cleveland eaton - plenty good eaton

Cleveland Eaton: Plenty Good Eaton (1975)

I wasn’t familiar with Cleveland Eaton before seeing this reissue from Real Gone Music when I was looking at grabbing the Kool and the Gang vinyl I discussed a few weeks ago. But the description – a blend of Ramsey Lewis’s soul funk and the swing of Count Basie filtered through the fusion that was riding high in the mid 70s – caught me. The fact that Plenty Good Eaton not only was a fun play on words but was originally on the Black Jazz label was another vote of confidence for a blind buy, so I took the dive…I’m here to report I am now the happier for it.

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kool and the gang debut

Kool and the Gang: Kool and the Gang (1970)

If we’re re-booting this blog for 2021, I thought I’d start with some of my most recent vinyl acquisitions. I can’t pinpoint when I precisely fell in love with soul and funk music; I’d been exposed to it on the radio in the 70s, but rock and metal took over, and it wasn’t until high school and late nights driving around town with Parliament’s Up For the Down Stroke blasting out the windows (that’s how my friends rolled in upstate New York circa 1990) and obsessing over the wriggle of Isaac Hayes’s Shaft score that I started to identify something that spoke to my DNA. Fast-forward about 30 years and when I got the note that Real Gone Music was reissuing Kool and the Gang’s debut self titled album on yellow vinyl I was all in.

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beastie boys - the mix up

Beastie Boys: The Mix-Up (2007)

It’s been a while, so in my head I was getting The Mix-Up confused with The In Sound From Way Out.  THAT album is a compilation of the instrumental tracks from the previous Beastie Boys records.  THIS record is the official seventh studio album from the mixmasters, an all original instrumental album that serves as a respite from the hard rap stance of To The 5 Boroughs, and for me personally it’s one of the best records to just throw on a chill to, a laid back groove session that reinforces the chemistry between Diamond, Yauch, and Horovitz. Continue reading “Beastie Boys: The Mix-Up (2007)”

beastie boys - sounds of science

Beastie Boys: The Sounds of Science (1999)

There’s an art to compilations, and it’s not always the same art.  Does that make sense?  I don’t know – it’s currently 10:30 in the morning and I’ve already had a snort of whisky in my coffee.  Anyway, compilations can be a generic overview, target a specific period in time, or – if they’re really ambitious – display an evolution of artistic exploration in such a way as to capture an essence, a distillation of what makes a band unique.  So enter The Sounds of Science by the Beastie BoysContinue reading “Beastie Boys: The Sounds of Science (1999)”

beastie boys - hello nasty

Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (1998)

We’re back…with an album I intended to cover a few weeks ago, so I’m going off the few notes I scribbled down concerning Hello Nasty, the 1998 melange of styles brought to the table by the one, the only, Beastie Boys.  Breaking out of the grungy soul/funk hybrids that made up Check Your Head and Ill Communication,  things go a little more old school 80s with a lot more traditional sampling and scratching, but the imprint of what the band did is unmistakable.  Continue reading “Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (1998)”

beastie boys - ill communication

Beastie Boys: Ill Communication (1994)

Yes, this is the one with “Sabotage” and as gigantic as that song was (and still is), it’s almost a shame that it overshadows some of the finer moments of Ill Communication, the fourth album from the Beastie Boys.  I’m not going to pretend “Sabotage” isn’t a great song, but coming back to the full album after so much time it feels a little like the grander, more polished version of Check Your Head.  Which is great, but not enough to put this album over the top in my ranking of the B-Boys discography. Continue reading “Beastie Boys: Ill Communication (1994)”