Spread across a handful of records spearheaded by King Floyd’s ‘Groove Me’, a new sound in soul appeared in late 1970 that put Jackson, Mississippi’s Malaco Studios on the recording map, seemingly overnight. The Malaco Sound might have felt like it came out of nowhere, but it was the end product of hard graft and some disappointment along the road to success.
After ‘Groove Me’ had been rejected by many important soul labels, Malaco put it out themselves, initially as a B-side. A New Orleans-based DJ went crazy for the track and began plugging it mercilessly. The record soon busted out of the south and, with national distribution by Atlantic Records, became a #1R&B/#5 Pop smash in early 1971. The record established Malaco, their Chimneyville label and former mailman King Floyd at a stroke, paving the way for more hit singles and two extremely good albums over the next four years.
For the first time on a UK CD, those singles and the best album tracks are collected here on “I Feel Like Dynamite”. The compilation contains all of Floyd’s important dance hits, several of which have been sampled by hip hoppers over and over again, plus the great deep soul sides that were a highlight of his albums and B-sides. For those who have known tracks such as ‘Please Don’t Leave Me Lonely’ and ‘Handle With Care’ for years, but who have never owned them on CD, these and others like them will be a welcome addition to their collections. For those who have never heard them before, they will be a revelation.
When ‘Groove Me’ was first released, I was working in a record shop in South West London, selling 45s mostly to a young West Indian and African crowd. For many weeks it seemed like nobody who came into the shop left without a copy. We sold out our initial batch of import copies of the single within a few seconds of the needle hitting the vinyl for the first time. In my mind’s eye I can still see a Pavlovian show of hands from eager purchasers, standing up to six-deep at the counter, every time I hear the intro of ‘Groove Me’.
40 years on, ‘Groove Me’ and other great King Floyd hits such as ‘Baby Let Me Kiss You’, ‘Woman Don’t Go Astray’ and our title track sound just as original and vital as they did when they were first released.
By Tony Rounce