Introducing The Meters!!!
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 11/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well the summer of 1969 was just getting on the roll and New Orleans unleashed The Meters.So what is the key to The Meters' funk?Well it's not anything too difficult-they basically have a sound that makes them The Big Easy's answer to Booker T & The MG's-a spare sound where every instrument is destinctly heard playing gravel raw primal funk,just at the very same time James Brown was unleashing his funk monsters.The sound is puncuated by Leo Nocentelli's distinctive hiccuping on the guitar,the amazing Zigaboo Modeliste's stop-and-start drums and Art Neville's punchy organ breaks. And NOTHING shouts all of this louder then the immortal funk classic "Cissy Strut"-yes however many times we've heard it or heard it sampled it still punches you out,especially being the first tune presented here. And if that's the sound you like this album's got plenty of it,even on the reprise "Sophisticated Cissy" ("Cissy Strut" would be reprised in a meriad of different titles over the next few releases) but this album isn't always repetative,even if with a sound like The Meters no one cares if they are."Art" for example tales a different groove with the guitar playing in more of a solo format then a stuttering and a more dancable rhythm-not as "break" oriented."6V6 LA" does the very same thing. The Meters also offer up two covers here-an instrumental version of "Stormy"-now HERE'S a great cover tune! In the beginning the band play the song on the harmonic level-far from the original melody THEN switch without the blink of an eye to playing it melodically,sounding more like the original hit."Sing A Simple Song" is nice but doesn't really offer anything over what Sly didn't do on his original classic. On the other hand "The Look Of Love" (yes the one EVERYONE always covers) sounds pretty good as a funk tune and is a great version of the tune. So overall if your one of the people like me who collects albums as opposed to Best Of collections this is actually the best place to start your Meters collection and lucky for you it's right at the beginning."
Ushering in a new era
Kurt Streuber | Arizona | 06/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think it's safe to say this probably the most recognizable and most widely imitated funk record of the time. It was certainly the one that stands out in many people's minds as the meters finest record. While future releases saw tighter arrangements and some great vocal work from George Porter and Art Nevel, this first release showed what a raw band can do when left to lay down tunes they'd been playing in clubs around the area. The tunes are sparse, but each band member has his part, and they combine to form some of the funkiest grooves you'll ever hear. The drumming is incredible, the constant pulse never leaves, yet the psyncopation keeps the beats from ever getting boring or repetitive. Leo's guitar playing is tight and chopy, that crisp tele through a fender amp sound very remonissent of the MoTown players or of Steve Cropper. Art and George work very well together on this album too, never letting bass and organ interfere with each other's lines. I can't stress enugh here how this should be a benchmark for any band trying to figure out how to work together for the benefit of the song, rather than to show off individual talent. Any time I play a funk tune, I have this instant flash of one of these tracks, and my guitar part suddenly seems cluttered and self serving. I highly recommend this album to any musician exploring the roots of soul funk and even disco as you can get an idea of how it all came together. Buy and enjoy!!!
A musician's must-have
bassmasta | Capistrano Beach, CA United States | 06/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every musician should own this album, especially bass players and drummers."