Sunday, 18 November 2018

The Meters - Struttin' (1970)

Ride your pony....


Released June 1970

This was The Meters' third album, By now you knew what you were going to get - their, at the time, quite unique brand of funky guitar, organ, drum and bass-driven workouts, like a series of extended studio jams, but quite intoxicating. That it was more of the same doesn't matter. If you like their sound you'll like it.


1. Chicken Strut
2. Liver Splash
3. Wichita Lineman
4. Joog
5. Go For Yourself
6. Same Old Thing
7. Clap Your Hands
8. Darling Darling Darling
9. Tippi-Toes
10. Britches
11. Hey! Last Minute
12. Ride Your Pony
13. Funky Meters Soul
14. Meters Strut                                            

The opener, Chicken Strut, gets aboard the contemporary Funky Chicken groove train, patented by Stax's Rufus Thomas, complete with obligatory chicken noises. Liver Splash is a classic Meters, Memphis-style, Stax-ish instrumental groove, driven along by some sublime bass, organ and insistent drums. The next cut is a bit of a surprise, to say the least - a cover of Glen Campbell's iconic, evocative ballad, Wichita Lineman, full of telegraph-sounding guitar and a catchy upbeat, rhythmic drum part on the end of the verses, which, funnily enough, doesn't sound incongruous. The original is so perfect in itself that this doesn't really work, but, listened to while trying to forget the original, it's ok.

That addictive rhythm continues on the wonderful, bassy groove of the instrumental Joog. Go For Yourself is a delicious organ-driven instrumental. Same Old Thing has them going very James Brown. The funk The Meters came up with is totally energising, I have to say. Clap Your Hands is similarly catchy, while Darling Darling Darling is a sumptuous slice of Stax-style soul, with a Sam Cooke-esque vocal and bass and organ riffs to die for. Look, the album continues in the same vein to the end - funky as hell instrumentals on the whole like the irresistible Britches that just take over as you listen to them. As I said earlier, you know what you're going to get and if it is to your taste, you're in for a treat. Their cover of Lee Dorsey's Northern Soul classic Ride Your Pony is given a sixties-style funky, pounding makeover. Great stuff. A highly recommended classic album of its genre. Check out the various solos on Funky Meters Soul for compelling evidence.