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 Silver Convention on your ass at any given moment, so just be ready!
Blam!! was the third album release from The Brothers Johnson, one of my favorite R&B/funk bands of the ’70s. Casual music fans may not know the brothers by their names (Louis and George), but they know the tunes: “I’ll Be Good To You,” Strawberry Letter 23,” and “Stomp!” are all certified soul classics.
Unlike the band’s previous two records, Blam!! didn’t produce any Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. The album itself did reach #1 on the R&B charts, though, and killer cuts like “Ride-O-Rocket” and “Ain’t We Funkin’ Now” kept the dance floors bouncing. Blam!! even broke into the Top 10 on the pop album chart, a rarity for a soul LP without a true radio hit.
After the Brothers split up in the early ’80s, Louis Johnson went on to contribute his signature bass sound to huge records from Michael Jackson, Michael McDonald, and countless others. Sadly, Louis passed away last month at the age of 60.
Blam!! is available as an expensive import CD, but who needs that when The Analog Kid has a great-sounding copy on vinyl? Get da funk in yo face!
The Brothers Johnson: Blam!!
A&M Records, 1978
Vinyl rip courtesy of The Analog Kid
1. “Ain’t We Funkin’ Now” (Louis Johnson/Quincy Jones/Tom Bahler/Alwx Weir/Valerie Johnson)
2. “So You Won’t Stay” (Harvey Mason/David Foster)
3. “Blam!!” (George Johnson/Louis Johnson/Quincy Jones/David Foster/Alex Weir/Tom Bahler)
4. “Countdown/Blastoff/Ride-O-Rocket” (Jerry Hay/William Reichenbach/Nickolas Ashford/Valerie Simpson)
5. “Mista’ Cool” (Louis Johnson/Larry Williams/Ed Eckstine)
6. “It’s You Girl” (Louis Johnson/Quincy Jones/George Johnson)
7. “Streetwave” (Louis Johnson/Wayne Vaughan/Alex Weir/Jerry Hey)
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.
The Brothers Johnson: “I’ll Be Good To You” (George Johnson/Louis Johnson/Sonora Sam)
From the album Look Out For #1
A&M Records, 1976
The Brothers Johnson: “Strawberry Letter 23” (Shuggie Otis)
From the album Right On Time
A&M Records, 1977
The Brothers Johnson: “Get The Funk Out Ma Face” [Disco Version]
From the U.S. promotional 12″ Single Get The Funk Out Ma Face
A&M Records, 1976
The Brothers Johnson: “Stomp!” Louis Johnson/George Johnson/Rod Temperton/Valerie Johnson)
From the album Light Up The Night
A&M Records, 1980
Michael McDonald: “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” (Ed Sanford/Jerry Lieber/Michael McDonald/Mike Stoller)
From the album If That’s What It Takes
Warner Brothers Records, 1982
Michael Jackson: “Billie Jean” (Michael Jackson/
From the album Thriller
Epic Records, 1982