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The Bar-Kays|Black Rock/Gotta Groove

Black Rock/Gotta Groove

The Bar-Kays

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Black Rock/Gotta Groove brings together the Bar-Kays' second and third albums on one compact disc. The material represents the first work the reformed outfit released after original members Jimmy Lee King (guitarist and leader) and Carl Cunningham (drums) died when their plane crashed in Lake Monona, WI (Otis Redding was also on board). 1969's Gotta Groove feels more like a series of independent recordings than a cohesive album. The best comes first with "Don't Stop Dancing (To This Music), Pt.1," which owes a debt to Sly and the Family Stone's classic "Dance to the Music" (a song they would cover on Black Rock). The song infuses the Stax funk with the drive of rock & roll. Midway through the album, they offer a fierce second take ("Pt.2"). Drummers (the duo of Roy Cunningham and Willie Hall) pound at their skins with incredible force. Distorting the tape, they sound like they could break through the recordings. "Street Walker" is another highlight of tough, lunging funk with wailing harmonica, screaming guitar, and organ stabs. Not every cut is as thrilling, however. At the opposite end, the Bar-Kays rework two Beatles' ballads, sounding like a mediocre covers act on stiff takes on "Yesterday" and "Hey Jude" that hardly belong on the collection. Things had changed by 1971's Black Rock. The addition of a vocalist gives the records a more unified feel than its predecessor. While much of the material on Gotta Groove hung around the three-minute mark, the Bar-Kays' cover of "Baby I Love You" reaches nearly three times that length. They lock into a hard groove, sounding more like a rock band than ever before. It's followed by the album's best track. Curtis Mayfield's "I've Been Trying" is soaked in soul and delivered from the gut. For the most part, however, Black Rock seems like an apt title, the playfulness and laid-back grooves replaced by dark, heavy funk-rock and a growing political consciousness.
© Nathan Bush /TiVo

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Black Rock/Gotta Groove

The Bar-Kays

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1
Don't Stop Dancing (To The Music) (Part 1)
00:02:53

Michael Toles, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - Bobby Manuel, ComposerLyricist - Allen Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1969 Stax Records

2
If This World Was Mine
00:03:10

Marvin Gaye, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist

℗ 1969 Stax Records

3
In The Hole (Album Version)
00:02:54

James Alexander, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - Allen Jones, Composer

℗ 1968 Stax Records

4
Funky Thang
00:03:09

The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - Bobby Manuel, ComposerLyricist - Allen Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1969 Stax Records

5
Jiving 'Round
00:03:15

The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - Harvey Henderson, ComposerLyricist - Willie Hall, ComposerLyricist - Roy Cunningham, ComposerLyricist - Ron Gordon, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1969 Stax Records

6
Grab This Thing
00:02:14

Steve Cropper, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - Al Bell, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1969 Stax Records

7
Don't Stop Dancing (To The Music) (Album Version - Part II)
00:02:21

Michael Toles, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - Bobby Manuel, ComposerLyricist - Allen Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1969 Stax Records

8
Street Walker
00:03:19

Michael Toles, ComposerLyricist - James Alexander, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - Allen Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1969 Stax Records

9
Yesterday
00:03:19

John Lennon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist

℗ 1969 Stax Records

10
Humpin' (Album Version)
00:02:43

Ben Cauley, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Michael Toles, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - James Alexander, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - RON CAPONE, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bobby Manuel, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Harvey Henderson, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Allen Jones, Producer, Recording Producer, ComposerLyricist - Willie Hall, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Roy Cunningham, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Ronnie Gordon, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1990 Stax Records

11
Hey Jude
00:06:03

John Lennon, Composer - Paul Mccartney, Composer - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist

℗ 1969 Stax Records

12
Baby I Love You
00:08:42

Ronnie Shannon, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Stax Records

13
I've Been Trying
00:04:14

Curtis Mayfield, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Stax Records

14
You Don't Know Like I Know
00:06:31

Isaac Hayes, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - David Porter, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Stax Records

15
Dance To The Music
00:05:23

The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - Sly Stone, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Stax Records

16
A Piece Of Your Peace
00:04:04

The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - Bobby Manuel, ComposerLyricist - Bettye Crutcher, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Stax Records

17
Six O'Clock News Report
00:04:06

The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - James Banks, ComposerLyricist - Charles Brooks, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Stax Records

18
How Sweet It Would Be
00:03:47

Tommy Tate, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist - Helen Washington, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1970 Stax Records

19
Montego Bay
00:02:43

Jeff Barry, ComposerLyricist - Bobby Bloom, ComposerLyricist - The Bar-Kays, MainArtist

℗ 1970 Stax Records

Album Description

Black Rock/Gotta Groove brings together the Bar-Kays' second and third albums on one compact disc. The material represents the first work the reformed outfit released after original members Jimmy Lee King (guitarist and leader) and Carl Cunningham (drums) died when their plane crashed in Lake Monona, WI (Otis Redding was also on board). 1969's Gotta Groove feels more like a series of independent recordings than a cohesive album. The best comes first with "Don't Stop Dancing (To This Music), Pt.1," which owes a debt to Sly and the Family Stone's classic "Dance to the Music" (a song they would cover on Black Rock). The song infuses the Stax funk with the drive of rock & roll. Midway through the album, they offer a fierce second take ("Pt.2"). Drummers (the duo of Roy Cunningham and Willie Hall) pound at their skins with incredible force. Distorting the tape, they sound like they could break through the recordings. "Street Walker" is another highlight of tough, lunging funk with wailing harmonica, screaming guitar, and organ stabs. Not every cut is as thrilling, however. At the opposite end, the Bar-Kays rework two Beatles' ballads, sounding like a mediocre covers act on stiff takes on "Yesterday" and "Hey Jude" that hardly belong on the collection. Things had changed by 1971's Black Rock. The addition of a vocalist gives the records a more unified feel than its predecessor. While much of the material on Gotta Groove hung around the three-minute mark, the Bar-Kays' cover of "Baby I Love You" reaches nearly three times that length. They lock into a hard groove, sounding more like a rock band than ever before. It's followed by the album's best track. Curtis Mayfield's "I've Been Trying" is soaked in soul and delivered from the gut. For the most part, however, Black Rock seems like an apt title, the playfulness and laid-back grooves replaced by dark, heavy funk-rock and a growing political consciousness.
© Nathan Bush /TiVo

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