New Birth

New Birth

New Birth

Reel Music (P & C Records) digs deep into the R&B/Funk crates to bring forth – for the first time on CD- the very first 1970 RCA album by Louisville, Kentucky’s The New Birth. From the nude family portrait on the cover to the raw, broad stroke 10 songs inside, this is the rarest, most coveted album by The New Birth…as it boldly began. Comprising a 4-man vocal group, a 4-woman vocal group PLUS the powerhouse 9-member band The Nite-Liters, The New Birth was an all-purpose entertainment concept helmed by former Motown producers Harvey Fuqua and Vernon Bullock. Though just one album away from slimming down to the 12-member hit machine most funkateers remember, this original 17-piece assemblage packed a show-stopping soul wallop that could swing from heavy backbeat flips of pop standards like ‘It’s You or No One’ (the group s very first single) to a red hot rave-up of Rufus Thomas’ ‘Do the Funky Chicken.’ Feast your ears on The New Birth’s original true school R&B vocal masters Tanita Gaines, Bobby Downs and Allen Frey – featured on grooves that include ‘You Don’t Have To Be Alone,’ ‘One Way Bus’ and ‘Brand New Lover.’

List Price: $ 16.98

Price: $ 6.97

Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic

Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic

Leave it to Prince to put the best music of Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, his return to major-label status, on a hidden track. That would be No. 18, a.k.a. “Pretty Man.” A deep-fried groove and sax by guest Maceo Parker underpin a hilarious mock self-celebration (“I write a check and the bank bounce”) that proves the Artist can flow at full power any time he wants to. And whether Rave will prove as durable as 1995’s vastly underrated Gold Experience, it’s a fine Prince album. Despite his current affiliation with Clive Davis, who returned Carlos Santana to Billboard‘s No. 1 slot by pairing him prominently with a number of guest stars, Prince employs the likes of Sheryl Crow, Ani DiFranco, and Eve to season his own blend, not to run off with the whole steaming pot. (Just to show who’s boss, he includes a funky re-creation of Crow’s hit “Everyday Is a Winding Road” that renders the song nearly unrecognizable.) The sounds here, from the Parade-style balladry of “[Eye] Love U, But [Eye] Don’t Trust U Anymore” to the frenetic title track, won’t surprise longtime followers, but they won’t find a lot of reasons to complain, either. –Rickey Wright

List Price: $ 18.98

Price: $ 18.25

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