Got The Fever

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tower Of Power

Way back (back before time), when my nascent, budding musical taste was being infused with all styles, I knew someone who played bass in a horn band. Man, they just scorched the pubescent hairs off me when I heard them. Listening to the demonic power with which they played made my heart try to beat on the other side of my ribs. One of the bands they covered was Tower Of Power, and man, are they aptly named.

Anyone who is any kind of serious music collector knows that TOP has lent their funk, soul, pop and absolute mastery of their playing and arranging to countless – yes, countless – bands who enlist them for the unparalleled and powerful impact they bring to each and every individual track they grace. And for all the neophytes wondering about where they may have heard them? Don’t worry, you simply cannot avoid hearing them – you have them playing on a track somewhere in your collection.

I could feature many, many tracks here and I struggle to narrow it down, but hey – get a grip and throw it down.

Evidence One: Soul Vaccination

While horns that play with wild abandon start to shape and mold the mood, the rest of the band follows with triumph. Listening behind the horns, can you hear the absolute triumph that is the rhythm guitar? How about the precision drumming coming from a man who obviously sold his soul at some crossroad somewhere! Can anybody human possibly play that perfectly? The conga playing?? … say no more.

Soul vaccination,
All across the nation people been catchin' honkypox (Honkypox)
When you get the notion,
Tower's got the potion - you might look in to set yourself in motion.

Damn straight they got the potion!

Soul vaccination, roll up your sleeve,
Cause if you ain't buggin' you might still got the
disease (Got the bug)
While responding to the treatment, feel the beat down to
your feet,
And release what it take to make you move your leg.

As they saying goes, this is good for what ails you!

Evidence Two: Don't Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream)

This starts a bit foreboding with the organ/bass intro, followed by snappy drum/high-hat. Catch the modulation that elevates and pulls you up to another plateau. A real funkafied, percolating bubbling stew that permeates through your craw and never fails to pull you away from the present moment to nod, squint and smile with the vibe.

Five long years we have been together
Your love and understanding
Has brought us through stormy weather
I must admit girl I haven’t always been good
But you stuck by me just like you said you would

Sure, he’s been a freaky donkey at times. No doubt about it. However, he now has an inkling that the fine filly isn’t satisfied in the stable anymore.

Hey I know, that enough is enough
But you shouldn't be talking about
Givin'it up turn it loose it might be right, it seems
The wrong decision will spoil all our dreams
So if you don't want to spoil our secret dreams,
Don't change horses in the middle of a stream.

Giddy-up, giddy-up Hi-o Yeah!
Giddy-up, giddy-up Hi-o Silver!

Ride the wild buckin’ bronk of this bad horn banger!

Sure, ride the familiarity of “So Very Hard To Go”, “You’re Still A Young Man”, “What Is Hip”, “Still Be Diggin’ On James Brown”, but we here at Got The Fever love the tracks that haven’t been played in forever. If you’re here, so do you.

Tower Of Power: Soul Vaccination
From: Tower Of Power [1973]

Tower Of Power: Don't Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream)
From: Back To Oakland [1974]

P.S. I haven't been able to post images to Blogger for two weeks now. What's up with that?


  • Ok - enough of someone signing on and leaving spam. Verification is now on.

    By Blogger wzjn, at 12:10 PM  

  • Soul Vaccination is a great song!

    Keep up the good work on the new blog.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:18 AM  

  • Thanks - I appreciate the good words.

    Let me know what else I can do.

    By Blogger wzjn, at 5:25 AM  

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