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Gold - The Gap Band

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Genre: R&B & Soul - Funk / Artist: The Gap Band / Original recording remastered / Audio CD released 2006-08-08 at Hip-O

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      16.09.2009 10:56
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      The Gap Band's greatest hits

      ===The Act===

      The Oklahoma-based Funk, Soul and R&B group The Gap Band (originally going by The Greenwood, Archer & Pinewood Street Band) formed back in the late sixties as brothers Charlie, Ronnie and Robert Wilson got down with their freaky dance tracks and ballads from then until the late eighties (although the seventies and eighties were when their peak came. There most well-known track was known as "Oops Upside Your Head" and since then Charlie Wilson has been known for his solo career as well as features with big names in the Hip Hop world.

      ===The Album===

      "Gold: The Gap Band" is a 2006 release and features all their biggest hits through the years, including the biggest singles from when they started releasing singles (in 1979) through to as far as 1990, with bangers through it to come up with a massive, two-disc collection of the tracks that built up their legacy in the R&B world (and enabled Charlie to keep going).

      ===Tracklist===

      Disc 1:

      1. "Shake"

      Year: 1979
      Album: "The Gap Band"

      Things get underway in the right way as they ay down the first single that they popped off from a major label and they come through hard as they lay down the Funk in a fly way and get you right into the swing of things at a time when it was perfectly normal for groups to be coming up with the kind of Funky Soul material that you get here. It is a fly jam and one that guides you in to make you get down.

      **Five Stars**

      2. "Open Up Your Mind"

      Year: 1979
      Album: "The Gap Band II"

      Coming in strong once more, you see that with this one they are able to come pout with big things again as you find that with this one they pull out a jam which gets the band being led by the soulful vocals of Charlie Wilson while the rest of them perform an up-lifting composition to force you to be lifted out of a gloom that they seem to be forcing the listeners out of as they get down to things and do it well.

      **Five Stars**

      3. "I Don't Believe You Wanna Get Up And Dance"

      Year: 1979
      Album: "The Gap Band II"

      They are seen to take things to a very familiar place here as they throw down what is otherwise known as "oops Upside Your Head" and come through hard with a dance cut known for the fact that you don't even have to get up to get down to it. It is a freaky tune and takes you right in as you here Charlie rapping through the tune on a groove that would be used later for Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Snoop's Upside Ya Head".

      **Five Stars**

      4. "Steppin'"

      Year: 1979
      Album: "The Gap Band II"

      They simply can't stop the groove as they pull out another big joint here and perform a fast-paced dance number than has them clearly taking inspiration from P-Funk's 'One' ideals in order to come out with something so effective and funky. You find that with the repetition of the hook is so common, it makes it very catchy and makes it engage with the listeners in a way only they can achieve to this degree.

      **Five Stars**

      5. "Party Lights"

      Year: 1979
      Album: "The Gap Band II"

      Keeping the flow of things, you see that here they come out with more Monster Funk material as they come out with a hyped set and make sure that from the fly grooves that the bass guitar gives the thing, they are here solely to get everyone partying (and you can't say that this isn't the effect of the material that they come out with on this one as they make everyone on the same level and on a massive high.

      **Five Stars**

      6. "Boys Are Back In Town"

      Year: 1979
      Album: "The Gap Band"

      This was the first time on the thing where I could say that I really wasn't enjoying things. I'm aware that they had to place a track such as this one within the release in order to calm down listeners for a bit, but for me I really wasn't having this ballad and I felt that its immediacy to take you from a high to such an unengaging low meant that it lost all the momentum that was seen to lead up to this point on the release.

      **Two Stars**

      7. "No Hiding Place"

      Year: 1979
      Album: "The Gap Band"

      They keep things around about the same level for this one, but appear to improve the quality of it as the themes that are brought in seem to bring in the listeners much more as you see that it gets Charlie singing towards the girls and forcing you to feel this side of the music as they place it directly after another of this kind of pace and take you right in with that side to create a good balance in the record.

      **Three Stars**

      8. "Burn Rubber"

      Year: 1980
      Album: "The Gap Band III"

      They take you right back to the killer material as here you find that here they are seen to move on with the times and pull in added extra influences to their set as they have been seen to work through many phases and so from going from a time when Funk was in its experimental stages through the Disco years, they have finally got to the beginning of Hip Hop and are seen to use the subtle production styles seen in early party Rap joints here.

      **Five Stars**

      9. "Yearning For Our Love"

      Year: 1980
      Album: "The Gap Band III"

      Sampled later in a track from Nas and covered by Guy, this is a fresh joint and one of the best ones in the soulful ballad style as you see that here you get a tune that clearly has a lot more going on within it that many of the others as here Ronnie Wilson (the keyboardist of the group) does the writing and dedicates this one to his wife for their wedding and comes out with a cold joint that is able to bring the Funk through just as well as the Soul elements.

      **Five Stars**

      10. "Humpin'"

      Year: 1980
      Album: "The Gap Band III"

      Here they come in hard with this one and lay down a tune that is far too funky for its own good. I felt that it was one of the most impressive tunes that they had to offer the thing and it is seen to take you to even higher heights here as they make you see just how powerful their Funk material can be and how it forces you to get down with the mix of Charlie Wilson's raw vocals (which have him both singing and rapping - but here in the then-new Hip Hop style)) and the fullness of the rest of the composition behind this.

      **Ten Stars**

      11. "Early In The Morning"

      Year: 1982
      Album: "The Gap Band IV"

      They keep the Funk coming wit this one as they pull out another heavy jam tat takes things to a place that you really wouldn't be able to match in modern times (as the rawness of the available technology is just perfect for what they come up with in this set and force the listeners to get down with their powerful dance music. It finds the lines that Charlie would later use on Snoop Dogg's "Signs" and so is bound to stand out to those who know Charlie more for later in his career.

      **Five Stars**

      12. "You Dropped A Bomb On Me"

      Year: 1982
      Album: "The Gap Band IV"

      This is a very popular track from the group and it is clear why it was able to do what others that they recorded couldn't as you see that here they come out with a freaky tune that has mainstream appeal outside the typical places and areas as you find that with the base synth aspect of this one, you have a joint that uses some of the contemporary Pop elements to come out with something that reaches out to all.

      **Five Stars**

      13. "Outstanding"

      Year: 1982
      Album: "The Gap Band IV"

      Sampled on many occasion (for me most significantly on BLACKstreet's "U Blow My Mind") this one has them going too far with their funkiness as they had done with "Humpin'" before and you see that here they ensure that they make a massive impact on the listener by doing what they do as you here Charlie Wilson taken aback by a special girl and taken to a place where you know he is being completely genuine in his words.

      **Ten Stars**

      14. "Season's No Reason To Change"

      Year: 1982
      Album: "The Gap Band IV"

      The take things to a place where I was really quite annoyed as you see that they loose all the hyped of earlier tracks and go back to the slower material here and once gain lose all that was going with them in order to make a tune that I felt was rather lifeless as they come out with a ballad that says very little and only really brought me in through Ronnie's brief keyboarding instrumental segments.

      **Two Stars**

      15. "Party Train"

      Year: 1983
      Album: "The Gap Band V: Jammin'"

      You find that they just can't stop the Funk from being suppressed for long as you see that it powers trough once again with this one and so after building things up in a very relevant manner you here that they power through with an updated set that seems to have lots more of the Naked Funk elements being incorporated into the thing for a spacey feel t take you in as they do their thing, and do it well.

      **Five Stars**

      16. "Jam The Motha'"

      Year: 1983
      Album: "The Gap Band IV"

      This is another that seems to get them taking things into another futuristic place as you here that it starts with Charlie rapping in a George Clinton manner to give things a P-Funk feel before he is seen to really give up the Funk (after his radio DJ talk). It is an interesting one as it is clearly just a jam session and is so laid-back that it sounds as if it was completely improvised as they got down to it and killed it again.

      **Five Stars**

      17. "Someday"

      Year: 1983
      Album: "Gap Band IV"

      Ending the first disc, you that in this one they come out with something a little different as you find that the way that Charlie sing suits the more powerful Funk tracks, but with all the overpowering Funk elements removed in exchange for light instruments, you see that it sounds like one that gives doesn't seem to quite give all it can, but still has a lot to say as they show how well they can experiment to come up with the goods.

      **Four Stars**

      Disc 2:

      1. "Beep A Freak"

      Year: 1984
      Album: "Gap Band VI"

      They show that they haven't lost anything in the transition as they pull out this single and show that with the changeover they appear to have moved things on quite a bit as they acknowledge the changes in the times band how with the fall of Parliament-Funkadelic, Funk had lost its main drive, yet they were still able to find some way to drive things through as here Charlie sings and raps tot he newer R&B style.

      **Five Stars**

      2. "I Found My Baby"

      Year: 1984
      Album: "Gap Band VI"

      I felt that this one really stood out on the thing as you see that the catchiness of earlier tunes seems to come through here as they perform one that really des the business as you find that they come in strong with the fly grooves and do so whilst perform a low-paced two-stepping jam that is there to bring in the new R&B style and make it as effective as possible to appeal to those who are down for those developments in the calmer style.

      **Five Stars**

      3. "Disrespect"

      Year: 1984
      Album: "Gap Band VI"

      It appears that things couldn't be calmed for long as here the band come in with a massive hype and pull out a tune that takes things up yet again as they come out with a lively track that brings in the eccentricity of Charlie's work tot he forefront in order to make some nice progressive things out of this. It is one that largely revolves around the fly instruments that they come out with and the way that the instrumentalists work off each other's grooves.

      **Five Stars**

      4. "Going In Circles"

      Year: 1985
      Album: "Gap Band VII"

      Here they change the pace to one that I wasn't really happy with again, and I felt that it wasn't very well placed (even though things are working chronologically through their tracks) as it seemed to come out of nowhere and pointlessly take you down to a place that isn't quite as fun as they get Charlie to sing a rather plain and simplistic ballad to break things up and show the range of various things that they are known for.

      **Two Stars**

      5. "Automatic Brain"

      Year: 1985
      Album: "Gap Band VII"

      They are seen to apparently recover really well as they come out with another very memorable joint here and so you here the Funk coming back though the music as they perform one where they use developments in music (namely the rise of Hip hop and their dance styles too) to come out with a tune that will force you to connect with the fresh melodies that Charlie delivers here and shows just how well he can write such killer joints.

      **Five Stars**

      6. "Big Fun"

      Year: 1986
      Album: "Gap Band 8"

      Here they seem to do things a little differently as they go off on some bongo drumming and so things one has a big of a different feel to it and I felt that as a result this experimental one wasn't quite reaching the sort of level that was seen elsewhere as you see that it wasn't quite them, but they still made sure that it was going to prevent them from losing what they are about, so it still had lots going for it.

      **Four Stars**

      7. "Zibble, Zibble"

      Year: 1987
      Album -

      This one clearly has a lot of Hip Hop running through it as you find tha here the grungy synth that is used in it is bang on-trend for the times and where Hip Hop was going, this was then extended in the heavy drum machine percussion and also the skat talking of Charlie Wilson. It is such a funky track from them and one that really sands out despite the lack of real words for the most part of the tune.

      **Five Stars**

      8. "Sweeter Than Candy"

      Year: 1988
      Album: "Straight From The Heart"

      When you consider that it is 1987, here you see that once gain they ensure that they are right where they need to be as they show that they have been able to stay current with their music and so come out with a R&B tune that uses all the sorts of things that many of the up-and-comers were brining along with them at the time, but they take things a stage further by bring in some added guest raps in a New Jack Swing style (a year before the style was really established with Teddy Riley as part of Guy).

      **Five Stars**

      9. "Straight From The Heart"

      Year: 1988
      Album: "Straight From The Heart"

      Here you find that they are able to find a way to come wit the sorts of themes that are found in the slower tracks and bring them together to match the more energetic tracks as the funky grooves are seen to make a perfect connection with the music to force you to have fun with this emotive material. It uses more New Jack Swing influence as you get a similar drum line to what was found in many tracks of that style and it really seems to work well there.

      **Five Stars**

      10. "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka"

      Year: 1988
      Album -

      This one is clearly one of the best tracks that they have been able to construct as you find that you just can't match quality that comes here as they take more inspiration from the Hip Hop work and work of a late '60s J.B.s-styled Funk groove to come out with a tune which has them doing things a way that sounds like a mix of the lsaac Hayes 'Shaft' theme and a 1983 Run-D.M.C. tune for a fly jam.

      **Five Stars**

      11. "All My Love"

      Year: 1989
      Album: "Round Trip"

      Here they come up with a very lively set to ensure that they are still able to keep the listeners involved (which they can't seem to do in spite of quite a few low points on the release) and so here you get another impressively fresh joint where they power through with the raw R&B material that is able to keep them in with what was going on with the music of the time as they get down on some freaky beats.

      **Five Stars**

      12. "Addicted To Your Love"

      Year: 1989
      Album: "Round Trip"

      Using a melody that many will recognise, you see tha here they come out with yet another fresh jam as they power out with a tune that makes great uses of the sorts of things that were heard in both the production style and song structure in R&B tracks of this time period (late eighties and early nineties) to make for a tune that uses the catchiness of most of their dance tunes for a fly balance of al the things they are best at.

      **Five Stars**

      14. "We Can Make It Alright"

      Year: 1989
      Album: "Round Trip"

      They end the release off (before bonus cuts with Charlie Wilson's solo work) with a low-paced offering. I wouldn't have ended things like this, but I felt that they did things in a manner that was reasonably effective and it led to closure on the thing with a calming tune that has them reliving the early soulful work of their earlier work to make for a tune that does things nicely, but doesn't really get it where you'd live it to be.

      **Four Stars**

      ===Conclusion===

      This is a killer collection of track, most of which no one can really do without as you see that they lay down the Funk in a way that can't really be matched as they effectively merge together that side of things with gemeral contemporary R&B material. I expected the slower tracks, but most of them did little other than stop the flow of the record, but on the whole it is very strong.

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Shake
      2 Open Up Your Mind (Wide)
      3 I Don't Believe You Wanna Get Up and Dance (Oops, Upside Your Head)
      4 Steppin' (Out)
      5 Party Lights
      6 Boys Are Back in Town
      7 No Hiding Place
      8 Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)
      9 Yearning for Our Love
      10 Humpin'
      11 Early in the Morning
      12 You Dropped a Bomb on Me
      13 Outstanding
      14 Season's No Reason to Change
      15 Party Train
      16 Jam the Motha' (Munchkin People) [7" Single Version]
      17 Someday

      Disc #2 Tracklisting
      1 Beep a Freak
      2 I Found My Baby
      3 Disrespect
      4 Going in Circles [Single Remix Version]
      5 Automatic Brain
      6 Big Fun
      7 Zibble, Zibble (Got the Money) (aka Get Loose, Get Funky)
      8 Sweeter Than Candy/Penitentiary III
      9 Straight from the Heart
      10 I'm Gonna Git You Sucka [From I'm Gonna Git You Sucka]
      11 All My Love
      12 Addicted to Your Love
      13 We Can Make It Alright
      14 Sprung on Me - Charlie Wilson
      15 You Turn My Life Around - Charlie Wilson