The songwriting and innovation barometer may not be as high on this LP as it is on early-'70s discs by Sly & the Family Stone, Parliament-Funkadelic, Miles Davis, and Santana — all of whom Magnum bear slight to strong resemblance to, at one point or another. Yet it's a pretty solid effort, and a reminder of a brief time when black music effectively synthesized R&B with numerous progressive trends while remaining both optimistic and street-smart. The collision of influences makes itself known right from the opening "Evolution," with its celebratory/revolutionary lyrics, solid funk groove, James Brown-like horns, bongos, distorted hard rock guitar riffs, and intricate sailing background harmonies. The dragging beats and druggy ambience of "Your Mind" should recall Sly Stone's There's a Riot Goin' On period to many listeners. The wacky hallucinogenic sex sentiments of "Natural Juices" wouldn't sound too out of place in George Clinton's world, with its spaced-out narration: "some people get off on a needle...then there is a thumb and blanket. But the ultimate pacifier is a warm, wet nipple." "Witch Doctor's Brew" and the more impressive, ten-minute "Composition Seven," by contrast, make much use of Miles Davis-ish jazz-rock fusion keyboards in their groove-oriented, jammy passages, the latter tune boosted by an irresistible Latin beat. The album was entirely overlooked in comparison to the more famous artists mining the same grooves, both when it was made and when such sounds have come back into fashion. And it absolutely demands a hearing by anyone who digs these sorts of combinations, even if the group were not as original as the giants of the genre.
Years Active: '70s
The early '70s saw the brief flowering of a movement whereby soul, funk, rock, psychedelia, and even some jazz and Latin music combined into a new subgenre. That subgenre has never really been named, but you can hear these admixtures in the music of the period by Sly & the Family Stone and Funkadelic, and to a lesser extent in records by Miles Davis, James Brown, War, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and others. These sounds have always been well-respected, but many have been curious as to whether there were... Full bio