Friday, August 04, 2006

Funky Friday Has The Perfect Beats

Back in '98 Timber Records (a Tommy Boy Records sublabel) put out four volumes of a compilation series called The Perfect Beats - New York Electro Hip Hop + Underground Dance Classics 1980 -1985. I picked up Vols. 1 & 2 back in the day, and they are now out of print and hard to find. Today's selections are taken from Volume 1. Rockers Revenge deliver a killer electro groove update of an Eddy Grant oldie, produced by the legendary Arthur Baker. Brits are represented by the trio Imagination, who were camper than camp (and rocked the "Hammer pants" look years before Hammer did) but sounded sweet and funky. Underground in the US for sure, they were Top 40 regulars for a couple of years in the UK. Also on the UK tip are the grandads of British jazz funk, Level 42. Keyboardist Mike Lindup handles the lovely falsetto on this funky space jam, and Wally Badarou's additional keys make this one a keeper. It still sounds great today. Finally, Italian post-disco gets an outing via Klein & M.B.O.'s synth pop electro.

1 Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force - Planet Rock
2 Planet Patrol - Play At Your Own Risk
3 Rockers Revenge - Walking On Sunshine
4 Yazoo - Don't Go
5 Jellybean - The Mexican
6 Yello - Bostich
7 Kraftwerk - Trans Europe Express
8 Kraftwerk - Numbers / Computer World
9 Peech Boys - Don't Make Me Wait
10 Imagination - Just An Illusion
11 Level 42 - Star Child
12 Nick Straker Band - A Little Bit Of Jazz
13 Klein & M.B.O - Dirty Talk
14 T.W. Funkmasters - Love Money

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