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Do the Funky Chicken (Stax Remasters)

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Album Review

Rufus Thomas' first album following Stax's break from the Atlantic had "Do the Funky Chicken" as its centerpiece, so the emphasis upon good-humored dance tunes was unsurprising. There were some weird moments, particularly the down-and-bestial seven-minute update of "Sixty Minute Man" (on which Rufus sounds like he's singing in tongues), a remake of "Bear Cat," and a two-part version of "Old McDonald Had a Farm." Still, the slightly goofy uptempo arrangements can get a little tiresome, and since his best hits from the period are better than the album-only tracks, almost everyone should just stick with a compilation. Some editions add seven bonus tracks from 1968-1974 singles, which are OK but not essential; Eddie Floyd's "Funky Mississippi" (from 1968) is about the best.

Biography

Born: 26 March 1917 in Cayce, MS

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Few of rock & roll's founding figures are as likable as Rufus Thomas. From the 1940s onward, he has personified Memphis music; his small but witty cameo role in Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train, a film which satirizes and enshrines the city's role in popular culture, was entirely appropriate. As a recording artist, he wasn't a major innovator, but he could always be depended upon for some good, silly, and/or outrageous fun with his soul dance tunes. He was one of the few rock or soul stars to reach his...
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