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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Jimmy Castor Bunch “It’s Just Begun” 1972 US Soul Funk


Jimmy Castor Bunch  “It’s Just Begun” 1972 US killer..! Soul Funk...classic
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https://open.spotify.com/album/1Zcz8zvX1SbUh7S99ezRgq


Wickedly fuzzy funk! Jimmy Castor recorded in a lot of different styles during the 70s – but the one he used on this album is still his best! The record's a non-stop guitar-heavy batch of classic funk tracks – and it features the storming break track "It's Just Begun", the funky goofy "Troglodyte", and plenty other nice moments like "Bad", "LTD", "I Promise To Remember", and "Psychee". Fuzzy guitar meets heavy drums meets some of the most insane lyrics ever on a mainstream funk album! One of our most requested records – and for good reason! If you've ever bought a lousy Jimmy Castor album – throw it away, and buy this one! ....dusty groove....~ 


A belter! 
Just got this on vinyl and it's a belter! I had to go to the States to get it though. I had know the track It's Just Begun for years through it's extensive sampling by other artists (Whosampled lists 86 samples of it with my particular fav being by Ultramagnetic MCs) but I was actually reminded of it through a TV advert and had to get it on vinyl for it's great cover art. I found it on a recent trip to New York and snapped it up. The album has a convoluted explanation of the complex painting on the cover which is the first cool thing about it. 

Jimmy Castor was know for a mix of deep social messages and light comedy funk, a side which took over after the success of the track Troglodyte (Cave Man). However this LP is more focused on dark political songs with Troglodyte (Cave Man) standing out as a moment of light. This track is actually still quite funny as it is so joyous with such a mammoth (forgive the pun) groove. 

The album starts with a string overture before kicking off with the unmistakable horn riff of It's Just Begun. Castor has a pretty unique sound, as funky as James Brown but with an unmistakable rock and roll attitude. Most of the tracks have lashings of Harry Jensen's Hendrix inspired acid fuzz guitar. Combined with a bass heavy mix this really rocks, almost like early Funkadelic. 

Castor balances the darkness of You Better Be Good (Or The Devil Gon' Getcha) with some more traditional doo wop on I Promise To Remember and the whole thing hangs together well as an album, something relatively rare for funk acts who tended to be more single orientated. He follows after Kool & The Gang and James Brown by thriftily reusing several bass grooves throughout the album but as they are so infectious and the songs varied it works fine and helps tie it together. 

A really slept on album in my opinion, not as far as sampling or hardcore funk fans but this should really be in the list of best ever funk and soul LPs than it is. It may not be as smooth as Super Fly or as deep as What's Going On but as a pure funk experience it is brilliant. ....Fred @ WTC Productions.....~


Superb album with a totally unique sound, which is best described as "jungle funk", a mix of rnb, hard rock and Hendrix influences. It is made at the same time as Funkadelic was struggling with similar things, but Castor put it high in the charts already in 1972. 
The album includes the big hit "Troglodyte", which is an improvised joke track they made in the studio which became so good that it was included on the record - a lucky move. The classic "It's just begun" is the best track on the album, which seems not to have been a single back then but which now one of funk's evergreens, popular among breakdancers and often sampled. 
But there is much more here. "Psyche" and "LTD" are also first rate. "You better be good" is very good too although the lyrics feel a bit unusual; it is a "positive lifestyle" songs, a rare breed in a market where pessimism seem to sell better. "Bad" is even more remarkable, mixing the same "positive lifestyle" with ironic comments about the double meaning of the word. 
Castor's childhood hit "I promise to remember" is on the tame side, but a funky guitar helps it and makes it a fresh remake of the old hit. The only track of no interest to me is "My brightest day". 
A landmark, no less! An album that would have fiven Castor a place in Rock&Roll Hall Of Fame given the slightest backing from the record company....by....Ingemar F....~

This 1972 outing set the tone for the Jimmy Castor Bunch’s 1970s success through an effective and distinctive mix of funk, pop hooks, social commentary, and gonzo comedy. It’s Just Begun also helped the group score a million-selling crossover hit single with “Troglodyte.” This memorably whacked-out funk jam is built on an infectious fuzz-guitar hook and features Castor detailing the romantic adventures of a caveman who meets up with Bertha Butt, a comic character that would continue to appear on his albums for many years to come. The album also included a b-boy favorite in its title track, a salsa-inflected funk excursion whose breakbeats continued to be spun by DJs well into the 1980s. Beyond these favorites, the group knocks out a relentless stream of thick, funky grooves as Jimmy Castor tackles everything from morality (“You Better Be Good (Or the Devil Gon’ Getcha)”) to philosophy (“L.T.D.,” which stands for life, truth, and death). To add variety, Castor also throws in “My Brightest Day,” a sweet, horn-accented ballad, and “I Promise to Remember,” an updated slice of doo wop that Castor originally penned for Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. The album’s all-things-to-all-people sense of ambition occasionally overwhelms the final product: for instance, “Creation,” the dissonant orchestral instrumental that bookends the album, doesn’t really have any reason to be there. Despite these quibbles, It’s Just Begun is an important and influential release from a sadly underrated group and well worth a listen for anyone interested in the roots of 1970s funk…..by allmusic….~
Wickedly fuzzy funk! Jimmy Castor recorded in a lot of different styles during the 70s, but the one he used on this album is still his best! The record’s a non-stop guitar-heavy batch of classic funk tracks and it features the storming break track “It’s Just Begun“, the funky goofy “Troglodyte“, and plenty other nice moments like “Bad“, “LTD“, “I Promise To Remember“, and “Psychee“. Fuzzy guitar meets heavy drums meets some of the most insane lyrics ever on a mainstream funk album! One of our most requested records and for good reason! If you’ve ever bought a lousy Jimmy Castor album throw it away, and buy this one!…..~
On several versions from the track “Man With the Movie Camera” / “Work It” you can hear samples chosen by PC: a vocal sample “gun…” and some sampled drum sounds. James Walter “Jimmy” Castor (January 23, 1940 – January 16, 2012) was an American pop and funk musician. He is best known as a fun disco/funk saxophonist, with his biggest hit single being 1972’s million seller, “Troglodyte (Cave Man)”.
Both are taken from this track by The Jimmy Castor Bunch. On a repress of the “Every Day” album (zen CD59B) this sample has been deleted. The sample was still used at live concerts. About this, J. Swinscoe told in 2013 at the Red Bull Music Academy: “Some samples got through the net, but then there was a show we did – it was probably about five or six years ago in New York. A journalist from the New York Times came down and was just sample-spotting throughout the show. His review was going, “Oh, this one’s from Jimmy Castor …” Basically, that newspaper went onto the desk of some publishing house in New York and they were just like, “Oh, look at that. We’re going to just slam this band for it.” Because of that journalist, we got slammed for a Jimmy Castor sample and they pushed it really hard. Everything had to get cleared, because what goes around comes around really.” …~

This was probably one of my 10-20 favorite records of all-time when I was 18/19, an absolute funk monster with some heavy psychedelic stylings. Funkadelic is probably the closest contemporary, but there's something that's even grimier about the sound Castor found on this record. Nothing I've ever heard makes the hairs on the back of neck stand up and make me wanna dance quite as much as that central rhythm for the classic track "Troglodyte (Cave Man)," which earns extra points for being one of the more totally ridiculous singles of the 1970s. The title track is also a stone-cold masterpiece, the call-and-response style of the verses and horn section just irresistibly funky. Other standouts include "L.T.D.," an extended psychedelic jam, and the very Sly Stone-ish "Bad." This is highly recommended to any fan of either of the above-mentioned artists, Shuggie Otis, The Temptations, WAR, or just funk in general.....by...msnvwls ....~

I'll never forget the first time I heard the title track. It was only a few years ago, and my wife had our cable TV on the "soul channel". Yes, that's right, the cable TV music channel (Urge I think - dreadful in every other way I'm afraid). And I looked over at the TV and said "What the hell?". I just sat there mesmerized (luckily not on YouTube or no doubt it would be viral now). I've heard - what - a million songs now? How have I never heard this? We are talking a grinding bass like Jannick Top of Magma, with some fuzzy guitars thrown on top for good measure. And, as you might guess, that's not the only monster track here. Psyche and LTD are freaking amazing - especially the latter, sounding like Funkadelic dropped in on a Santana concert - with Miles Davis performing on trumpet. Of course, it's not all like this, because if it were, it would be a 5 star monsterpiece. But we go way up here. Way up.....by...ashratom ....~

Credits 
Arranged By – G. Thomas* (tracks: A1, A2, A4 to B5), J. Castor* (tracks: A2, B3, B4), The Jimmy Castor Bunch (tracks: A3, A5) 
Art Direction [Art Director] – Acy Lehman 
Backing Vocals [Assisted By] – Doug Gibson (tracks: B1, B3) 
Bass – Doug Gibson 
Congas [Conga Drums] – Lenny Fridie, Jr.* 
Guitar – Harry Jensen 
Other [Special Thanks] – Danny Lewittes* 
Producer [Produced By] – Castor-Pruitt Productions 
Saxophone, Timbales, Vocals [All] – Jimmy Castor 
Trumpet, Piano – Gerry Thomas

Tracklist 
A1 Creation (Prologue) 1:24 
A2 It's Just Begun 3:43 
A3 Troglodyte (Cave Man) 3:26 
A4 You Better Be Good (Or The Devil Gon' Getcha) 2:56 
A5 Psyche 4:25 
B1 L. T. D. (Life, Truth & Death) 7:20 
B2 My Brightest Day 4:03 
B3 Bad 3:34 
B4 I Promise To Remember 2:47 
B5 Creation (Epilogue) 1:02 

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