The Fatback Band
“Listen – Goin’ To See My Baby – MP3″
“Listen – Street Dance – MP3″
I hope all is well on your end. So far the new year has proven interesting, if not hugely productive. I just found out on Friday that my work situation will be improving just enough to make me a little bit happier. Nothing huge, no extra money, but something I’ve been waiting for since I got downsized last year, which will make my life just a little bit easier.
In other good news, it’s just about a week and a half until the return of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions at the World Famous Asbury Lanes. Join us on Friday, January 18th for the usual crew of world class selectors and a special guest or two. Things at the 45 Sessions have gotten progressively hotter, so if you’re in the area fall by and say hello.
This bears mentioning not only because the 45 Sessions are a very groovy scene where much hot wax will be proffered, but also because I first encountered today’s selection through the crates of our 45 Sessions host, DJ Prestige.
Some time back Pres and I got together to work on a joint mix (Beat Combination Pts 1&2). One of the fine selections that Pres pulled from his 45 box was ‘Goin’ To See My Baby’ by the Fatback Band. Though I knew of the band I’d never heard the tune before and it blew me away*.
Naturally – as is always the case – once I’ve been exposed to a new groove I keep my eyes and ears peeled for a copy of my own, and it wasn’t long until one came my way. Once I got it home and whipped it on the turntable I was pleased to hear that the flip side was also very cool, so when I sat down to digi-ma-tize the record I decided that it would have been uncool of me not to offer you both the A and the B.
Briefly, the Fatback Band (later truncating the name to just Fatback) started out in New York in 1972 as a mainly instrumental funk unit. Both sides of the single I bring you today appeared on their debut LP ‘Let’s Do It Again’ in 1972.
The band, who remained together through the mid-80’s went on to have several R&B hits, having success through the disco era and recording what is considered to be one of the very earliest rap 45s ‘King Tim III (Personality Jock)’ in 1979.
Though their later stuff was still funky (check out ‘(Are You Ready) Do the Bus Stop’) I dig their earlier stuff the best when they – like Kool & the Gang – added a jazzy edge to some heavy grooves. ‘Goin’ To See My Baby’ is a perfect example of just such a blend.
Opening with a hissing hi-hat and a winding bass line, the tune is immediately kicked up to another level when someone starts scatting. The overall effect is both hypnotic and utterly funky, especially when the flute drops in.
The flip side ‘Street Dance’ (which actually generated some minor chart action) opens with a similar drum line and moves on into slightly heavier territory, with a very nice sax solo.
Fatback spent a number of years with the Perception label, eventually moving on to Spring, and then finishing out their career on Cotillion. If you head over to Dusty Groove, they’ve got the UK 2CD collection ‘Fatbackin’: The Perception Sessions’ for less than $10USD (about half of what Amazon is charging).
Hope you dig both the tracks.
*I had one, earlier Fatback experience years ago when I was first digging for funk 45s. I found a copy of the ‘Soul March’ 45, and when I finally got it on the turntable, it turned out to be another record alltogether (some kind of mis-press, as in the time I picked up my first copy of ‘Funky ’69’ by Alvin Cash and actually found a country song in the grooves. Ohhh, the pain).