THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; The Legacy of Electronic Funk

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You Wouldn't Have to Work At All, by Michael Henderson
THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; The Legacy of Electronic Funk

Although not quite possessing the same stone-cold enjoyment of The Legacy of Disco in this budget-priced, three-CD series, here is where -- in the Eighties -- funk, post-disco, synthesisers and rhythm boxes met on the same dancefloor.

The style has had a second life recently with the likes of Daft Punk and discussions about the legacy of the late Prince who -- while not represented here -- frequently peeled off some of this style.

But across these three discs and 44 tracks ( a few extended mixes of 12" versions) are the O'Jays, Herbie Hancock, Earth Wind and Fire, Gladys Knight and the Pips, George Duke, Nona Hendryx, the Isley Brothers, Evelyn "Champagne" King, George Clinton with the P-Funk All-Stars, Roy Ayers . . .

And those are just the big names, and not always represented by their most familiar hit which adds an extra dimension.

It's not all upbeat techno-funk because the likes of (the barely known) Glenn Jones come in with a bit of close-dance romance, as do Oattes Van Schack (aka The Limit) out of Holland.

Producers -- Hancock, Roger Troutman of Zapp, Deodata, Kashif -- are often as important as the artists, many of whom -- like Mico Wave who inspired Afrika Baambaataa -- don't even rate a footnote in most music histories.

There are breakbeats galore here for samplers (try Pauli Carman's Dial My Number from '87) and the obscurities are as interesting as the songs and grooves by those whose names you might recognise.

This Legacy of . . . series includes titles of East and West Coast Hip-Hop, Nu-Soul, Soul, Jazz, and Funk.

But we've singled out the Disco collection for the shameless fun, and this because the genre stood in its own right but also kickstarted or inspired a number of artists (Michael Jackson, Jackson Five, Prince, R Kelly etc).

JB_logoInteresting that when you bang this into a computer under genre it reads "Other".

Check out this series, at just $15 for a three-CD set (with potted liner notes on each act) at JB Hi-Fi stores here it's a cheap way to discover songs, artist and even styles which might have gone past you . . . or were there before you were born but still influencing the artists of today. 

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