Every Tuesday, the Analog Kid blog goes back in time and features some of the best groovy R&B/soul songs from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Sometimes you’ll hear songs from individual artists or from a specific year, and other times you’ll get an entire full-length classic LP ripped directly from the Analog Kid’s vast vinyl vault. Warning: by R&B/soul, I also mean disco. I could go all Village People on your ass at any given moment, so just be ready!

 

I knew absolutely nothing about Gary Toms Empire until I found a mint copy of 1978’s Let’s Do It Again at my local Half-Price Books last week. A little in-store googling provided very little information on the band, but I went ahead and bought the record anyway. Just look at the cover– how could it NOT be funky?

And funky it was! A little more research told me that Gary Toms Empire had a huge underground (wait– can something underground actually be considered huge??) smash with the song “7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (Blow your Whistle)” in 1975, and the result was a recording contract with Mercury Records. Let’s Do It Again was the band’s only album for Mercury, and it has never been released on CD. The record contains two tracks co-written by Michael Zager, who would have his own smash in 1978 with the disco classic “Let’s All Chant.” There’s also an almost-unrecognizable cover of the Dionne Warwick’s “Walk On By,” and the album concludes with the beautifully-titled “Gary’s Love Theme.” Oh yeah, baby. That’s what Gary likes…

I think I’ll keep trying to seek out more obscure ’70s R&B/soul/funk for future Groovy Tuesday editions. That local Half-Price Books I mentioned is gigantic, and hopefully I can find more lost ’70s nuggets like Let’s Do It Again.

 

Let's Do It Again

Gary Toms Empire: Let’s Do It Again

Mercury Records, 1978

 

1. “It’s All Up To You” (Michael Zager/Alvin Fields)

It’s All Up To You

2. “Welcome To Harlem” (Michael Zager/Alvin Fields)

Welcome To Harlem

3. “Watch Out For The Lady” (Corsilli/Porcucci/Bruno/Phelps/Catanio)

Watch Out For The Lady

4. “Walk On By” (Burt Bacharach/Hal David)

Walk On By

5. “She’s Somethin’ Else” (Gary Toms)

She’s Somethin’ Else

6. “Superfine Lady” (Prince Ellis)

Superfine Lady

7. “Miami” (Gary Toms)

Miami

8. “Feeling Good Again” (Rick Bleiweiss)

Feeling Good Again

9. “1-2-3-4 (Let’s Do It Again)” (Gary Toms)

1-2-3-4 (Let’s Do It Again)

10. “Gary’s Love Theme” (Gary Toms)

Gary’s Love Theme

_________________________________________________________________

Bonus Tracks!

The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.

 

7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Blow Your Whistle

Gary Toms Empire: 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (Blow Your Whistle)”

From the album 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Blow Your Whistle

PIP Records, 1975

7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (Blow Your Whistle)

 

Let's All Chant

The Michael Zager Band: “Let’s All Chant”

From the album Let’s All Chant

Private Stock Records, 1978

Let’s All Chant

 

Make Way For Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick: “Walk On By” (Bacharach/David)

From the album Make Way For Dionne Warwick

Scepter Records, 1964

Walk On By

 

About The Analog Kid

"I'm 5-foot-8, 123 pounds. I have, uh, brown hair, blue eyes. I enjoy surfing, backgammon and men who aren't afraid to cry."

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