Funk Friday – Good To Go-Go

Every Friday is Funky Friday on Planet Mondo – this Friday it’s the turn of guest blogger and the bloke that got me blogging Marmite Boy who brings you two thumping vintage vid’s and downloads…… over to MB

Thanks first of all to Mr Mondo for allowing me to choose something for Funky Friday. When he first asked me to do something for the blog I was not altogether sure what to write about as I’m not very knowledgeble about Da Funk (although I am a long term Northern Soul fan). Then all of a sudden it hit me, way back when there were some funky tunes that got my foot a tapping along with the best of them.

In Washington DC they had there very own sub-genre of funk called Go-Go that started in the mid to late 70’s and was primarily a live band based genre. Using a funky horn section, almost rock like guitar solo’s, complex percussion using all manner of conga drums, cowbells, timbale and conventional drum kits and a seriously funky based line they stormed the DC night clubs. The vocals are more of a call and response affair that allowed the crowd to feel part of the music. The songs all melded into one so that the dancing kept on going (Go-Go gigs sometimes go on for hours and hours).

Go-Go was almost single handedly developed by DC soulman Chuck Brown. He had been a stalwart of the Washington soul scene and incorporated a rhythm heavy sound with the call and response vocals and never ending songs. The beat he used was inspired by Grover Washington Jr’s Mister Magic. Brown had a No 1 hit on the US R&B chart (before in was filled with dreadful Kanye West records) in 1978. Bustin Loose is an absoulute Go-Go classic and is as funky as a funky thing. It even reached No 34 on the pop chart. However it wasn’t until the 1980’s that Go-Go had it’s Golden Age.

Brown continued to dominate Go-Go with his band The Soul Searchers but other great funk outfits like Redds And The Boys, Hot, Cold, Sweat and the absolutely fantastic Trouble Funk enjoyed a lot of success too.
Trouble Funk had been around in one form or another since the 60’s so were well versed in creating music that people wanted to dance to. They had several sizeable hits including Hey Fellas, Don’t Touch That Stereo,Drop The Bomb and Pump Me Up a song that was widely sampled with M/A/R/R/S, The Beastie Boys and LL Cool J all using the rhythms as a basis for tracks.

Go-Go made an all too brief appearence on the British scene with the NME championing it the most. In fact they released a very good double album complilation of all the best Washington bands. So for your viewing pleasure is the mighty Trouble Funk with a fantastic 9 minute version of

Don’t Touch That Stereo

For your further listening pleasure is the classic

Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers – We Need Some Money

Trouble Funk’s – Get On Up.

Marmite Boy


4 Responses to “Funk Friday – Good To Go-Go”

  1. Axe Victim Says:

    Nice one. Got me an educashun too!

  2. smashing choices sunshine – go go popos up regularly in the washington based books of george pelecanos (worth a look if you like a modern literary crime novel) and it’s odd that it’s such a localised thing – still going too by all accounts.

  3. Planet Mondo Says:

    Axe – I didn’t know about this style of stomper – but will be digging for more

    Ally – I’ll have to get on the George Pelican run,(love that Dee Lite theme on your recent posting too)

  4. marmiteboy Says:

    Thanks folks I had great fun doing it.

    There is just something about Go-Go that makes you want to dance. Why it isn’t global is beyond me. It beats the pants off the boring, adonine R&B we get these days.

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