Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Various Artists
As We Travel


Released 2002 on Harmless
Reviewed by Joe Kenney, 15/12/2003ce


Make Music was the first volume in Harmless's Folk Funk Flavours series, and even though it was a great CD, I think As We Travel is even better. Starting off with Shuggie Otis's "Strawberry Letter 23" and finishing with the Meters's melancholy (but wah-wah guitar-employing) remake of Neil Yong's "Birds," the CD is one of the best I've ever come across. Like Make Music, As We Travel showcases forgotten music from the early '70s that melded hippie freedoms with soul and funk.

Lynn Christopher provides one of the many highlights, with a catchy, funky number called "Take Me With You," (which features guitar and bass work by then-unknowns Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons); the Isley Brothers outdo the original with their remake of "Love the one you're with;" Sinto goes for some early Santana-like rock (but with heavier guitar) on "Right On Brother;" Terry Callier melds orchestral touches with a soul groove on "You're gonna miss your candyman" (I think Massive Attack sampled some of this track for their song "Angel"); and American Gypsy mix up lounge, acid rock, and funk on the great track "Gold Ring." But these are just the songs that stand out for me; all of them are excellent.

This is the type of CD you'll find yourself playing all of the time, no matter what your mood. A wonderful discovery, and part of a great series I hope Harmless continues to release.


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