“Listen – The Artistics – What Happened – MP3″
Here we are again at the beginning of yet another exciting week and I figured that I couldn’t very well get things started here at Funky16Corners unless the tune in question was also (exciting that is)…
Anyhoo, I can’t recall exactly when I picked up ‘What Happened’ by the Artistics, but it was a long time ago. I remember that much because this is a 45 that came recommended by a friend, fell into the abyss known as my record room, and then popped up again and again over the years. Why it took me so long to finally pull the record out and give it a serious listen, I cannot tell you, other than to admit that this is a scenario which is played out on the reg.
It may have had something to do with my ego, i.e. if I didn’t find it on my own, I need to bury it deep enough in the crates that when I finally do find it, that it was kind of like finding it on my own (but not really, and how neurotic is that???).
That admission out of the way, my thanks go out to whoever tried to turn me on to this record lo those many years ago. Your name has been forgotten but your good deed is remembered every time I give this one a spin.
This is – as you’ll see after you pull down the ones and zeros – because ‘What Happened’ by the Artistics is a very solid bit of late 60s Chitown soul on it’s way to the land of funk. It has a super classy arrangement by Carl Davis and Eugene Record (of the Chi-lites, who cowrote the song with Barbara Acklin) that starts out with the strings and the piano before the thumping bass, slightly fuzzed out guitar (I LOVE that guitar) and snapping drums fall by to remind you that you are in fact listening to a soul record.
This motion is seconded as soon as the Artistics themselves get started with the falsetto and the harmonies and all is groovy.
The opening of ‘What Happened’ is a great example of how semi-baroque pop touches were finding their way into the sounds of soul – check out ‘At the Top of the Stairs’ by the Formations for another example – a la the work that Norman Whitfield was doing up in the Motor City.
It’s a killer record, and I hope you dig it.
See you on Wednesday.