Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Back Stabbers

I've got mixed emotions on the issue of sampling songs. For the most part I think it's kind of a cop out, but occasionally I'll hear someone create something totally new with a previously owned groove that I really dig. Generally speaking, if it was a good groove once, it will be a good groove again. You be the judge.

Angie Stone: Wish I Didn't Miss You

A standout track on her second solo album 2001's Mahogany Soul, Wish I Didn't Miss You borrows more than heavily from The O'Jays classic Back Stabbers. I love Angie's lyrics and new melody. She really makes this a brand new song. Best line: "Isn't it ironic, all you want to do is smoke chronic."

The O'Jays: Back Stabbers

Released on 1972's Back Stabbers LP, The O'Jays signal to everyone that the 70's are not going to be like the 60's. This song captures the paranoia and anguish of post Watergate America. I'm loving that ominous piano.

James Brown: Hot(I Need to Be Loved, Loved, Loved)

This 1975 single has sparked a lot of discussion among music fans. Let's start with the fact that this is bad ass funk to the highest degree. As most of you can tell, it's a total rip-off of Davis Bowie's 1975 hit Fame which was co-written by Carlos Alomar, a guitar player that actually played with JB and the Flames at one time. The story goes that Mr. Brown heard the song, played it for session musicians and quickly cut the track. JB thought he could disguise the stolen riff by rapping all over it. The Bowie track would go on to be #1 worldwide while Mr. Brown's version would be one of the first bumps in the road to his late 70's decline. Frankly, I prefer The Godfather's version! You can find it on the greatest box set ever released 1991's Star Time.

David Bowie: Fame

OK. This is the ONLY time you will find a non "soulful" track on this page, but I feel I have to include it for the sake of the discussion and besides it's a pretty funky track with a cool thumping bass line. And hey, that IS The Walrus on backing vocals! You can find Fame on 1975's Young Americans.

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