Otis Waygood Band

A review of the three known European 45's from 1977
by Bas Möllenkramer, Soest, the Netherlands

DECCA 6103 108 stereo

Picture sleeve was advertised in press release but hasn't been seen for real
Features photo showing group members of various races

Netherlands, 1977
produced by Tab Martin (see footnote)

Side A: Get It Started (Doctors/Jameson) Goal Music Ltd.

Side B: Red Hot Passion (Jameson/Dadomo) Goal Music Ltd.

DECCA 6103 111 stereo

Picture Sleeve featuring art drawing of girl's face

Netherlands, 1977
produced by Tony Colton
engineered by Mike Broback

Side A: Who's Your Friend (P.King) Palace Music Ltd.

Side B: I'm Still Thinking (P.King) Palace Music Ltd.

DECCA F13744 stereo (Promo)

No picture sleeve known

England, 1977
produced by Tony Colton
engineered by Mike Broback

Side A: Sweet Soul Synchopation (Colton, Smith) Jarmarnie Music

Side B: Who's Your Friend (King) Palace Music

The songs:

Rather than review each of the five songs individually it's easier to lump them together and discuss them all in one go. Below is a list of the songs with a few random reviewers comments. Before launching into an appraisal of these five songs I should first explain that I have nothing particular against disco music. Just to test my resolve I just put on the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack and discovered that I can listen to many many Bee Gees disco songs in succession without vomiting or my toes curling with embarrasment.

For some reason the Otis Waygood Band traveled to Europe and from the evidence of these songs must have decided to drop the word "blues" from their name and become a disco band. They listened carefully to the Commodores, the Bee Gees and K.C and the Sunshine Band, and then made five of the worst disco sides anywhere on the planet.

These songs are truly awful. They have no imagination, no love and no soul. They don't go anywhere. There are no pleasant surprises and it's even difficult to dance to them. The lyrics are dreadfully embarrasing and I can imagine the look on the singer's face through the glass in the studio singing lines like "Can't get no reaction, need some satisfaction".

By now you will probably have guessed that I have been a fan of the Otis Waygood BLUES Band, all the way back to the first "black" album and the "Fever" 45 that accompanied it. At that time the band was perfect. They played their instruments with superb poise and grace. They had a consummate ability to play slow songs while gripping the listener. I speak as an amateur musician when I tell you this is a very difficult trick to pull off.

Their repertoire of the very early seventies was inspired by records from groups like the Free, the Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull and Ten Years After. In the best possible sense of the word their music was genuinely "groovy", meaning that the listener is locked into the groove or trance-like state of the music.

These five European songs are a very sad footnote to the demise of a talented blues band. Lovers and collectors of good music are warned to stay away from this dross. Unless you are keen to collect the worst.

(sorry had to be honest…..)

A few notes:

Get It Started: Fast disco, funky piano like the Commodores, lines such as "Come on and get it started" and "Can't get no reaction, need some satisfaction". Sax and harmonica play instrumental break together. Violins.

Red Hot Passion: Slow beat, funky piano, some guitar. "Never go out of fashion, red hot passion" and "Always get the right reaction". Brass augmented. Weird synth break sounding like an elephant farting. Slow fade at end. Bass does famous up/down octaves like ALL disco records.

Who's Your Friend: Fast disco, more Commodores style funky piano. Big brass opening. Very hurried record. Ridiculous single drum hit breaks. Melody goes nowhere. Guitar solo sounds speeded up. Grindingly bad

I'm Still Thinking: Medium disco. Violins. Brass. Three part harmonies. Sung without conviction. Cliché after cliché. Probably session musicians. Supersweet vomiting violin ending.

Sweet Soul Synchopation (sic): Fast disco, big brass intro. "Listen to the sweet soul music playing in the park" and "I can hear the brass band playing". Complicated guitar, brass and bass patterns in the breaks. Hard working band trying desparately to swing and failing completely.

Final footnote: producer Tab Martin was the driving, swinging bass player of the Peddlers, a pop-jazz vocal and instrumental group from England, who had major hits with songs like Tell The World We're Not In, Birth and Girlie.

Bas Möllenkramer, 2000

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