Please don't tell them..... It was a desperate plea from those who know about these things, but after being called 'buttock - clenchingly trite' for my sleeve notes for Living In The Streets Volume 1 I thought that there is no way out of this other than to come clean. This is a bunch of tracks. The last couple of years has seen people better than me claim that their bunch of tracks had a concept to it - and many have got a way with it. But sometimes the truth will out and your album is nothing more than a fantastic collection of excellent music from across the spectrum of Black American music at its most fertile period.
And make no mistake the 1970s were one of its most fertile periods, the great breakthroughs of the 60s were being consolidated by an ability to sell albums that saw it was possible to make unprecendented amounts of money. In turn this meant that risks were being taken that saw soul and RnB rub shoulders with jazz, gospel, latin and rock. At the far end of this, disco would emerge and in the meantime a hell of a lot of fun was going to be had getting there.
So, we the people at BGP, have delved and compiled and if you don't like it well just don't come to the party - yep, just stand outside with a long face looking miserable while we whoop it up on the inside. Just look at the list Letta Mbulu, Joe Houston, Joe Bataan, Byrdie Green, Esther Marrow, Spanky Wilson, Preston Epps - just starts us off. The Fatback Band turn up in disguise as Macho and the greatest percussionist in the world King Errison - of whom it is said he could cut any other congaluero - shows his worth with some high quality voodooism. George Benson, Pretty Purdie, Dave Cortez and Buddy Lucas turn up as the Mighty Tom Cats and seem to be advocating illegal activities. Though obviously not at any party that I'm running .
So there you go, a bunch of very serious tracks on a not so serious compilation. What more do you want?
By Dean Rudland