Thursday, April 21, 2022

"Changin'" by Brass Construction

Back in the day, Brooklyn groove outfit Brass Construction had folks burning up dance floors with its potent brand of funk, including the scorching dance-floor anthem “Changin'.” This funky dance track features an irresistible bass line and super-tight horns. The groove is further enhanced by hot guitar licks, a powerful beat, and a fantastic string arrangement. And musicianship on this cut is topflight.

“Changin’” was written by producer/songwriter/arranger/keyboardist Randy Muller. It was a single from Brass Construction’s self-titled debut album, which was released in 1975 on United Artists Records. It topped Billboard’s Dance Club chart and peaked at #24 on the R&B singles chart. The other single from the album was the dance smash “Movin’,” which topped both the R&B and dance charts and climbed to #14 on the pop charts.

“Changin’” has been sampled on nine songs, including Jill Scott’s “Gimme” and Schoolly D's “Black Jesus." It was also featured on the soundtrack for the 2003 film Biker Boyz as well as the soundtrack for the video game Grand Theft Auto V.

The band’s self-titled debut album spent three weeks atop the R&B album charts and peaked at #10 on the pop album charts. It ultimately went platinum. The album also had a strong showing across the pond, climbing to #9 on the official UK album chart. Additionally, it garnered high praise from music critics and was nominated for Best R&B Instrumental Performance at the 19th Annual Grammy Awards in 1977. The landmark collection redefined dance music and was highly influential to the funk genre. It also had a huge impact on the Britfunk movement (Light Of The World, Incognito, Hi-Tension, Level 42) of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. London-based Soul Brother Records re-released the album in 2010.

Brass Construction was formed in Brooklyn, New York in 1968 under the name Dynamic Soul. It was originally a rock/R&B quartet led by Randy Muller. By 1972, the band had expanded into a nine-piece ensemble with jazz and Latin influences. Around this time, Muller changed the band’s name to Brass Construction. The band continued to add more colors to its musical palette, including funk, African, Caribbean and disco. Brass Construction was signed to United Artists Records in 1975 and released their self-titled debut album that same year. The collection was produced by Jeff Lane. 

The lineup for Brass Construction at the time they dropped their debut album was Randy Muller (flute, vocals, percussion, timbales, keyboards, arranger), Wade Williamston (bass), Larry Payton (drums, vocals), Joseph Arthur Wong (lead guitar), Jesse Ward Jr. (saxophone, vocals), Wayne Parris (trumpet, vocals), Sandy Billups (vocals, congas), Morris Price (trumpet, vocals, percussion), Michael Grudge (saxophone, vocals) and Irving Spice (strings).

No comments: