Monday, 9 April 2018

Archie Bell & The Drells ‎“Tighten Up"1968 US Soul Funk (Best 100 -70’s Soul Funk Albums Groove Collector)


Archie Bell & The Drells ‎“Tighten Up"1968 US Soul Funk  (Best 100 -70’s Soul Funk Albums Groove Collector)
full spotify
https://open.spotify.com/album/5zsOpnZyZidaZo5KXL0xzr


Archie Bell was still on a tour of duty in Vietnam when "Tighten Up,” the B-side of a single he had recorded called “Dog Eat Dog,” broke out and hit the top of the charts in 1968. Infectious and utterly danceable, “Tighten Up” became Bell’s claim to fame, even though he and the Drells had other hits, including “I Can’t Stop Dancing” and “(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown” after they began working with Philly soul producers and writers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. All of these are included in this succinct introduction to Archie Bell & the Drells (as well as the fine “A World Without Music”), and for listeners looking for a set with just the hits, this one fills the bill with no frills and no fuss….by Steve Leggett….~


Archie Bell & the Drells were one of the main acts on Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records. The hit song “Tighten Up” reached #1 on both the Billboard R&B and Pop charts in the spring of 1968. It is one of the earliest Funk hits in music history. Essential Soul album…~


Archie Bell & the Drells scored a left-field number one hit in 1968 with “Tighten Up,” which epitomized the virtues of their music: funky, exuberant, danceable soul out for a rousing good time. Born in Henderson, TX, Bell grew up in Houston and began singing in church. In junior high, he joined a vocal group called Little Pop & the Fireballs, and formed the Drells in high school with friends James Wise, Huey “Billy” Butler, and Joe Cross (later replaced by Willie Pernell). The Drells won several local talent shows, performing a repertoire dominated by Chicago soul, and were discovered by local DJ Skipper Lee Frazier, who became their manager and producer. Bell & the Drells cut a single for Frazier’s Ovid label, “She’s My Woman,” which became a regional hit in 1966. 

Unfortunately, Bell was drafted in 1967. Before he was shipped overseas, he managed to record a few more tracks with the Drells, including the single “Dog Eat Dog.” The B-side was a dance tune called “Tighten Up,” the title of which came from Butler; backing the Drells was an instrumental R&B combo from Texas Southern University called the T.S.U. Toronados. Frazier was talked into playing “Tighten Up” on his radio show, and it became a smash hit in Houston, drawing the attention of Atlantic. With major-label distribution, “Tighten Up” took the country by storm in early 1968, hitting number one on both the pop and R&B charts. Bell learned of the song’s success while recovering from wounds suffered in Vietnam, and with Atlantic requesting a full album, he began traveling to and from the States on leave. Meanwhile, several promoters took advantage of Bell’s absence to send fake Archie Bell & the Drells lineups out on the road. The real Bell was granted leave to tour with the Drells that summer, and after a show in New Jersey, the group was approached by a fledgling Philadelphia-based songwriting/production team, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Bell & the Drells started recording heavily with the duo, a partnership that produced several more danceable R&B hits in “I Can’t Stop Dancing,” “Do the Choo-Choo,” and “(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown” (the former two in 1968, the latter in 1969). Also in 1969, Butler left the group and was replaced by Lee Bell, Archie’s brother, who became the Drells’ choreographer. 

In spite of the fact that Bell received his discharge from the Armed Forces and was finally free to pursue his career, “(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown” proved to be the last Top 40 pop hit he ever had. Bell & the Drells left Atlantic in 1970 and signed with the smaller Glades label, where they had a minor hit with “Dancing to Your Music.” Overall, though, the Glades stint was disappointing, and in 1973 the group reunited with Gamble and Huff on their flourishing TSOP/Philadelphia International imprint. Working with producers like Bunny Sigler and McFadden & Whitehead, Bell & the Drells landed on the R&B charts with some regularity over the next few years, their still-danceable sound now a hybrid of lush Philly soul and disco. They had several substantial R&B hits from 1975-1976 with “I Could Dance All Night,” “Soul City Walk,” and “Let’s Groove,” all of which helped Dance Your Troubles Away become a Top Ten album on the R&B charts. Three follow-up albums through 1979 didn’t prove quite as successful, however, and the Drells gave their last performance just before Christmas 1979. Bell subsequently cut a solo album, I Never Had It So Good, for Becket in 1981, and had a minor hit with “Anytime Is Right,” but disappeared from the scene afterward. With a new set of Drells, Bell later became a staple of the East Coast’s oldies-centered beach-music circuit. ~ Steve Huey…~

Houston music in the sixties wasn’t all psychedelia; there was a thriving soul and R&B scene too. One of the city’s prime movers was Skipper Lee Frazier, a DJ on the black-owned soul station KCOH. Frazier also managed bands, including R&B dance band the TSU Tornadoes and vocal group Archie Bell and the Drells. In 1968 Frazier got the Tornadoes to record one of their biggest songs, an ebullient two-chord instrumental with a phenomenally catchy guitar riff, then brought the Drells front man into the studio to add words. “I can’t remember how many times we tried it, over and over again—maybe twenty-five or thirty takes—before Archie said ‘tighten up’ to everything,” Frazier wrote in his autobiography. 

As Bell says in the song, the “tighten up” is a dance he and his pals started. But where Bell actually got the words is open to conjecture. Frazier claimed he wrote them. The Tornadoes’ drummer said they came from the trumpeter. And according to Bell, he wrote them himself: “Billy Butler, one of the guys in the [Drells], was dancing in the house one day, and I asked him what he was doing and he said he was doing the tighten up. I said, ‘I’m gonna write a song for that.’ ” Regardless of who wrote the words, it’s clear that the Tornadoes wrote the music. Yet when the 45 came out, it had only two composers listed: Bell and Butler. 

“Tighten Up” eventually went to number one on Billboard’s Hot 100, taking Bell with it. Meanwhile, the Tornadoes soldiered on, bitter but wiser, until 1971, when they disbanded. …by….ARCHIE BELL AND THE DRELLS….~


Tracklist
A1 Tighten Up (Part 1) 3:10 
A2 Tighten Up (Part 2) 2:52 
A3 I Don’t Wanna Be A Playboy 3:00 
A4 You’re Mine 2:46 
A5 Knock On Wood 2:30 
B1 Give Me Time 2:29 
B2 In The Midnight Hour 2:27 
B3 When You Left Heartache Began 2:36 
B4 A Thousand Wonders 2:08 
B5 A Soldier’s Prayer, 1967 2:54 

johnkatsmc5,the experience of music..

volume

volume

Fuzz

Fuzz

Analogue

Analogue

Cassette Deck

Cassette Deck

Akai

Akai

vinyl

vinyl

Music

Music

sound

sound

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Vinyl

Vinyl

music forever

music forever

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

Dance

Dance

Crazy with music

Crazy with music

RCA Victor - Living Stereo 1958

RCA Victor - Living Stereo 1958

I Love Rock n` Roll

I Love Rock n` Roll

Music

Music

Plays vinyl

Plays vinyl

vinyl

vinyl