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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Captain Sky - Concerned Party No. 1

Name: Captain Sky
Album: Concerend Party Number One
Year: 1980
Style: Disco Soul/Funk
Similar Bands: Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Skyy
"One Word" Review: Rollerdisco Space-Funk Adventure
Based Out Of: Chicago, IL
Label: TEC Records

Concerned Party No. 1 - Cover & Back

Concerned Party No. 1 - Inner Gatefold
Concerned Party No. 1 - Record

Concerned Party No. 1 (1980)
  1. Elementary School of Funk 4:28
  2. Bubble Gum (I Chewz You) 4:08
  3. Sir Jam A Lot 4:41
  4. Trace of Love 4:20 /
  5. Concerned Party Number One 4:08
  6. Tootsie Rock 3:30
  7. Non Stop (To The Sky) 4:57
  8. Let Me Come Inside 3:33
Album Rating (1-10): 6.0

Members & Other Bands:
Daryl "Capt Sky" Cameron - Vox, Written, Produced, Mixes, Percussion
Don "Dee Bee" Burnside - Co-Produced, Arrangement, Keys
Mike Wilson - Mixes
Ed "Ghost" Gosa - Drums, Writing
Pete "Andre" Thompson - Bass
Reggie "Professor" Boyd - Bass, Guitars
Herb "Slick" Walker - Guitars
Don "Wizzo" Loizzo - Keys
John E King - Moog
OJ Garner - Percussion
Bobby "BeBop" Ritchie - Percussion
Bill McFarland - "Chicago Fire" Horns
Murray Watson - "Chicago Fire" Horns
Rodney Clark - "Chicago Fire" Horns (Contractor)
Paul Howard - "Chicago Fire" Horns
Henri Ford - "Chicago Fire" Horns
Stephen Barry - "Chicago Fire" Horns
Ken Brass - "Chicago Fire" Horns
Edwin Williams - "Chicago Fire" Horns
Steele Seals - "Chicago Fire" Horns
Sol Bobrov - Violins (Contractor)
Everette Zlatoff Mirsky - Violins
Elliot Golub - Violins
Arnie Roth - Violins
Adreinne Golla - Violins
Peter LaBela - Violins
Glen Goldsher - Violins
Marlau Johnston - Violins
Phyliss McKenny - Violins
John Frigo - Violins
Ed Green - Violins
Ed Bauer - Violins
Marty Abrams - Violas
Roger Moulton - Violas
David Hildner - Violas
Harold Kupper - Violas
Elain Mack - Cello
Barbara Hassner - Cello
Ethek Merker - French Horn
Paul Navarro - French Horn
Charles Blackman - "Heaven and Sky" Backing Vox
James Dukes - "Heaven and Sky" Backing Vox
Dwight Dukes - "Heaven and Sky" Backing Vox
Keith Stewart - "Heaven and Sky" Backing Vox
Bill Rascati - Studio Tracks & Horns
Larry Millas - Studio Vocals
Doug Fearn - Mixing Engineer
Dany Leake - Studio Stings & Horns
Scott Weiner - Photography
Herman Weintraub - Cover Design
Ron E. - Interior Artwork

Unknown-ness: I bought this album for a friend, because she likes disco, and this album, without hearing it, screams “fun disco.” I mean, just look at the bubble gum iconic cartoon imagery inside the cover. It has all the sugar coated possibility of fun, smooth and catchy disco music, obvious from the cover wardrobe. Well, my friend moved, and could not take all her music with her, so she regifted this album back. Whether she listened to it, or didn’t have the time to, I don’t know, but what I do know, is that I really don’t know what this album will precisely sound like. I imagine stupidly punny lyrics like the Bubble Gum I Chewz You line, but there is a delightful charm that accompanies this ridiculous created image.

Album Review: “Elementary School of Funk” starts off with a space sonic blast. Horns, and a funky bass line, with effects that are fitting for laser fire in a Sci-Fi B-Movie. The vocals are very lazy compared to the energy of the song; they glide over the hyper music smoothly and soulfully. There is a male and female chorus in the background to give the driving chanting. Cool, deep bass synth effects keep the song going, as I could picture the solo dance off on a disco floor would take place at this point of the song. The song comes back for a short segment and quickly fades out.
“Bubble Gum (I Chewz You)” vibrating synth bass is the driving force in the beginning of the song, coupled with a simple kick drum. Laser shot sounds are again used. The vocals have a quicker pace, but are still laid back and smooth. There is a swirling strings section that quickly comes and goes. The song has a bit of a Sugar Hill gang vocal rhythm to it. The chorus is very fun, wobbly and just off a bit to make it an on-your toes angular rhythm. A slap-bass is brought to the front which adds quite a bit of thick, real funk (not synth disco funk). And that is where the song comes to a quick halt
“Sir Jam A Lot” features a basic drum intro and a very deep vocal repeating “Jam, let’s jam.” The main vocals maintain the smoothness, but are not quite as relaxed as before. They are a bit more rushed, as the synth bass and dancy drum beat demand a much more jamming disco song, per the namesake of the song. It is a coincidence that I’ve been listening to Ween, sure, but the synth sound reminds me a lot of what they do: specifically, the similar sound in their song “I Got to Put the Hammer Down.” They are also the same general melody. This hook could really get you going out on a dance floor, but it is a bit too repetitive to listen to on the record, and it lacks the diversity in production that the other songs had before it.
“Trace of Love” is the R&B ballad. The synth notes are held onto as they throb and swirl along side the strings and horns, making a soulful lofty love song. An angelic male choir backs him up with rhythmic ahhs and oohs.

“Concerned Party Number One” continues with the laser effects and funky bass line. The choir of backing voices is very cartoonish in this song. The verse is sung somewhat fast, while the chorus is a little dark in its melody, and it is slowed down just a bit. The chorus is very fun and catchy. After the lyrics end, the guitars continue with the melody as if the vocals are just edited out. It then loops back into another section of verse before it ends with more repetition of the chorus, which transitions to a fade out where the backing vocals finally get their own section.
“Tootsie Rock” is more straightforward funky. The jangly guitar is the essential part to the hook. The vocal hook for the chorus sounds a little forced, and doesn’t feel like it comes naturally. The verse and bridge vocals do have a nice unexpected off-beat rhythm about them. Many elements all come together in the chorus, a belligerent horn, the lead and backing vocals as well as the still funky bass. Just as the backing vocals get their moment in a breakdown, the song ends.
“Non Stop (To The Sky)” is perhaps the most comical and embarrassing of the songs. As it begins a deep set of vocals usher the listener as if he/she is aboard Captain Sky’s airplane service. It has a standard fun disco echo/repeating construction of the guitars, synth effects and looping bass line. Also, there is definitely a cow bell. Around three minutes the song features an instrumental breakdown, lead by the bass/drums for two measures and other instruments are added in. Eventually, repetition is used for the catch phrase of the song. The deep vocals return instructing the listener of their trip with Captain Sky, this time, he is right there singing over top. This does not last long. As the song quickly fades out.
“Let Me Come Inside” is the second slow-song ballad. It sounds like an easy listening sexual mood creating R&B love song. These disco love songs are quite a different animal all together than the dance hits of the rest of the album. The sentimental nature of the vocals feels true, if it weren’t for the rest of the album’s silliness, it might be genuine. The main hook in the chorus is a very familiar descending scale. And just like that, the song fades out to end the album.

Stand Out Track: Bubble Gum (I Chewz You)

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