Bar-Kays – 1977 – Flying High On Your Love

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Intro biographyby Cherry Red  Records  Review by AMG

Rip, research, posting and additional info’s by Nikos

Stax’s top artist, Otis Redding chose the band to be his regular road musicians a decision that ended in tragedy on December 10th 1967 when Redding, King, Caldwell, Jones and Cunningham all perished when their private plane crashed. Only Ben Cauley survived and James Alexander had not boarded the flight.

Despite this tragedy Cauley and Alexander with Allen Jones helped reformed the group which culminated in their work with Isaac Hayes on the pioneering 1969 album, “Hot Buttered Soul”.

In 1971 the group hired their first lead vocalist Larry Dodson and his unique vocals and James Alexander’s cranked to the max bass really was the new Bar-Kays, with no other pretensions than aiming straight for the dance floor with a series of funk workouts that set the template for many of the groups that followed during the late 70s.

If there was a sub-genre of funk called Southern Funk The Bar-Kays were the leaders and were one of the hottest acts around “Too Hot Too Stop” was perhaps their finest hour and the following years “Flying High On Your Love” confirmed their stature.

Tracks
A1
Shut the Funk Up 4:20
A2
Standing on the Outside 4:18
A3
Woman of the Night 3:50
A4
Whatever It Is 2:10
A5
Can’t Keep My Hands Off You 3:20
B1
Let’s Have Some Fun 6:05
B2
Attitudes 2:01
B3
You Can’t Run Away 4:50
B4
Flying High on Your Love 3:50

The Age of Aquarius may have fallen out of fashion, but “what’s your sign” was still the ultimate pickup line at the end of the 1970s. Disco novelty band the Floaters had counted on that with their brash mid-1977 “Float On,” and the Bar-Kays, of course, couldn’t resist a little good-humored stroke, especially if it carried commercial punch as well. So, for the November release of their second Mercury LP, Flying High on Your Love, the inner sleeve featured the band’s photos — complete with star signs. Jokes aside, the Bar-Kays delivered a juicy set of funk movers accented by disco beats and augmented by ballads. It was a tremendous mix. “Shut the Funk Up” is an overlooked gem, lost as the band sublimated their sound in the 1980s. A near-perfect disco song punctuated by the funky horn triumvirate of Charles “Scoop” Allen, Harvey “Joe” Henderson, and Frank “Captain Disaster” Thompson and dominated by vocalist Larry “D” Dodson‘s call to “get on up or just shut the funk up,” it’s immediately apparent that disco never sounded so good — or so funky. “Woman of the Night” and “Let’s Have Some Fun” follow suit, while stomping the disco beat down with some pretty heavy funk riffing. But, of course, that’s why the Bar-Kays were, and remained, so successful. They were fully committed to their funk forbears while never taking their eyes off the shifting musical climate. Thus, they were able to make the leap from funk to disco in a way that almost no other bands could match. the Bar-Kays‘ late-’70s sounds, then, were not one or the other, but a seamless blend of both.

A fine mix and a glorious achievement.

Biography and discography on Wikipedia

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25 Comments
  • Simon666
    Posted at 14:33h, 17 September 2012 Reply

    woo hoooo thanks guys!

  • rich
    Posted at 21:33h, 17 September 2012 Reply

    thanx nikos

  • the grza
    Posted at 22:42h, 17 September 2012 Reply

    Nikos u da man.
    I am glued to this site :d
    major props for this classic joint.

  • Gabriel
    Posted at 23:53h, 17 September 2012 Reply

    Another superb contribution. Thank you.

  • zobba
    Posted at 17:28h, 18 September 2012 Reply

    thanks

  • Name
    Posted at 11:28h, 19 September 2012 Reply

    Thanks for the hard work. I am not the biggest fan of this album in particular, but I downloaded a few other ones and wanted to drop a line of appreciation. I use these to weed out great LPs to buy so that I can use them as a sample in my hip hop music. I am a music producer who cannot afford to go buy $500 albums, but I can afford to get the best $10-$50 albums and yall can help open my eyes before wasting money on something. I love to hear it before I buy it, but getting blog info on pricing and other facts about the albums is so top notch too. I appreciate every second yall put into this and just wanted to say, thanks for the guidance and helping me find new music I love…. that I otherwise never would have heard.

    If you wish to see my music that I make.. Just google BasementBeatz and we will be the top links. Yall contributed to my success and that is cool as hell that yall are just doing this to help out. One success story is me, haha. Keep up the great work! Peace!

    Jesse
    BasementBeatz

  • Eddie
    Posted at 23:40h, 19 September 2012 Reply

    Thanks a lot!

  • Jean
    Posted at 00:10h, 20 September 2012 Reply

    One more fantastic issue! Thank you, Nikos!

  • Trakbuv
    Posted at 16:01h, 20 September 2012 Reply

    This is my fave LP by them – they took the more sophisticated approach of “Too Hot To Stop” and – OK – borrowed a little from the Ohios and Commodores in the shift – and came out with their most well-rounded sounder IMHO – without forsaking their funky grits. This was HUGE on the club scene – with “You can’t run away”, “Let’s have some fun” and “Shut the funk up” all keeping the turntables turning – and my personal fave – the naaasty “Woman Of the Night” giving “Brickhouse” a run for its money. OK – nothing to match “Summer of your love” from their previous set, but “Attitudes” and “Standing on the Outside” are still cracking downtempo offerings. So glad to see this here Nikos 🙂

  • Emel
    Posted at 10:22h, 21 September 2012 Reply

    Fantastic post, as usual. Thanx for this.

  • Wind1900
    Posted at 10:45h, 22 September 2012 Reply

    This is the music! There hasn’t been anything like it since… too long. The music played these days is crap in comparison to the likes of the Barkays, Confunkshun, Midnight Star, Shalamar, and the like.

  • occupy
    Posted at 15:11h, 22 September 2012 Reply

    thanks !!

  • Kissme
    Posted at 18:39h, 22 September 2012 Reply

    Many Thanks For The Post, Love It ♥♥♫♫♪♪…

  • Lopez
    Posted at 11:55h, 23 September 2012 Reply

    35 years and still going strong.

  • BarFan
    Posted at 21:27h, 23 September 2012 Reply

    This is funking good guys.

  • Enigma
    Posted at 13:07h, 24 September 2012 Reply

    j’adorrrrrreeeee !!!!

  • MacG
    Posted at 22:39h, 24 September 2012 Reply

    I ♥ IT

  • Jamah
    Posted at 09:22h, 27 September 2012 Reply

    Thanks so much for posting this. I still remember how fantastic this whole album by The Bar Kays was..

  • Mike
    Posted at 13:26h, 28 September 2012 Reply

    I havent heard this in ages –  a real classic love it.

  • Leon
    Posted at 10:55h, 29 September 2012 Reply

    Certified classic!

  • Sob
    Posted at 16:59h, 30 September 2012 Reply

    Love the Bar Kays. thx so much.

  • MadMan
    Posted at 13:27h, 17 October 2012 Reply

    Mmmmmm…..yeap, that good ol’ FUNK!

  • Savage
    Posted at 09:30h, 06 January 2013 Reply

    **THANKS A MILLION for this and everything else on your great blog!!** ^_^

  • santoscurser
    Posted at 02:03h, 04 February 2014 Reply

    I only know this band due to one song… and not one mention of Soul-Finger anywhere.
    ( i am checking this one out as well)

  • Carlos
    Posted at 14:42h, 19 April 2018 Reply

    Great to see your site & the fantastic choices you have. Thank you very much.
    Carlos

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