Graham Reid | | 1 min read
When the Funky Meters -- the trickle-down of this band -- played the Powerstation in Auckland about three years ago, the New Orleans grooves just didn't stop.
But, as I said in this review, that was actually the problem. Their set just went on and on, was rather shapeless, and those who had greeted them so enthusiastically ended up just standing around nodding their heads after about the midway pioint.
It had all become indistinct.
Perhaps over the long haul these five albums from the Seventies might suffer from the same problem, but buried among these fine grooves are some terrific songs, and of course Fire on the Bayou (here the expanded 2005 edition with five extra tracks) is among their finest.
Cabbage Alley of '72 is slightly patchy (Smiling remains an understated delight) but Rejuvenation lived up to its title as the funk got darker (and in Hey Poky-A-Way they had an almost hit). Then came Fire on the Bayou and the pretty dire Trick Bag -- with a memorable cover photo and rather too much influence from disco -- which had their treatment of the theme to Hang 'Em High (hmmm, ideas running out?) and their more earthy take on the Stones' Honky Tonk Woman.
New Directions of '77 wasn't exactly that, but a return to a more funk style which had been their hallmark.
So an uneven collection but when the highs are high, they are very.
But at just $20 from JB HiFi stores here, those many highs and nuggets scattered about make this certainly another Bargain Buy.