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Bumblebee Unlimited

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Bumblebee Unlimited was a studio-based disco unit helmed by Patrick Adams and Gregory Carmichael. Much like the other groups/artists featuring the handiwork of Adams and/or Carmichael (Cloud One, Universal Robot Band, Inner Life, etc.), Bumblebee Unlimited acted as a bridge between disco and house, stylistically (and sometimes chronologically) forming a wedge between those two forms and thus a precursor to house. Aside from the undeniable ties to a pair of behind-the-scenes disco legends, Bumblebee Unlimited was probably most known on the dancefloor for their 1976 Red Greg (Carmichael's label) single "Love Bug," an ecstatic mid-tempoed number with vocals sped to a high pitch and swells of strings that mimicked "Flight of the Bumblebee." The vocal trick was used to more extreme effect for 1978's "Lady Bug" single, which took the high-pitched vocals to an almost Chipmunk-like level, though the vocals sounded as if they were coming from bees, not chipmunks (giveaway line: "May I have a nectar and tonic?"). RCA issued BU's only LP, Sting Like a Bee, in 1979, which included both "Lady Bug" and "Love Bug." Amongst the contributors to the album were longtime Adams/Carmichael associates Leroy Burgess (vocals), Norbert Sloley (bass), and Richard Taninbaum (drums). (Unidisc reissued the album on CD several years later.) BU also recorded for Salsoul later on, including the 1981 single "The Bumblebee Rap." ~ Andy Kellman

Years Active:

'70s, '80s