Monday, 11 April 2011

Kool And The Gang - Good TImes (1972)

As a kid, I loved the TV show "Good Times." The show was total Blaxploitation TV, giving a true commentary on ghetto life, without the guns, sex and hard attitudes (unless you count "Sweet Daddy" Williams, the pimp/numbers runner as "hard"... hardly!) The album "Good Times" had nothing to do with the TV show, but also gave an experience of the turbulent times making up the black (in this case musical) culture of the day, with a variety of contrasting styles and influences jammed into its two sides. "Country Junky" is as funky as things come - a hybrid of James Brown and Sly Stone. "North, East, South, West" is a straight ahead instrumental groover, with the funkiest of bass lines. "I Remember John W. Coltrane" is a hauntingly beautiful jazz tune. "Rated X" would have fit right into a soundtrack for a black "Rocky" movie. And finally, the closer, "Father, Father," could easily have been Marvin Gaye on one of his incredible, early 70's works. "Good Times" was never as commercially popular as a lot of other earlier K&TG works, but it's full of great jazzed out funk. Well worth a listen, if you can find a copy.

To Discogs for info:

Available as part of 2-for-1 CD on Amazon:

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