Philadelphia songwriting, production, and performing duo who were prominent at Philadelphia International during the '70s, Gene McFadden and John Whitehead also scored a number one R&B hit as vocalists. Their single "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" was number one R&B in 1979 and peaked at number 13 pop. The two were members of the Epsilons as teens, a band that toured with and were managed by Otis Redding until his death in 1967. They later signed with Stax and had a moderate hit in 1970 with "The Echo." When Lloyd Parkes left, McFadden & Whitehead changed their name to Talk of the Town and began working with Gamble & Huff. Although they were being primed to record for North Bay, when Gamble & Huff discovered the duo's writing talents, they decided instead to employ them in that capacity at their label, Philadelphia International.
A collection from the Mercury funk lineup that covers the hits from the first five Gap Band albums. Every major hit that they had is included here. What one might notice is that all of the major hits ("You Dropped a Bomb on Me," "Burn Rubber on Me," "Early in the Morning," and "I Don't Believe You Want to Get up and Dance") all sound surprisingly similar. This may or may not be a large surprise to everyone, but the bright note about their similarity is that the basic riffs and rhythms that they all use are extremely catchy. The energy that the Gap Band exudes in the midst of producing a song is stunning, and this compilation displays that to the fullest extent. For a basic introduction to the forms of funk that the Gap Band followed, this album would certainly suit any given listener. For those who only need one Gap Band album in their collection, this one also fits the bill perfectly. For die-hard fans who already have all of the band's albums, this one would probably only really serve as a summary.
Townes Van Zandt was a one-of-a-kind artist who blazed a new trail for singer/songwriters, conjuring a sound that combined elements of country and folk with his own artful melodic sensibility, matched with lyrics that were personal, poetic, and impressionistic while remaining firmly down to earth. A new breed of Texas singer/songwriters followed Van Zandt's example, and it's all but impossible to imagine artists like Guy Clark, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, or Steve Earle finding their voice without his guiding influence. This two-disc set features Van Zandt's first two albums, 1968's For the Sake of the Song and 1969's Our Mother the Mountain.