Friday, June 1, 2012

The Temptations Deliver The Funk On Hit "Shakey Ground"

The Temptations dropped this lethal funk bomb back in 1975. The gutbucket groove reflected the funk movement that pervaded R&B music during this period. It seems like everybody was gettin' funky at this point. What James Brown had set off a decade earlier had come into full bloom, and the Tempts did not sleep on the funk. "Shakey Ground" is straight nasty, rusted-nail funk. It's probably the funkiest cut the legendary Motown group has ever released. Dennis Edwards' raspy, soulful voice is well-suited for funk. His vocals sound so dope here that I kind of wished he had become the lead singer for an all-funk outfit following his departure from the Tempts in 1977.

To ensure that maximum funkatude was achieved, the Temptations tapped two P-Funk members to play on the track: William "Billy Bass" Nelson lays down the wickedly funky bass line, and Eddie "Maggot Brain" Hazel contributes some dirty, funky licks. And the P-Funk connection doesn't end there. Hazel co-wrote the track as well. So it's not surprising that the track turned out so funky.

"Shakey Ground" is from the Temptations' album A Song For You (1975). In addition to "Shakey Ground," Nelson and Hazel also played on the album's funky dance track "Glasshouse." "Shakey Ground" was the last song by the Tempts to top Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart. And it charted at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has been covered by a number of noted artists, including Etta James and Phoebe Snow.

Download Shakey Ground at Amazon

Related blog entry: "I Can't Get Next To You" by the Temptations

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