(5 / 5)
One of my favourite interviews of a four decade career in journalism, was the time I spoke to bass legend Larry Graham. What a nice guy. What a player. A real innovator. The creator of the slap bass technique from his days with Sly and the Family Stone.
Larry’s band Graham Central Station, like Sly and his boys, are part of the very foundations of the funk genre. The funk is the basis of most hip hop and rap tracks too. His stuff has been sampled more times than I’ve had hot dinners.
Here we have not one, not two but three of GCS’s classic albums on two discs. We also get the single versions of the hits “Is It Love?”, “(You’re A) Foxy Lady,” and “Star Walk.” Graham Central Station established themselves as first-tier hit makers and live performers with the release of their 1974 self-titled double album for Warner Brothers, following it with three best-selling albums, “Release Yourself,” “Ain’t No Bout-A-Doubt It,” and “Mirror.”
By the time they dropped “Now Do U Wanta Dance,” in 1977, they were riding on the crest of a wave of success; the title track became a top 10 R&B hit on an album that included a distinctive version of the Al Green smash “Love And Happiness,” and Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Led Me On.”
1978’s “My Radio Sure Sounds Good To Me,” which was produced by jazz legend Benny Golson, continued down the funky path that GCS had created, with the title track and the notable ballad single, “Is It Love?” “Star Walk,” released in 1979, featured production work by Philly soul men Bobby Martin and arranger Ron Kersey, and featured the groove-laden hit, “(You’re A) Foxy Lady.”
This very welcome 2017 re-issue includes extensive notes, which features quotes from Larry Graham and group member Jerry Martini, and re-mastering from Donald Cleveland. We get 27 cuts in total across the two discs. Time to get fonnnnky…………………..
By Simon Redley
(1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’