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40th Anniversary (Live)

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Album Review

A quintessential funk band of the 1970s, Tower of Power was one of the strongest horn-centric large-ensemble groove factories around. The band never really burned out, touring and making new records into the decades that followed, shuffling players as it went. 40th Anniversary serves as testament to the band still going strong, if in an evolved form from where it began. Crowd favorites like "What Is Hip" and "This Time It's Real" highlight Tower of Power's signature horn-laden breezy soul sound. This is very much a live album, with plenty of extraneous crowd-baiting and banter sprinkled over the otherwise solid performances. 40th Anniversary is probably better enjoyed with the visual component of the accompanying DVD, which documents the same performance as the CD.

Customer Reviews

Bringin' it!

1972 was my first time seeing TOP and haven't stopped loving them since! This live version features some remodeling to ( a few of) their originals that are fresh and powerful but still hold that TOP signature that we all crave. (Saw some of this presented in Phoenix in 2010. Wow.) LB's voice is awesome, but it HAS to be to stay up with this band. You will not be disappointed purchasing this anniversary special. Brings back wondrous memories at the same time many of these tunes feel oh-so-fresh now. Nice job gentlemen. One last note. I've played drums since 1957, and still, no one can bring that tight funk like David Garibaldi. I am humbled, and continually inspired. Mr. Castillo, thank you, thank you for your driving effort nurturing this timeless band. I am proud of TOP and proud to be a fan. Keep on keepin' on.

The best horn section in popular music history

Is there even a close second? And, while we're at it, TOP's rhythm section of bassist Rocco Prestia and drummer David Garibaldi isn't too shabby either. A recording will never completely capture the power of a TOP live show, but this is as close as you'll ever get.

I only docked this one star because of a minor quibble with the song selection. I would have preferred tunes such as "Can't Stand To See The Slaughter" and "It's Not The Crime" be left off so that classics like "Don't Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream)" and "So Very Hard To Go" could have been included.

It was also great to see so many TOP alumni such as Greg Adams, Richard Elliot, Mic Gillette and Chester Thompson invited to join the band. A very nice touch that added a lot to the performance.

Soul with a Capital 'S'!

The concert celebrating 40 years of this fabulous Oakland soul band was one for the ages. Joined by a who's-who list of ex-TOP players -- notably Greg Adams, Skip Mesquite, Bill Churchville, and Ellis Hall, to name a few -- the band cooked up an amazing soul stew. The album features an array of hits played with joy, love, funk and a unity that is quintessential Tower Of Power. This concert, possibly the best the band has ever recorded, is simply one not to miss.


Formed: 1967 in Oakland, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The renowned horn-driven funk outfit Tower of Power have been issuing albums and touring the world steadily since the early '70s, in addition to backing up countless other musicians. The group's leader since the beginning has always been tenor saxophonist Emilio Castillo, who was born in Detroit but opted to pursue his musical dreams in Oakland, California. It was in Oakland that Castillo put together a group called the Motowns, which, as their name suggested, specialized in '60s-era soul. In 1967,...
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40th Anniversary (Live), Tower Of Power
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