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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tower Of Power - Tower Of Power (1973 us, superb jazz funk brass rock, 2015 japan remaster)

The Tower of Power finally found their ideal lead singer on this album. Lenny Williams came aboard and gave them both the up-tempo belter and convincing balladeer they had previously lacked. They landed their biggest single hit, "So Very Hard to Go," and also had two other top tunes in "What Is Hip" and "This Time It's Real." The arrangements and production were also excellent, and the horn section was at its explosive best. 
by Ron Wynn

This is the third album release for the Oakland-based Funk band Tower of Power. This is their most successful album to date, which was released in May 1973. The album peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and received a Gold record award for sales in excess of 500,000. The album spawned their most successful single, "So Very Hard to Go". The single peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two other singles from the album also charted on the Billboard Hot 100: "This Time It's Real" and "What Is Hip?".

It marked the debut of Lenny Williams being the lead vocalist (though Williams had a solo career prior to joining T.O.P., plus he co-penned the song "You Strike My Main Nerve" from the previous album Bump City. Tower Of Power also introduced the world to saxophonist and future Saturday Night Live band leader, Lenny Pickett, who was the youngest member of the band at the time, replacing original lead sax player Skip Mesquite. Also joining the lineup was organist/keyboardist Chester Thompson and guitarist Bruce Conte, who replaced original guitarist Willie James Fulton.

1. What Is Hip? (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Doc Kupka, David Garibaldi) - 5:08
2. Clever Girl (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Doc Kupka, Willie Fulton) - 2:56
3. This Time It's Real (David Bartlett, Emilio Castillo, Stephen Doc Stephen Doc Kupka) - 2:54
4. Will I Ever Find A Love? - 3:51
5. Get Yo' Feet Back On The Ground (Willie Fulton) - 4:52
6. So Very Hard To Go - 3:41
7. Soul Vaccination - 5:13
8. Both Sorry Over Nothin' (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Doc Kupka, Lenny Williams) - 3:25
9. Clean Slate (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Doc Kupka, Willie Fulton) - 3:22
10.Just Another Day (Bruce Conte) - 4:34
All Songs written by Emilio Castillo, Stephen "Doc" Kupka except where stated

*Greg Adams - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Backing Vocals, String Arrangements, Conductor
*Brent Byars - Bongos, Conga
*Emilio Castillo - Tenor Saxophone, Backing Vocals
*Bruce Conte - Guitar, Backing Vocals
*David Garibaldi - Drums
*Mic Gillette - Trombone, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Baritone, Backing Vocals
*Stephen "Doc" Kupka - Oboe, Baritone Saxophone, Backing Vocals
*Lenny Pickett - Clarinet, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Backing Vocals
*Francis "Rocco" Prestia - Bass Guitar
*Jay Spell - Acoustic Piano
*Bruce Steinberg - Harmonica
*Chester Thompson - Organ, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
*Lenny Williams - Lead Vocals

1970  Tower Of Power - East Bay Grease
1972  Tower Of Power - Bump City (Japan issue)

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