THE SCENE: In 1969 soul singer and organ player Billy Preston performed with The Beatles during their “Let It Be” sessions. Had they decided to compose songs together they might have sounded like The Negro Problem. Los Angeles-based Mark “Stew” Stewart has spent the last decade crafting disarmingly clever pop songs that make The Negro Problem sound like a lost band from the 1960s, the 1980s and at times, the 1930s.
Using irony the way Public Enemy uses a sampler, Stew bends your ear and his point of view into a pretzel of detachment and empathy. “Repulsion” celebrates the hangover of groupie love, and dares us to “call in late for work on Monday”. The shallow meets the surreal in two versions of “Comikbuchland”, one stately and grand, the other fizzy like a handful of Pop Rocks.
These songs are fun to sing with – I dare you not to croon along to the “doo-doo doo-doo” cabaret chorus of “Heads”, or the “ba-ba-baa” that begins mechanical surrealism of “Peter Jennings”. Instrumentally swarming with organs, flutes and mellotrons, each song is as catchy as a Broadway tune, but deviously darker and generally more enigmatic.
Their goofier side is brazenly evident in “Ken” a first-person monologue about Barbie’s boyfriend, where he admits the rumors are true:
My name is Ken And I like men But the people at Mattel The home that I call hell are somewhat bothered by my queer proclivities It’s safe to say that they are really pissed at me
They always stick me with Barbie But I want them to know I prefer GI Joe But any able bodied man-doll will surely do Just someone to love, since I am not set up to screw
Some bands’ music are designed for dancing, or drinking, or moping. The Negro Problem’s music would be good with fried ice cream, another unbelievably rare, sweet and crunchy delicacy.
THE FALLOUT: Fantastic critical acclaim but little sales. Stew started his solo career at this point (with collaborator Heidi Rosewald) and all but tabled The Negro Problem.
Joys & Concerns is available from Amazon and you can sample tracks here:
A joyful odyssey into frequently odd human failings, Joys & Concerns floats upon its own bubble of pop.
See you next Wednesday.
NEXT WEEK: Miles Davis gets so funky his label refuses to release his album for 25 years.
THE SCENE: All over the world, for as long as human have performed, masks have been used to shelter identities while speaking truths, no matter how base those truths may be. New York musician Marc Anthony Thompson released two pop-soul albums under his own name in the 1980s but unleashed his sacred and profane persona Chocolate Genius in the late ‘90s. Witty and urbane, naïve and spastic his second album Godmusic demands your respect without requiring your approval.
His burnished, hushed baritone draws you in like a confessional then traps you there like a fly in a web, each song slowly progressing as if gravity is its enemy. On first listen the tunes seem ordinary, familiar, but each playback reveals additional layers.
The hymnlike moods are caressed into creation, from the mournful barbershop quartet of “Infidel Blues” or the ambient piano accents of the womb-like “Love”:
Lyrically searching for happiness in a bleak world, he evokes a new dawn rising in the shimmering “Bossman Piss (In My Lemonade)” and literally creates God music with the ringing and squealing “To Serve You”.
“Planet Rock” is not a cover of the Afrika Bambaataa classic but a wheezy and cheesy eulogy to a lost friend, its synthetic candy-ass tones as cheap as the drugs she took:
I know a girl from planet rock who swears that she can stop? I heard her scream without a sound burn her father’s house to the ground I told myself I wouldn’t waste a song Because she’s gone.
This may the only album I’ve heard that tries to be as wry as possible.
THE FALLOUT: Unclassifiable, unexplainable and essentially unsellable, Godmusic attracted a fistful of great reviews and a thimbleful of sales. In a typical story for this site, Chocolate Genius recorded his next album for another label.
Godmusic is out of print but used copies can be found at Amazon, and you can hear tracks right here:
Starting with out-of-sync warbling and ending with a nod to Truman Capote, Godmusic is refreshingly intelligent, humorous and oddball.
NEXT WEEK: Stevie Wonder scores a little plant documentary and, oh it backfires.
THE SCENE: Neneh Cherry’s unification of hip-hop and energetic pop music made her an international superstar with the release of 1991’s Raw Like Sushi, but her toned-down followup, 1993’s Homebrew, was an artistic advance yet a commercial retreat. And if you’re American, that was probably the last time you heard from her.
The rest of the world, however, was privileged to receive Man in 1996, a honey-coated slab of soulful electronica. Co-written and produced by her husband Cameron McVey, it sparkles with intellect and sensuality while decimating you with hard beats and grunge guitar.
The buttery smooth strings of “Woman” move like honey just before it drips out of the container, full of sweetness and anticipation, while Cherry reaffirms her mission statement:
You gotta be fortunate You gotta be lucky now I was just sitting here Thinking good and bad But I’m the kinda woman That was built to last They tried erasing me But they couldn’t wipe out my past
“Hornbeam” sizzles with confidence, sailing in a sea of wordless cooing and strangled electronics, filled with the joy of pure sensual emotion, building and building, like a cocoon before it bursts.
Man does contain a massive international hit single in the Youssou N’Dour duet “7 Seconds”, its steely cool impassiveness starkly contrasts against the warmth of their voices.
Cherry shows off the swagger in her step in the trip-rock of “Kootchi”: a laundry list of the mundane things she likes about her lover:
I love the way you walk, I love the way you talk With your mouthful The way you park on the sidewalk The way you are in the car I’ll make you love the way I behave On my bad days
Belting this while a meteor shower of distortion rains over a military backbeat, her ability to sound demanding and vulnerable simultaneously is uncanny. Her vocal command travels down to the quiet alien calm of” Carry Me” and up to the bouncy sandpapery beat of “Together Now”. All the makings of hit record in America.
THE FALLOUT: Alas, her American record company was going through a “restructuring” in 1996 and declined to release Man, ever. It was a minor hit in the rest of the world, lovingly out of step with current music trends. Outside of guesting on other artists’ singles, Neneh Cherry has yet to record a follow-up album in the nine years since its release.
Man is available at Amazon and you can also listen to tracks here:
A rare humanistic electronica album, Man is worthy of seeking out, even if you live in the USA.
THE SCENE: What was Ice-T’s Rhyme Syndicate smoking in 1992? Ice started singing with the hardcore punkish Body Count, Everlast turned into the Irish Cypress Hill with House of Pain, and Divine Styler fell into the abyss with the scary-ass freakshow of Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light.
Ever hear a song and think “This is just wrong. Songs aren’t supposed to go like that. Is something in my ear?” This is a whole album of those songs, each one more disturbing and psychically damaged than the last one.
Dropping the strict hip-hop of his previous album, 1989’s Word Power, Spiral delves into psychedelic speed metal, trip-hop, Elizabethan acoustic fingerpicking and jam-band blues rock while unveiling fiendishly intricate rhymes about his Muslim faith and psychedelic drugs. What he doesn’t do exactly is rap, although every other method of vocalizing is present and accounted for.
In “Am I An Epigram for Life” he asks himself muffled metaphysical questions while swirling down the drain of keyboard bloops. The bloops return in “Touch” where he whispers his beat poetry up against a melting CasioTone preset beat, which then decays into a funk march.
It’s unsettling to listen to “Love, Lies and Lifetime Cries” as it consists mostly of him pleading “They won’t let me in!” while he frantically knocks on a closed door. I wouldn’t open it either; he doesn’t sound like someone I’d want to let in the house. But his paranoid ranting over sickly oozing keyboards is highly intriguing.
“Grey Matter” was the radio single, as if wooden flute techno jazz was going to get him spot on “Yo! MTV Raps”. His eloquence is outstanding as it is avant-garde, as he goes way out onto the microledge with “Heaven Don’t Want Me And Hell’s Afraid I’ll Take Over. He pontificates, seduces and conjoles you with his oratory skills, one step from outright screaming. He saves that for “Mystic Sheep Drink Electric Tea” a buzzy slab of industrial grindcore.
Divine Styler kicks it super-old school, kinda, with the drums-and-space of “Euphoric Rangers” then stays in outer space with “Aura” where he raps over the sounds of a malfunctioning alien probe ship.
THE FALLOUT: Divine Styler impressively wrote, produced, arranged and played most of the instruments on Spiral, but his fearlessness caught hip-hop heads completely off-guard and it bombed. Divine Styler lost his production deal, his record label and eventually his freedom (if not also his tether to the material world).
Spiral is out of print but might be available from Amazon. You can also listen to tracks below:
Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light is unabashedly psychotic but worth the effort of a complete listen.
THE SCENE: In the 1980s Los Angeles fixtures Fishbone were one of the first ska-influenced bands to net a major-label deal, yet creative control was not a part of their contract. Producer David Kahne buffed and honed their more commercial songs to a pristine polish, which was a major shift from their ruggedly eccentric live material. After three years of negotiation they convinced their label that they could self-produce, resulting in 1991’s psychedelically stunning The Reality of My Surroundings.
Normally a seven-piece band, Fishbone strived for audio maximilism, cramming most songs with orchestra-level layers of Technicolor instrumentation and agressive melodicism. They sounded like a band suddenly freed from oppression, and the theme of surviving through hard times flavors every track.
“Fight The Youth” explodes with curlicues of metallic guitar set to “stun”. Instruments slash and thrust like an open pack of switchblades, daring you to approach them. This isn’t the sunny funny goofy group from 1988’s Truth And Soul. This Fishbone is politically aware and incredibly pissed off.
The inner-city fury of “So Many Millions” slams you like a newbie in a prison riot. Skittery drums anchor funky swells of sound, as if danger is rising up behind you. Gangs of vocals moan over insistent guitar solos and the song doesn’t stop as much as it passes out from all its expended energy.
The indentured servitude anthem “Housework” conjures up a mythical 1920s New Orleans juke joint, full of tinkly piano and muffled horns. Yet its continual beat changing — from old-jack swing to new-time waltz — keeps it in the now.
Control and the loss thereof haunt both the sadly melancholic “Those Days Are Gone” and the radioactive carnival ride of “Behavior Control Technician”:
Children runaway from the torturistic ways Children still resist from the powers that persist Will you shut up and sit still I think you should obey Having very few rights we cannot communicate
Train my brain to work the way you want me to Don’t question authority see Be a little zombie that agrees with you You are strapped with a double standard cup In a battle you won’t win And when it’s over we’re gonna dance your memory away
Sheltering will restrict your baby’s mind
Over nothing but African drums, “Junkies Prayer” recites a different cracked-out poem in each ear while a gritty sample of a cheesy laugh track floats in and out of the mix. It’s both humorous and devastating, as is the entire album.
THE FALLOUT: The kinetic first single “Sunless Saturday” helped propel Reality to become Fishbone’s highest charting, largest selling and most critically beloved album. But all success is relative, and after fourteen years it has yet to reach gold status. One album later Fishbone was dropped by their label and lost half of their original members.
Reality is available at Amazon and you can listen to tracks here:
An artistic tour de force, The Reality of My Surroundings’ intense and well-crafted performances deserves a better fate than what it received.
See you next Wednesday.
NEXT WEEK: Sun Ra, the original Black departure artist, shows us the “Magic”.
THE SCENE: Ever have one of those perpetually tipsy college friends who’s deepest, most fully formed relationship is with beer? In 1991 Washington D.C.’s Michael Ivey, inspired by failed romances and the beers that accompany them, cranked out the album that would eventually make several “best album of year” lists and help solidify two different record labels: Play with Toys.
Ivey cut his intimate slacker hip-hop songs nearly alone on his bedrooms’ four-track recorder, mostly sparse guitar vamps over head-nodding drum breaks, and this low-fidelity touch makes his songs very endearing. He also is quite funny, in a Cheech and Chong sort of way, and his slurry low-volume singing voice draws you into his beer-goggle universe of loss, confusion and apologies.
In the droning funk of “2000 BC” he pines for the missing brain cells he’s lost through drinking, yet he sings a love song to his brew in “Ode to My Favorite Beer”, complete with old-school needle drops from Eazy-E’s “8-Ball”.
His friends show up in many of the songs, acting as a Greek chorus by commenting on the tunes during their performance, sometimes interrupting the song to the point of stoppage. “Brand New Day” follows his post-breakup emotional state, as he pauses the song several times to change his view on how sad or relieved he is to not be with his girlfriend. Then it stops again to listen to some nice breakbeats.
He gets even more emotional in “Not Over You”, getting drunker and more hostile as the song progresses:
So judge me true by what I say, not what I do. Why do folks continue to say that I’m not over you?
The song eventually comes to a halt so his friend can find another song on the radio to calm him down. You can advance to the next track to see how well that worked out.
As if the fourth-wall shattering meta-commentary isn’t surreal enough, the entire album is presented as a band performance in a country and western bar. Yes.
THE FALLOUT: Released by the fledging indie label Émigré and re-released the following year by the fledging mini-major label Imago, Play With Toys was critically acclaimed for its focused eccentricity and twisted humor, yet never sold well. Basehead put out three more albums but hasn’t made a public note since 2001.
Play With Toys is out of print worldwide, but you can pick a used copy from Amazon and you can hear selected tracks below.
Provocative and ridiculous, Play With Toys sneaks up on you with delight, like the pint before last call.
See you next Wednesday.
NEXT WEEK: Fishbone fights for a taste of “Reality”.
(The following article was written in 2005, but in 2009 the album was finally released.)
THE SCENE: As the ex-leader of the beloved conscious rap group A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip irritated his fan base with his unexpectedly jiggy solo debut, 1999’s Amplified. Sensing that he wasn’t cut out to be a fur-wearing mainstream rapper he completely flipped the script for his next album, 2000’s Kamaal the Abstract.
Much like Sting did for Dream of the Blue Turtles, Q-Tip also assembled a tight team of jazz musicians and crafted a sweet album of finely textured pop songs that crackles with deep grooves and the joy of live band performance. Kamaal the Abstract humbly melds the best aspects of acid jazz, hip-hop and alternative rock into an ambitious and exciting new form.
“Feelin” jumps in with a seemingly ordinary hip-hop track but expands like a peacock plume with chunky guitars and radio static. After rapping and scatting for a bit it’s all about the O.G. organ solos, played so vibrantly you’ll forget that it goes on for minutes. It’s full of “walking down the street on your way to the party” spirit.
Q-Tip’s commitment to the flow of the groove is so sincere he sometimes vanishes altogether, as he does in “Do U Dig U”. He introduces his spacey and souful singing voice then lets the flutes take over, gilding slinkly across crisp percussion, recalling those smoky bohemian clubs with the small round tables and red lights that serve mojitos.
The electric piano-driven “Barely In Love” warmly invokes the buzz of a new crush with the most joyous hand claps you’ll hear outside of a gospel choir:
When you really think about it love is truly powerful the undeniable force that makes it magnetic when you can’t explain when you do what you do can’t nobody take away when you do what you do
His band turns up the intensity in “Heels”, his playful ode to women’s shoes, with stomping drums and funky xylophone. “Abstractions” is a musically dense bottle rocket of fun where he repositions himself, the new advanced model Q-Tip, as a playful musical adventurer.
THE FALLOUT: Arista Records treated the album with all the love of a stripper at a church picnic, branding it “uncommercial.” Promo copies were released to hip-hop and rock journalists, who alternately raved it up or ripped it to shreds. A Spike Lee-directed mini-movie was commissioned and abandoned. A 2002 release date was set and cancelled, causing Q-Tip to negotiate a release from his contract. Five years after it was completed, Kamaal the Abstract is still lying somewhere in Arista’s vault.
UPDATE: It’s now available from Amazon and you can listen to tracks here:
See you next Wednesday.
NEXT WEEK: Introducing Konoko N°1: the world’s only electrified Congolese trance punks.
THE SCENE: In 1987 the London duo of Alex Ayuli and Rudi Tambala were in a quandary. Under the name A. R. Kane they’d released an EP called Lolita, which garnered some critical praise. But they also were part of a collaboration called M/A/R/R/S which released the international dance hit “Pump Up The Volume”, although their handiwork was invisible to the buying public. Nevertheless they returned in 1988 with their watershed dream pop album 69.
Drenched in caverns of echoes, 69 eerily predicts trip-hop and ambient dub music, years before those phrases were ever conjured. It’s a wet sounding album, an empty ghost ship washed up on the beach, its crew long since gone completely mad.
“Crazy Blue” actually starts with incoherent babbling, as heavily echoed guitars clang like incoming tankers fighting for pier space. The moaning vocals remain in the background, hiding behind each other in the tonal fog.
The melancholy dance continues with “Suicide Kiss”. Its dub-like bass pulsates as if it’s drilling toward the earth’s core. Guitars sizzle like sparks off a welding torch.
The aptly named “Dizzy” is a tune straight out of the asylum. Its creepy cello adds a disturbing formality to the din of screaming background vocals. You can feel the too bright hospital lights and hear the cries of people who obviously made their instruments out of bedpans and restraints.
“Spermwhale Trip Over” sounds like surf rock created by a band who’d never seen the ocean. The moist undulating waves of droning feedback nearly submerge the lysergically-enhanced lyrics:
here in my LSdream things are always what they seem here in my LSdream, in my LSdreaming
and all the shifting shapes all changing to grapes never making mistakes in my LSdream
In “The Sun Falls into The Sea” A. R. Kane reduces their attack to hundreds of tiny ringing bells while voices hauntingly glide and wail, free from the shackles of rhythm.
THE FALLOUT: Influential as was on the underground dance scene, 69 was not a hit record. A. R. Kane released several more gems before calling it quits in 1994.
69 is available from Amazon and you can sample tracks here. Dream pop shoegazes on.
See you next Wednesday.
NEXT WEEK: Q-Tip records a masterpiece and his label locks it in a vault. Hear tracks from Kamaal the Abstract.
Let’s make a concept album, where the concept is me.
Purchase this album: Amazon
THE SCENE: In 1988 Terence Trent D’Arby rocketed from nowhere to become the artist of the moment. His debut album Introducing The Hardline sold millions of records on both sides of the Atlantic and his single “Wishing Well” went to number one in England and America. His musical stock-in-trade was Sam Cooke-styled R&B rave-ups, and in classic R&B mode he mostly sang about women. He was also quite cocky about his musical talents and gave great interviews about his utter, utter brilliance.
But that same year he met his idol Brian Wilson and sang on Wilson’s first solo album. Brian Wilson hadn’t created a complete album since 1966 when he composed The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, the original rock’n’roll departure album. While working with a man who represented the zenith of music freedom, D’Arby must have sensed that this was time to ask, no, demand complete artist control for his next album. And so he set off to create (deep breath now) Terence Trent D’Arby’s Neither Fish Nor Flesh: A Soundtrack of Love, Faith, Hope & Destruction.
T.T.D.N.F.N.F:A.S.O.L.F.H & D. represents D’Arby’s state of mind circa 1989. “I’m concerned with the fate of mankind” he seemed to say, “as well as maintaining my stature as King Of All Macks”. And as the sole composer, arranger, producer and primary musician, it’s truly his world.
“Declaration: Neither Fish Nor Flesh” begins with silence, lots of it. A good half minute passes before any sound is audible and then it’s a slow bloom of liquid guitar fuzz and tuned feedback while D’Arby low-talks about being neither fish nor flesh. In “I Have Faith In These Desolate Times” he shares his world optimism over nothing but the delicate plinking of a koto water harp. It has the lilting spirit of a unicorn gallivanting through the forest, at least until the end where it completely turns into a “James Brown meets Foetus” groove.
D’Arby’s precision arrangement skills are evident in the next piece, “It Feels So Good To Love Someone Like You”. It’s a masterwork of composition as he creates a dreamy exotic island from flutes, sitar drones, waterfall sounds and whale samples, and he powers down his usual hard-charging vocal attack into “caress” mode. It’s the song by which to slowly eat honeyed fruit off your lover’s hand.
Quite unexpectedly D’Arby pulls off a quintessentially contemporary sounding pop song. “Billy Don’t Fall” is the hit single that never was, perhaps because it’s a pop tune about AIDS and gay tolerance, recorded back in 1989 when AIDS was considered a karmic death sentence:
Billy was a young boy Who’s fate did decree That he would like only other boys So being with a boy came to him naturally Billy was a green boy His thoughts so naive He wondered why he was so victimised And his fear brought him close to me suddenly But Billy my friend Don’t fall in love with me I’m not that kind of guy But I’ll stand by your side If you need me to be
The album’s centerpiece is “This Side of Love”, a bass-free classic soul carnival ride with train-track tension that gives the feeling it could fall apart any moment, much like love itself! (Man he’s good). Although this train is essentially just guitar and drums, it features cameo appearances by nearly every other instrument in existence, as if they were standing outside the gate and waving at the song as it passed by. Lyrically he’s wondering how he even got into this situation:
We’re on a roundabout whirl of scorn The demons are smiling and the angels snoring I feel like a stepchild Caesar that’s been Beaten and bruised to please her Wearing a rusted ring of thorns What have I done to piss the Gods off (To end up on) This side of Love?
The Alice-in-Funkyland style crescendos with “Roly Poly”. Double-time drums run backward throughout the song, which combine with shimmering strings and wordless background crooning to maintain an intoxicating sense of dizziness. D’Arby layers on the vocals till it reaches madness level, and then he keeps adding other rewind sounds until you just submit to its power. He also beats on a cardboard box, just because he can.
Neither Fish Nor Flesh is exceptionally well-arranged and mixed, and does provide proof that TTD was nearly as talented as he had been claiming.
THE FALLOUT: His egotistical pushiness had already made him enemies at his record label, who didn’t hear a hit single and withdrew nearly all promotional support. D’Arby also fought to have Fish released during the competitive Christmas season, which all but assured the album would hit the stores dead on arrival. As a result he didn’t release a follow-up album for four years.
Neither Fish Nor Flesh is available from Amazon and you can sample tracks here:
Self-indulgence has rarely sounded so charming. See you next Wednesday.
NEXT WEEK: A.R. Kane brings the ruckus into shoegazer culture.
If the Funk is ahead of its time, does it make a sound?
THE SCENE: According to George Clinton, the five-man ex-doo-wop group Parliament performed polite music you could play for your mother, while their five-man backing band Funkadelic was the group that would scare your mother into cardiac arrest. The fact that all ten people were in the same band was simply a matter of convenience.
In 1970, even though Funkadelic was already signed to the Detroit-based Westbound label, Clinton signed Parliament to the Detroit-based Invictus label and delivered Osmium. Parliament had released several smoothed-out hit singles in the previous years, so the raw and roughneck Osmium had the effect of discovering that your seemingly normal parents were actually two-headed Martian warlords.
Although this album preceded their use of squiggly synths, alter egos and sci-fi concepts, Parliament still had loads of goofball energy and naïve eccentricity. Half the album is co-written by folk artist and label mate Ruth Copeland, and her straightforward melodicism and religious themes make a downright bizarre platform for the funk. “Oh Lord, Why Lord/Prayer” is a harpsichord and choir-led hymn based on Pachelbel “Canon” and is performed completely straight! No joking about Jesus this time around.
“Put a Little Love In Your Life” is a mini-progressive rock opera detailing the journey of a would-be star, with enough mood changes to rival a Broadway song. Slow organ riffs merge into spazzed-out guitar solos, voices drop in and out, tempos speed up at will, and yet it holds together.
Parliament gets its Nashville on with “Little Ole Country Boy”, a hyped-up country-and-western song complete with pedal steel guitar solo, washboard percussion and lots of yodeling. Yes, yodeling. Parliament also finds a place to showcase the bagpipes, of all instruments, on the beautiful dirge “The Silent Boatman”.
Peppered between these mid-tempo quasi-show tunes are lots of crazed funk songs. “Funky Woman” is an exceptionally tough call-and-response about personal hygiene that showcases guitarist Eddie Hazel’s sizzling tone and Clinton’s grizzled humor:
She hung them in the air Funky woman The air said this ain’t fair Funky woman
She hung them in the sun Funky woman The sun began to run Funky woman
She threw them on the line Funky woman The line, it started to cryin’ Funky woman
She threw them in the yard Funky woman The yard, it cried, Oh Lord!
The rockabilly “My Automobile” is a cute re-enactment of the songs’ own creation, with the band sitting around the studio harmonizing top-of–their-head lyrics, followed by the “real” version of the song. Osmium also contains an early version of Funkadelics’ “I Call My Baby Pussycat”, a naughty crunch rocker about, er, cats:
Now I’m a tom cat and you’re the pussycat And I’m just sittin’ here, licking my paw Now I’m the tom cat and you’re my little old pussycat Why don’t you scratch me on my back with your claw? … I don’t know, but I’ve been told That dogs are man’s best friend Wild and warm is my baby’s love My kitten is where it’s at
The album has a low-budget and fun country charm with a surprising amount of restraint, considering the source. Neither Parliament nor Funkadelic were ever this peculiar again.
THE FALLOUT: Even the band didn’t think an album this eclectic would sell many copies, and they were right. It did OK in Detroit but that was it. Parliament lost their recording deal but they were picked up by Casablanca in 1974 and released Up For the Down Stroke, which began a long string of bagpipe-free and high-selling albums.
Osmium is available at Amazon and you can also listen to tracks here:
See you next Wednesday.
NEXT WEEK: Terence Trent D’Arby does his Brian Wilson impression and brings his career to a screeching halt.