First CD of LP
Phil S. | USA | 09/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fine pressing of (mostly) classic cuts. The lead tune, "Mother Popcorn", based partially on an apparently withdrawn 45rpm, "You Got To Have A Mother For Me", sounds great: uptempo funk for the long haul, slightly salacious, but seasoned with sassy Soul through and through. I would have preferred a mix featuring more of the rhythm, with JB's voice back just a taste, and perhaps some echo, a la "Papa's...Bag". Still a gem, and one which warrants revisitation not just by fans and historians but by those who said, at the time, "It's alright, but there's too much screaming...I like the early ballads and 'Night Train'". They need to dig the subtle key changes and how Maceo knows just how much to blow, and when.
"Mashed Potatoes Popcorn" sounds to me like it is an overdub of "Merry Christmas, I Love You", actually a blues/jazz pattern. On "Part 2", we are suprised by the shift from the C-F-G form to holding one chord.
"The Little Old Groove Maker, Me" [possibly titled in tribute to Dean Martin's "The Little Ole Wine Drinker, Me"] is a happy, uptempo, live call-and-response from the Apolo Theatre, but if you own "Live, Volume 2", you already have it, albeit sans echo, which really enhances the sound. It certainly appears that another live "There Was A Time"-related number was fairly fresh in the vaults [in '98 it was released in "Say It Loud And Live [Live In Dallas] 0826-68])". That would have worked, but even better, using the full-blown "Funky Drummer", which contains the album title.
"You're Still Out Of Sight" is a variant of "Out Of Sight", recorded probably in 1967 at the "I Can't Stand Myself..." session. Both tracks were mastered at the wrong (low) pitch. It's been suggested that a live version is out there waiting for it's call to the DVD presses.
The CD closes with a great instrumental "Top Of THe Stack", no technological glitches here - just plain funk, with Maceo and Melvin, Catfish, Country, and Al. Great closer, but I would have liked to have "Mother Popcorn, Part Two" as the finale - as it was, for the ages, on "Sex Machine" (or the album which should have been "James Brown, Live At Home")."