The skewed perspective of a conservative Catholic employee-side employment lawyer living in the most exciting city in the Milky Way, Las Vegas, Nevada USA, who listens to a lot of really strange music and who, for some reason, lives and dies St. Louis Cardinal baseball

4/18/2005

The Gap Band - "Burn Rubber"

When it comes to funk, as with so many of my taste preferences, I am strictly "old school." And probably the best pop/funk band working in the middle era of the late 1970s/early 1980s -- after the death of disco, but before the rise of Prince -- were the Wilson Brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma, a.k.a., The Gap Band.

They reached their artistic peak in December 1980 with the release of what may well be the greatest dance track of the 20th Century, "Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me." It went Number 1 R&B (two weeks), but inexplicably went nowhere on the Pop Charts (peaking at 84! can you believe?). The Gaps didn't land a pop Top 40 hit until 1982, with the "Early in the Morning," so derivative of "Burn Rubber" that it even featured sound effects for the opening.

Every Gap song is a party and this is the one where the party is most happening. This was a sure dancefloor-packer during my college years. And whyt not! When the motorcycle engines rev up in the intro, it was time to race to the dance floor.

So how much Gap Band does one need in his or her CD collection? I have the 19-track Ultimate Collection from Hip-O Records, available on the sale from alldirect.com for the bargain price of $10.69. It's a great collection, probably with a little too much of their post-peak material. The only essential song it's missing is "Seasons No Reason to Change," the best Gap ballad. But any collection that adds that one (the 11-track 20th Century Masters "Millennium Collection" is on the sale at alldirect.com for the obscene price of $6.63) subtracts something equally essential, usually their priceless theme to Keenan Ivory Wayans's "I'm Gonna Git U Sucka." You can't go wrong with either.
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