Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Brothers Johnson - Look Out For #1

It's hard to imagine pop funk music without Quincy Jones. For all who do not know the man he was responsible for launching Michael Jackson into the stratosphere. Quincy's knowledge of producing music is unmatched. Being nominated for 79 Grammy's and winning 27 it is hard to argue. Quincy was familiar with the jazz scene of the 1970's and realized that Louis Johnson had massive potential for bridging the gap between jazz and pop music. Louis played with such legends as Herbie Hancock on his "Man Child" album along with Grover Washington Jr. Louis along with Larry Graham of San Francisco's own Sly and the Family Stone were pioneers with the now popular slap bass technique. Louis took what Larry started and built on it becoming the front man for the new technique giving him the nickname "Thunder Thumbs".

Quincy realized the potential to turn The Brothers Johnson into a huge success and quickly put them into the recording studio to record their first album, which would be come to be "Look Out For #1." It contains both hard funk groove tracks in songs like "Thunder Thumbs and Lightning Licks" and "Get the Funk out Ma Face" along with more soothing ballads such as my personal favorite track on the album "I'll Be Good to You," which is a slower tempo than the other tracks but still keeps the groove fresh and funky.

Another great track on the album is an intense dark cover of "Come Together" by The Beatles. So many artists have covered Beatles songs in their career, but The Brothers Johnson managed to take a classic song such as Come Together and totally revamp every element of the song to make it an soulful track. Check out the song near the end to notice some greatly timed hits over the verse.

All in all though this album remains The Brothers Johnson most consistent work. From start to finish it doesn't slow down once and aside from the dud track "Land of Ladies," which is almost comical in nature Look Out For #1 is arguably their finest work.