There are funk bands. And then there are The JB’s.
In the early 1970s, James Brown’s production stable was quite simply overflowing with soul. Beyond his own genre-bursting music – which brought funk and R&B to new stratospheres with each platter he released – he began to curate his own label, People Records, to explore and expose the lesser-known talent in his own groups and musical universe.
After a mysterious, psychedelic album by a group calling themselves The Grodeck Whipperjenny in 1970, The Godfather Of Soul released a slew of 7-inch singles for the next several years on People. In doing so, he firmly established the label as the world’s premier outlet for super-funk, with artists including James Brown himself, Lyn Collins, Hank Ballard and Fred Wesley.
In 1972, the next album on People was an easy choice: The JB’s and their ridiculously funky full-length debut, Food For Thought. Made up of JB sidemen including bandleader Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, John “Jabo” Starks, St. Clair Pinckney, Fred Thomas and Bobby Byrd, the group was the definition of a powerhouse. As proof, look no further than the fact that the ten songs on this platter have been sampled by an almost uncountable list of producers over the past 40-plus years, and grooved to by hundreds of thousands. From “Pass The Peas” and “Gimme Some More” to the sonic attack of “The Grunt” [which also contained work from William “Bootsy” Collins and his brother Catfish, who had recently defected to join Parliament-Funkadelic] Food For Thought remains one of the funkiest albums ever made.
The renowned Get On Down label pays reverent tribute to this classic by pressing it on 150 gram vinyl, in a 70s style Stoughton jacket and housed in an 8-gauge custom bag emblazoned with an embossed People Records logo. And the deluxe-ness does not end there: in addition, the Record Store Day package comes with a 22” x 22” poster featuring the original cover art, as well as a 7-inch of “The Grunt Parts 1 & 2” pressed on purple vinyl.
This will be the first of several People Records releases coming from Get On Down in the next year or two, so strap yourself in for a very funky ride, and stay tuned for more…