Saturday, 29 December 2018

Blaxploitation 4 - Harlem Hustle


   

This is the correct track listing for this excellent two CD set. It is a wonderful compilation showcasing the very best of this down 'n' dirty, socially conscious, aware, gritty urban funk that so characterised the mid/late-seventies. While prog rock, glam, punk and disco are what many people remember from that period, this comparatively underground genre was just as important, just as influential and often criminally underrated.

TRACK LISTING

CD 1

1. The Law Of The Land - The Temptations
2. Am I Black Enough For You? - Billy Paul
3. Death Wish - Herbie Hancock
4. (Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below, We're All Gonna Go - Curtis Mayfield
5. September 13th - Deodato
6. Grandma's Hands - Gil Scott-Heron
7. Who Is He And What Is He To You - Bill Withers
8. Truck Turner - Isaac Hayes
9. Son Of Shaft - Bar-Kays
10. Mister Magic - Grover Washington Jr.
11. Theme From Cleopatra Jones - Joe Simon
12. Flying Machine - War

CD 2

1. Sweet Sweetback's Theme - Earth, Wind & Fire
2. I Want You - Marvin Gaye
3. Theme From Savage - Don Julian
4. For The Love of Money - The O'Jays
5. Strawberry Letter 23 - The Brothers Johnson
6. Natural High - Bloodstone
7. Inside My Love - Minnie Riperton
8. One Gun Salute - Donald Byrd
9. Always There - Ronnie Laws
10. God Made Me Funky - Headhunters
11. Get Up, I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine - James Brown
12. Harlem Shuffle - Bob & Earl
13. Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time) - The Delfonics

This is the last in this wonderful series of compilations which cover "blaxploitation" soundtracks, funk and soul from the mid-late seventies. Here the soundtracks feature in "Sweet Sweetback's Theme"; "Theme From Savage"; "Theme From Cleopatra Jones" and Herbie Hancock's atmospheric "Death Wish".

The urban "message" funk is there in Billy Paul's magnificent "Am I Black Enough For You?" and The O'Jays' "For The Love Of Money" and there is some catchy funk in Bill Withers' "Who Is He And What Is He To You". The Brothers Johnson provide some poppy funk in "Strawberry Letter 23" and there is some sweet soul in Minnie Riperton's "Inside My Love" and Bloodstone's "Natural High".

The Temptations' "The Law Of The Land" is a marvellous piece of driving, catchy soul, Marvin Gaye's "I Want You" is, well, Marvin Gaye, it speaks for itself and The Delfonics' "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)", while sublime, is not quite a "blaxploitation" song. It doesn't really matter, though, because overall the album, like all the others, is a superb collection.

B- 

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