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I Likes to Do It

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Album Review

Collecting both sides from all four of their 1971-1972 Phil-LA of Soul singles, and adding seven previously unreleased songs from the same era, this is notably rawer than their more famous material for TSOP later in the decade. Indeed, it's rawer than almost any soul-funk from the period that had a commercial impact, as three of these cuts did: "I Likes to Do It" made number nine R&B (and the pop Top Forty) in 1971, and "The Wootie-T-Woo" and "Let Me Do My Thing" were low-charting R&B singles. The People's Choice's stock-in-trade at this stage was loose, almost improvised-sounding funky workouts with basic but catchy riffing, semi-scatted vocals, and cool electric-keyboard vamping, often devised by connecting a guitar wah-wah pedal to an organ. The what-ya-play-is-what-ya-hear production is a refreshing contrast to the slicker sounds that were so much more prevalent in early-'70s Philly soul. And that's the way it should have been: when they tried to play conventional vocal sweet soul with strings on "Magic," they sounded far more ordinary. The seven previously unissued tracks (including a much different version of "Magic") are nearly on par with the singles, though perhaps these lean toward more basic riffs and words (this is in a group that favored minimal song construction to begin with). Simplicity can be a virtue, though, and this is damned infectious stuff, really. It's quite a find for early funk fans, to whom this compilation is highly recommended.

Biography

Formed: 1971 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Vocalist/keyboardist Frank Brunson formed People's Choice in Philadelphia in the early '70s. Drummer/percussionist David Thompson, vocalists Valerie Brown and Marc Reed, guitarists Darnell Jordan and Johnnie Hightower, keyboardists Clifton Gamble and Bill Rodgers, and bassist/vocalist Stanley Thomas were in the original lineup. Despite the vocalists, the group's biggest hits were instrumentals. They were signed to Philadelphia International and worked with Leon Huff on the funk and disco gem "Do...
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I Likes to Do It, The People's Choice
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