Commodores – 1974 – Gun Machine
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This album really is quite funky. Exceptionally, funky in fact. Quite different from the soul/pop of The Commodores more well known hits. Right from the opening track you can tell you’re in for something of a treat, the musicianship is fantastic throughout, as are the funk grooves consistently dirty and in your face. The singing is great, as anyone already aware of The Commodores would expect it to be. This is an album which really doesn’t let up. Everyone knows that, deep down, they long to get into funk music, and this is a great place to start. If you’re already into funk, then you have no right not to own this record. It’s also one of the greatest party albums I own.
An absolute gem.
This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Motown LP including covers.
A1 Machine Gun 2:41
A2 Young Girls Are My Weakness 3:03
A3 Feel Sanctified 3:46
A4 The Bump 4:11
A5 Rapid Fire 3:04
B1 The Assembly Line 5:12
B2 The Zoo (The Human Zoo) 3:08
B3 Gonna Blow Your Mind 5:43
B4 There’s a Song in My Heart 2:43
B5 Superman 2:38
Review by The Fancy One “blackprincess”
During the early to mid-’70s, funk bands ruled the R&B world. This was not lost on Motown, and they wanted an act that covered the down and dirty funk/R&B bases like Maurice White’s Earth, Wind and Fire, the Ohio Players and Funkadelic did. They discovered the Commodores, a sextet straight out of the Dirty South (Tuskegee, Alabama) in a New York City nightclub, and they found their answer.
MACHINE GUN was the group’s second album on Motown (their first one was recorded in ’72 but never released), and signaled that this group was an important force to be reckoned with. Featuring the amazing keyboard wizardry of Milan Williams, this album kicks off with the title cut and grabs you from start to finish! The three lead vocalists’ voices (that’s right, not just Lionel’s) are wonderfully soulful and earthy, especially drummer Walter “Clyde” Orange’s voice!! That brotha, all 5’4″ of him, is SOUL PERSONIFIED!! Lionel did go on to become the most famous of all the Commodores, but Clyde was the FUNKIEST by far.
I especially loved “Gonna Blow Your Mind“, “The Bump“, “Young Girls Are My Weakness“, “I Feel Sanctified” and “The Assembly Line” (the last of which has been sampled by hip-hoppers time and time again, and musically similar to a later tune that Lionel Richie wrote on his own, the popular “This Is Your Life”). Lots of syntheziers and horns (courtesy of Lionel on alto sax and William King on trumpet) drive this CD and you’d never guess back then that these guys could come funkier than this…but they did, even more so because their follow up album to this, CAUGHT IN THE ACT, is even better!
The only weak spot on this LP is the Richie-penned “Superman” – this was technically the first recorded tune Lionel Richie wrote by himself, and the music is good. But the lyrics – well, the nicest thing I could possibly say about them is that THANK GOD Richie got better as the years went on.
Pick this up today and believe me when I say, the mighty, mighty Commodores existed long before “Brick House”, “Three Times A Lady” and “Still” and why they will always be a funk band first and foremost in my book. This LP is living proof! Get it!
The album voted in the 12th place of the 70 best soul albums of the 70’s by Mojo Magazine. See the list here.