70s Funk Revival

The other day I heard a song on the radio, and I thought that the DJ had pulled out some old song from the 1970s which I’d never heard before. It was pure funk, and I wondered how I’d missed it back then. Most people equate the 70s with disco, but it was also the decade of funk, and those were my high school years.

Flash Light by Parliament was, and still is, one of my all-time favorites in the funk genre. Released in 1978, it remains one of the best dance songs.

Funky Nassau by The Beginning of the End was another 70s funk song, released in 1971. Funky Nassau didn’t grab me the way Flashlight did, but I’ll give it an A++ for memorable lyrics. Teenage ears hear a very different set of words than what the band is singing, which brings me to the song that I heard the other day.

As it turns out, the song is brand new, and shades of Funky Nassau, the phrase that pays is “uptown funk you up.” I’ve heard the song three times now, and it has that same “memorable lyrics” phenomenon, which means it’s guaranteed to be a smash hit.

Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars just hit the streets in November 2014, and they totally pegged the 1970s funk vibe. Listed as funk-disco-boogie, it’s one of the coolest new songs I’ve heard in ages, because it could be the beginning of a 70s disco-funk revival.

Now THAT is something I’d love to see! Disco never died for me, nor did funk, so I’ve about worn out the funky songs on my iPod from that era:

Will It Go Round In Circles — Billy Preston
Outa-Space — Billy Preston
Superfly — Curtis Mayfield
Right Place Wrong Time — Dr. John
War — Edwin Starr
Get Off — Foxy
Flash Light — Parliament
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) — Sly and the Family Stone

So what’s YOUR favorite funk song of all time? And are you as excited as I am that Bruno Mars might have just triggered a comeback of 70s-style funk music with Uptown Funk?

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