Friday, September 25, 2015

“I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)” by Instant Funk

R&B groove outfit Instant Funk put themselves on the map in a big way with their funky disco smash “I Got Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)” in 1979. The track was near ubiquitous at one point that year; it was blasted on radio stations across the U.S. and was a dancefloor favorite at parties, clubs and discos. It has all the essential ingredients for an epic dance smash: sizzling guitar licks, super-funky bass line, monstrous backbeat, loud handclaps and tight percussion. It also has an irresistible bridge that features some splendid vocal work.  And the extended 12-inch disco version has a terrific synthesizer solo.

The track spent three non-consecutive weeks atop the U.S. R&B singles chart in 1979. It also topped the U.S. disco charts and climbed to #20 on pop singles charts. The disco/funk mega hit went on to sell a million copies and is what band is most recognized for.

Instant Funk was formed in Trenton, New Jersey in 1971.The band’s original core lineup was Raymond Earl (bass), Scott Miller (drums) and Kim Miller (guitar). The band—who then called themselves the Music Machine—later expanded to include the following members: Dennis Richardson (keyboards); James Carmichael (lead vocals); Charles Williams (percussion); and horn players Eric Huff, Larry Davis and Johnny Onderlinde.

In 1976, the band relocated to Philadelphia where they met soul artists/producer/songwriter Bunny Sigler. Sigler caught one of the band’s shows and was very impressed with their sound and musical chops. Soon after, the band became regular session players for Sigler and played on many of his tracks. This opened door for the band being featured on tracks by a number of well-known artists, including Curtis Mayfield, the Manhattans, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Lou Rawls, the O'Jays and Archie Bell & the Drells. They built a sterling rep for themselves in the studio and became high-demand session players. At this time, they began calling themselves Instant Funk.

Sigler produced Instant Funk’s debut album Get Down With the Philly Jump (1976). The collection—which was released on TSOP Records—was a mix of Sigler’s sophisticated Philly soul/disco sound and raw, dirty funk. It was a solid LP but had no hits.

Instant Funk’s 1979 self-titled second album—released on Salsoul Records—contained their monster hit “I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl),” which was written by Raymond Earl, Scott Miller and Kim Miller. They also scored another moderate hit with the Sigler-penned disco/soul track “Crying."

Instant Funk had a few other minor hits on the R&B charts over the years before disbanding in 1985. They might have faded, but “I Got My Mind Made up” ensured that they'll never be forgotten.

I Got My Mind Made Up at Amazon

Extended 12" disco mix

I Got My Mind Made Up (12" Dance Mix) at Amazon

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