Friday, 22 June 2012

WHEN FUNK WENT OVERGROUND


Back in the eighties, post Punk, bands in England stumbled upon Funk. Funk had, up to that point, been underground and was never mentioned in the mainstream music press. It seemed that over night bands who had aspired to being the Rolling Stones or The Sex Pistols decided that Funk was the way forward. This resulted in an outpouring of experimental Funk sounds and a rediscovery of James Brown et al in the Rock press. A lot of these bands were still struggling for proficiency so their version of  Funk was raw at best. Records soon followed and at one point it seemed that every band that appeared on TOTP had backing singers and 'Dance' remixes to inject Funkiness into their rock 'n' roll based sound.
There was a certain sadness, as there always is, when an underground movement and style gets absorbed into the mainstream. What was interesting was that it was, initially, the more interesting bands that tried their hand at funk; with some mixed and radical results which began to incorporate Disco, Northern Soul, Motown and soul influences. This segued into the pop acts getting Funky with the inevitable overkill that followed. The peak of the rise of the influence of Funk on British bands was in 1982 when Spandau Ballet hit Number one with Chant No. 1. This was before Hip-Hop became popular and further exposed Funk by use of samples.Things went full circle with original punks The Clash releasing Magnificent 7 a Rap/funk record.

When Funk went overground it was probably a good thing as it exposed the great artists that had led the way; and more than likely put a few dollars in their pockets.
A POST PUNK FUNK PLAYLIST
  1. We are all Prostitutes-The Pop Group
  2. Damaged Goods-Gang of Four
  3. Shack up-A Certain Ratio
  4. Shake-Glaxo Babies
  5. You're my kind of climate-Rip Rig & Panic
  6. Faith-Manicured Noise
  7. Death Disco-PiL
  8. Coup-23 Skidoo
  9. The light pours out of me-Magazine
  10. Cavern-Liquid Liquid
  11. Empire State Human-The Human League
  12. Tears are not enough-ABC
  13. We don't need this Fascist groove Thang-Heaven 17
  14. Favourite Shirts-Haircut 100
  15. There there my dear-Dexy's Midnight Runners
  16. Chant Number 1-Spandau Ballet
  17. Magnificent 7-The Clash


The Pop Group
Gang of Four
A Certain Ratio
Glaxo Babies
Rip Rig & Panic
Manicured Noise
PiL
23 Skidoo
Magazine
Liquid liquid
The Human League
ABC
Heaven 17
Haircut 100
Dexys Midnight Runners
Spandau Ballet
The Clash

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having said that;

WELLISAIDTHAT