Category Archives: TFIF

Thank Funk It’s Friday – 2010.09.10

Ba de ya de ya de ya – Thank Funk It’s Earth Wind & Fire Day!

Earth Wind & Fire released ‘September’ at the end of 1978 and it became one of their biggest singles in both the US and the UK.

The band formed in 1969 and released their first album two years later with an astonishing ten man lineup. Throughout the 70s the band became more popular with each new album and successful single. Their first Number 1 was ‘Shining Star’ in 1975 but it wasn’t until the release of ‘September’ that the UK finally took notice. It was the first of their three biggest singles and those songs comprise this week’s EWF-filled TFIF mix.

01. September
02. Boogie Wonderland
03. Let’s Groove

Do you remember dancing in September when there never was a cloudy day?..


Thank Funk It’s Friday – 2010.09.03

It’s been a long week, so here is a short mix…

01. Stroke ’75 – Tower Of Power
02. Das Stundenhotel Von St. Pauli – Erwin Halletz
03. Burn Biscuits – Triumphs

Thank Funk It’s Friday – 2010.08.27


Sampling in music refers to the use (either legally or illegally) of another artist’s work to create or enhance a new recording. Although, it was first experimented with in the early 1960s, the practice did not reach the mainstream until twenty years later during the birth of Hip-Hop.

Since the pioneering work of Grandmaster Flash, sampling has been used in the studio to extract drum breaks, borrow bass lines and lift orchestral strings. Whether a sample includes a couple of notes or lasts up to 16 bars, it has been the cornerstone of Hip-Hop and House music for the last 25 years.

This week’s TFIF mix gives a nod to the art of sampling with three tracks that would not exist without a bit of crate digging.

First up is the song ‘Swan Lake’ by Blackalicious, which features a lot of the instrumentation from O’Donel Levy’s classic tune ‘People Make The World Go Round’. The song had been recorded earlier but it’s the Jazz guitarist’s funky version from the 1973 album ‘Dawn Of A New Day’ that forms the foundation of ‘Swan Lake’.

Next is ‘Root Down’ by the Beastie Boys who have, over the years, probably sampled more songs than anyone else in Hip-Hop. The song can be found on their 1994 LP ‘Ill Communication’ and uses the original ‘Root Down’ by Jimmy Smith as the basis for all of the instrumentation. In fact, I read once that during the making of ‘Ill Communication’ the Jimmy Smith album was always on the turntable in the studio. The three boys really loved the title track but couldn’t figure out how to use it in a song. That is, until someone suggested using the actual song itself and just rapping over it.

The third song in this week’s mix is ‘Devil’s Pie’ by D’Angelo, which features the bass line from a Teddy Pendergrass ballad called ‘And If I Had’. The track comes from the former Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes singer’s 1977 debut album ‘Teddy Pendergrass’.

Thank Funk It’s Friday – 2010.08.20

This week’s mix is an ode to the Roller Disco on

The track listing is:

01. Good Times – Chic
02. Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll – Vaughan Mason & Crew
03. A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays’ – De La Soul

‘Good Times’ was released in August 1979 during the height of the Disco craze. The song climbed to Number 1 in the charts, was the musical basis for dozens of songs and went on to become one of the most sampled tunes in the history of music.

Throughout the second-half of 1979, Chic played several Hip-Hop events with Blondie and ‘Good Times’ proved to be a favourite among the young breakdancers who attended. At the end of the year, front-man Nile Rodgers was in a New York club when he heard the DJ play a song that had ‘stolen’ the bass line from ‘Good Times’. The thieves were identified as The Sugarhill Gang and the song turned out to be ‘Rappers Delight’. Although legal action was initially threatened, The Sugarhill Gang offered to credit Rodgers and Bernard Edwards as co-writers on ‘Rappers Delight’. They agreed. Hip-Hop had its first commercial song and it hit the big-time with the opening phrase:

I said a hip hop, the hippie, the hippie to the hip-hip-hop, a-you dont stop
The rock it to the bang-bang-boogie, say up jumped the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat

Thank Funk It’s Friday – 2010.08.13

Following a brief hiatus, ‘Thank Funk It’s Friday’ is back and funkier than ever. After a couple of months of selecting just one tune a week to get the funk out, I started thinking, ‘Why choose one tune when you can select, I don’t know, three?’ So, here you have it – the very first, three-song ‘TFIF’ mix ever.

As the immortal James Brown said, ‘Let’s take it to the bridge!

On the one!

Charles Wright and the 103rd Street Rhythm Band got their big break in 1966 when Bill Cosby hired them to be his backing band. Their work with him led to a record deal with Warner Brothers and during the late 1960s and early 1970s they became a major force on the Funk scene. Their biggest hit, ‘Express Yourself’ was released in 1970 and had been sampled to death by numerous Hip-Hop artists including, NWA and Public Enemy.


Memphis Black is an obscure artist to say the least and is, amusingly, neither from Memphis or black. He is, in fact, a pianist from Germany, known to his family and friends as Ingried Hoffman who spent years playing in a Jazz quartet before placing his hands on a Hammond organ. It’s a good thing he did because in 1967 he released the chunky, wailing, groovy track ‘Why Don’t You Play The Organ Man’ and secured his place among the must-have pieces of wax for obscure-loving, crate-digging DJs and music lovers forever.


Sharon Jones met the Soul Providers in the mid-1990s during a recording session and liked her so much they asked her to sing on a couple of tracks. Several years passed and their label, Desco, mutated into what is now considered Brooklyn’s finest – Daptone. They also changed their name to the Dap-Kings and today they are at the forefront of the revitalisation of Funk’s hey-day in the late 1960s. The band have recorded three albums (to date) with Jones and also played back-up to Amy Winehouse on ‘Back In Black’. Their love and passion for the essence of Funk and Soul music is so strong that they use mid-1970s instruments and record on analogue equipment. The result? A tune like ‘How Long Am I Going To Have To Wait For You’, which features on their 2002 release ‘Dap Dippin’ With Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings’.

If you like any of these tracks, you can download them individually from:

Have a great weekend and keep on funkin’…