dropthestylus on this 2020 pressing of the 1978 classic, 'Money Talks' by the funk band - The Bar-Kays!
It seems like the weekend has flown by and that is because last night we went to see 'The Darkness' - tickets were a Christmas present for Night Kat Kiz and they were electrifying on stage. Can I just say that they are a TOP rock band and put on one of the BEST shows that I've ever seen in my life. I thought that they would be, having so much talent and stage presence made the show seemingly go too quickly. Night Kat Kiz and I managed to get front row in the mosh pit and have a great view of the band. DZ Deathrays, Cry Club and You Am I supported the band and once again, the Hordern Pavilion delivered in terms of an awesome night. Even if Pink was playing across the road at Allianz Stadium, The Darkness concert was the place to be. Thank you to Aunty B and Uncle M for babysitting our little ones too, we really do appreciate it and my parents too with PB and C.
Incase you have been living under a rock, Kanye West (Ye) has also released his new LP with Ty Dolla $ign called Vultures - Volume 1. It has two interesting covers and will have to give it a listen on the drive down to Victoria. Anyways, enough about all of that and lets discuss what we are hearing coming through the Marshall Woburn II speaker right now. Our son is swinging his hips to the funky beats of opening song, 'HOLY GHOST'. This song really lays the platform for the album and the vocals of Larry Dodson really capture your interest. I regard this collection of songs recorded between 1972 -1975 as an album because it is so cohesive and excellently put together. It's actually an EP to be truly honest but the song's runtimes are about the same as putting out a 10 track album with shorter songs. For a moment you think that the song has finished before moving into a different soundscape of funk/soul and even samba.
Second song on the album is called, 'FEELIN' ALRIGHT' and is such a smooth song coming through the Marshall Woburn II speaker on this sunny afternoon.
Our son and daughter had a big week with new daycare and starting kindergarten. They must have been feeling the mantra of this song because they were so excited every day. It was a nice moment seeing our son dressed in his uniform ready for school. Hopefully week 2 goes as well as week 1 and the shine hasn't worn off for him. Now, this song is actually a cover by a '60s band named Traffic. They are worth looking into if you enjoy your '60s music. You probably know the even more popular version by Joe Cocker but I enjoyed hearing The Bar-Kays give this one a go.
The stylus is moving along the groove of this VMP pressing and it is absolutely flawless. 'MONSTER' closes Side A with a sultry sounding song that sounds like Snoop Dogg is about to jump in with some lyrics while sippin' on some GnJ. This track is an instrumental jam and really lets you enjoy what you are hearing. Even though I have chosen lyrics below from 'HOLY GHOST', this is my favourite song on the album. Although it goes for almost 7 minutes, it breezes by and the stylus is now hitting the dead wax, letting us know that it's time to flip the LP over to Side B.
"Your love is like the Holy Ghost, shakin' all in my bones. I never felt such a feelin', In all the days I been round, yeah. Whenever I feel the pressure, (Jah!) I can't seem to hypnotize my mind. (Well!) Your love is like the Holy Ghost, and I feel like I've been born a second time" ~Holy Ghost - Side A
'MONEY TALKS' opens up Side B and picks up the tempo with the lyrics of, "Money Talks....and Evil walks in the heart of everyone". It makes me want to go and watch police chase movies or car chase action movies from the '70s. The track plods along nicely until the mid-way point where you feel that the song has ended. It hasn't and it made our children look up and give me the look of, "Dad, what happened to the music?". As the afternoon goes on I am starting to get sluggish after a couple of late nights and early mornings. I could easily take a 30 minute nap after this album plays and it seems to be what our daughter is starting to do in the loungeroom (or loungin according to our son).
Do you know the band Grand Funk Railroad? 'MEAN MISTREATER' is actually a cover of one of their songs but The Bar-Kays do such a good job at making it there own. The bass of James Alexander can be heard so clearly at the beginning of this song and he was the lucky member of the band who managed to catch a different flight to the ones that took his band mates and Otis Reddings lives. He did have one band mate survive that flight, but Ben Cauley's trumpet wouldn't be heard on this album. He left the band in 1971 to focus on his solo music and taking care of his family, which is understandable after being the sole survivor of such a horrific event. I like this song because it gives a Rick James and Prince kind of feeling to the song and has a big finish that would sound incredible in a live setting.
Are we listening to the same song for the final song of the album or are my ears still ringing from the concert last night? No. The final song on the album repeats the song that opens with 'HOLY GHOST (REBORN)' The Bar-Kays have added a bit more soul, rhythm and blues to the number and extended the track time too. It was added as a bookend that really works well if you are spinning the record over and over. The stylus comes to the end of the record and that signifies that it's time to go and have a 30-minute power nap (long drive tomorrow).
So what did you think as you listened along to this funky album by The Bar-Kays? Love at first listen? It was for us here at R'nR anyway and we hope that you add this album to your collection, if you get a chance to do so. I'll be travelling a bit this week and I will be listening to the Super Bowl through the radio (if I get reception) on the drive. Home in time for Valentines Day night and the trip away will go quick. Make sure you have a go at the MWSP next week for our 100th R'nR spin! This week my dad guessed the band correctly but it was difficult not to tell him that he was only 50% correct. The band released more than one album in 1978, but great guess. I will have to look up the album - 'Light of Life' now as it is one that I have not heard. Hug your loved ones, play some music that you might stumble across this week and enjoy the good moments. If you get a chance, listen to the new Tom Snowden album - not funky like The Bar-Kays, but works with the Rest and Relaxation theme.
"Now I've known quite a few people - and counselled them - that have suffered similar setbacks. But, ah, in time you will embrace this. Learn to think of this as, oh, a new chapter. You know, in theatrical circles, they always say, Every exit is but an entrance to somewhere else" - Fraiser Crane
Until our next Spin, be Kind to lovers of tha Funk and be Kind to your Wax!
1978 (ORIGINAL), THIS COPY 2020
SPEED PLAYED AT
33 1/3 RPM
FLYING HIGH ON YOUR LOVE (1977)
LIGHT OF LIFE (1978)
COLD BLOODED (1974)
RATING OUT OF 5
4 (only because it seems so short)
WHAT'S INSIDE THE RECORD SLEEVE
1 X 180GRAM HEAVY AUDIOPHILE PRESSING, AAA LACQUERS CUT FROM ORIGINAL ANALOG TAPES, LISTENING NOTES BOOKLET
LP / SIDE
HOLY GHOST (REBORN)
The Bar-Kays and Otis Redding, sadly died in a plane crash bar Ben Cauley