Tower Of Power – 1973 – Tower Of Power

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Tower of power album is overflowing with pure UNCUT Soul & Funk!!!


This is the third album release for the Oakland-based band and is their most successful album to date, which was released in the Spring of 1973. The album peaked at #15 on the Billboard Pop Album chart in 1973 and received a gold record award. The Album also spawned their most-successful single “So Very Hard To Go”. Although the single only peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, landed in the Top 10 on the surveys of many West Coast Top 40 radio stations; hitting #1 on most of them. The Album also charted two other singles on the Billboard Hot 100, “This Time It’s Real” and “What Is Hip?“.


Track listing
1. What Is Hip?  5:08
2. Get Yo’ Feet Back On The Ground  4:52
3. So Very Hard To Go  3:41
4. Soul Vaccination 5:13
5. Clean Slate 3:22
6. Clever Girl 2:56
7. This Time It’s Real 2:54
8. Will I Ever Find A Love? 3:51
9. Both Sorry Over Nothin’ 3:25
10. Just Another Day 4:34

Greg Adams – Strings, Trumpet, Arranger, Conductor, Flugelhorn, Horn, Vocals, String Arrangements

Brent Byars – Bongos, Conga

Emilio Castillo – Saxophone, Sax (Tenor), Vocals, Production Supervisor

Bruce Conte – Guitar, Vocals

David Garibaldi – Drums

Mic Gillette – Trombone, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Horn, Horn (Baritone), Vocals

Stephen “Doc” Kupka – Oboe, Saxophone, Sax (Baritone), Vocals

Lenny Pickett – Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Sax (Tenor), Vocals

Francis “Rocco” Prestia – Bass

Jay Spell – Piano

Bruce Steinberg – Harmonica, Art Direction, Design, Photography, Illustrations, Cover Design

Chester Thompson – Organ, Keyboards, Vocals

Lenny Williams – Vocals

Tower of Power has always been difficult to define or describe. It has been, and continues to be, a fascinating amalgam of talent. The most prolific period, while signed with Warner Brothers records, showcased a rare and formidable combination of talents under the leadership of Emilio Castillo.With the principle songwriting of Doc Kupka and Emilio, and horn arrangements of Greg Adams as the foundation, the musicianship of the entire ensemble percolated with the precision of a Swiss watch. Doc, Emilio and Greg were complemented by powerful trumpet and trombone of Mic Gillette and the soulful ease of Lenny Pickett on lead tenor.

The unique rhythmic synergy of David Garibaldi on drums and Rocco Prestia on bass, gave Tower its sophisticated syncopation. The distinctive guitar solos of Bruce Conte and the world class B-3 work of Chester Thompson, complete the rhythm section in full effect.. The unique silky vocals of Lenny Williams stood out, brilliantly, against the force of the band. It is indeed, amazing, that five of the ten members, from that period, are members, today.Through the years, before and since, there have been a plethora of fine musicians and vocalists that have ‘held a chair’ within Tower of Power. It is not a position one owns, but one is a caretaker of. Tower’s sound has had an evolutionary ebb and flow as different musicians lent their talents to the band.



This is the recording that takes ToP out of Oakland and places them permanently on the national stage. Local’s were still trying to figuring out Kool & Gang riff’s while ToP had moved on to a different level using Latin & soul rhythms and a quality group of horn players that could sit in with the JB’s anytime. If you haven’t heard this group (which is very hard to believe) this is the recording to get to hear the full range of material this group is capable of performing.


Oh yeah ! This sounds so hot to me.In this album you can hear the mellowness, cool funkiness inspired by JAMES BROWN. This album is too hot to handle. Handle with care so that you will not be carried away so far. These soul music searchers are so eager to tighten up the band sound. Sit back and loosen up yourself in the OAKLAND WHITE FUNK WAY. Well-structured brass section will hit you in the face. This album won’t get you wrong.


This is truly one of the best albums of the early 70’s. I am a big fan of CHICAGO but this collection and “Bump City” should have blown them right off the charts. The fabulous horn section played on many other artist’s records, but listen to “What is Hip?” and hear them in their own element knock it out of the park! These guys are the real deal.

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Conversation for album: Tower Of Power – 1973 – Tower Of Power

  • Doctor Okeh
    Posted at 14:16h, 19 June 2008 Reply

    I have a few albums by them , but did not have this one , I love this band already , so I know that this is gonna be great , thx a million Nikos….you FUNK MY SOUL!!!!!

  • Funkzilla
    Posted at 02:51h, 03 August 2008 Reply

    wow- I’m sooo impressed by this album. just bought it for £4 on cd…. What A bargain!!! tight as hell and a horn section to die for. Who said white boy funk doesn’t hit all the right chords?! Invest in this – it’s a no brainer!

  • Eddie
    Posted at 07:40h, 06 January 2009 Reply

    Nikos the work you have put into the detail of this blog makes it hands down the best soul page in the world, your knowledge, passion for your work is incredible. I have worked with many of the people you talk about and have literally thousands of soul albums in my collection at home in the UK after over 35 years of buying music. I have yet to meet anybody so locked in as you man. Bless you for your abilities. Ed

  • brotherpete
    Posted at 23:22h, 29 September 2009 Reply

    Thanks a lot!!! Prince is regularly covering What Is Hip? during concerts 🙂

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