It’s been a long time coming: almost four years of digging and delving into tape vaults, following this or that lead, before we felt we had enough to make another “Super Funk” outing not just viable but undeniably worthwhile. We like to go a little further, offering up music that can’t be sourced elsewhere. To that end, alongside seven cuts culled from rare 45s, we have unearthed 13 unissued masters, all high quality. They include a previously unknown cut by Linda Lyndell, of ‘What A Man’ fame, and an instrumental version of the funk break ‘I Got Some’ from Dave Hamilton’s archive.
Of the issued tracks, none would give you much change from £100 if you were to purchase them on original 45s. Betty Gouché’s wonderful ‘What More Can I Ask For’, the rarest release on Matt Hill’s Hill label, is a currently in-demand piece of sister funk. Also at the top of many wants lists is ‘Walkin’ The Duck’ by Jim Pipkin on the Camelot logo from the Pacific North West. The Eternal Flames, Cross Bronx Expressway and Sue Ann Jones are all classic funk collectors’ items, and range from impossible to fairly difficult to find. The S.O.U.L. recording of ‘Burning Spear’ is an established classic that has recently been discovered in a very sharp seven inch version, much better suited to the dancefloor.
The unreleased material is of the very highest quality and ranges from the symphonic funk of the Ebony Godfathers to the stripped-down rhythms of the Dave Hamilton Players, who appear with a version of Billy Garner’s breakbeat classic ‘I Got Some’. We have some especially rich veins to mine here, including the vaults of Music City, Dave Hamilton and GRC. From Music City we unleash an unknown gem from the Two Things In One, while the Detroit stylings of Chico & Buddy are a fine find from the Hamilton stash and the Atlanta vault of GRC yields my favourite cut, ‘Talk Is Cheap’ by an unkown female singer – hear the intro and watch the dancefloor go wild! If this isn’t enough, gospel legend Dorothy Norwood delivers the astoundingly catchy ‘Time Is Winding Up’.
As part of a renewed BGP assault on the record vaults of the world, this is some of the greatest funk never committed to vinyl. Hopefully it won’t be as long until the next volume, but if it is, you have plenty to savour in the meantime.
By Dean Rudland