Sound Experience – Don’t Fight The Feeling from the Soulville 45
I have to give it up again to my man Devil Dick for turning me on to this band, and the guy voted most likely to choke women at his gigs, Jack the Ripper for passing this side along to me. They both know I love the fuzzed, out wah-wah Funk, and I was pretty excited to get a few sides that this overcrowded band had put out. There is a lot going on here at FMF as of late, I have a few mixes in the works, which include a second 12″ Hip Hop mix, an all Latin Mix, plus the return of the Special Request Reggae Mix Part Two. February is looking like a busy month, with some solo gigs, and a few opening up for the likes of Tiger Piss and Dub Trio here in Asbury Park. Do not forget the Asbury Lanes Record Swap on February 24th. It looks to be a good time, with more vendors, and lots of digging. Let’s pimp walk over to The Sound Experience with “Don’t Fight The Feeling” on Soulville Records.
The Sound Experience were formed at Morgan State College in Baltimore, MD in 1970. Led by lead vocalist Arthur Grant, and comprised of Johnny Groman, Reginald Wright, Gregory Holmes, Leroy Frailing, James Lindsey, Anton Scott, and Melvin Miles, The Sound Experience were an East Coast Funk collective that took their fuzzy guitars and wah-wah pedal seriously. Out of Morgan State they built up a fan base, and went under the wing of Stan Watson and his Philly Groove and Soulville labels. A shift to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia was made, and the Experience were on their way. Early sides were released, such as “40 Acres and A Mule” and “Blow Your Mind”, where they would draw comparisons eventually to Rasputin’s Stash, Black Heat, and of course Funkadelic. The Rock infused Funk can not be denied, and if you like your beats muddy and fuzzy, this is definitely the group for you. Their first full length offering under Watson and Soulville was in 1974, the exact Lp this side resides from. While not a monumental hit, the track “Devil With The Bust” reached cult status in the Funk scene and is still an often sought after record. They also released “Boogie Woogie” a year later in 1975, obviously trying to cash in on the Disco craze which was on the upswing. IMHO, the real sound of this band is in the early singles, and as they said in the day: “Disco Sucks”. I may not agree with that statement 100%, but give me some Funk like they put out any day over the polyester and hair gel infused beats Disco was spreading over dance floors and radio airwaves worldwide. Even though this band did not stick around for too long, Stan Watson continued to produce and put records. The band has been reissued several times, most notably by The Collectibles Label.
The cool thing about this 9 piece outfit was that there was a five piece horn section. Put that along side some fuzzy guitars, and hard hitting beats, and you’ve got a recipe for a muddy sound, which was perfect for the time. This upbeat side is on it’s way to the Disco era, but there is plenty of proof that these fellas out of Morgan State were fighting the feeling of normalcy, and were moving to their own funky beat. It’s always nice to pick up a piece like this, and if the opportunity strikes you, I’d say don’t let it slip away. I’ll be back midweek with some more nuggets to get you through until Friday. Keep Diggin’!
Love that clavinet in this one. And you can’t go wrong with the whistle on the dance floor either. My uncle used to tell me that those early days of Disco (74-76) at the clubs were magical. Everyone would bring their own percussion and play along with the tunes. He was the cow bell master, which made him a hit with the ladies so he claims. In some ways I’m a defender of Disco. I certainly don’t think it sucks. I think because it’s really the music of my youth that I cut the genre some slack because most of it is ingrained in my psyche and will always be. Especially being an early hip-hop fan as well, loads of Disco was sampled on those early joints. What made disco eventually suck was when EVERYONE started doing it. That’s what killed it. You know when you’ve even got The Greatful Dead doing disco that it’s pretty much over.
At any rate the name of the this band, “Sound Experience” couldn’t be more appropriate. Lots of stuff going on and I like it indeed. Per usual you’ve given me yet another tasty group to look out for whilst on the DIG. As always, thanks so much for sharing!
Peace and SOUL,
Oh yeah, props to Devil Dick as well!!!
Peace and SOUL,
dave, thanks for sharing. cow bell master? that story is priceless. with 9 members there was a lot of sound coming out of those speakers with this band. if you see “40 acres and a mule”, don’t hesitate to pick that up either. cheers-
Pres, I’d be honored and very thankful if you send over a tune for the ONE year celebration. It’s going on ALL MONTH so whenever you get the time. All the best! Send it to:
Peace and SOUL,
oh yeah man that is a FUNKY JAM!
that breakdown @ 1:41, 2:02, & 2:21 is wicked!!!!
def not a “fuzzy” as 40 acres but def way more funky!!!
gotta put this on my hit list!
Totally agree about 40 Acres,
Nice one. I have ’40 Acres’, and at least one other 45 (I can’t recall who by) on the label (great design!).
Tight stuff. Damn. Good call on that climbing bass octaves break devil dick.
These guys are on a level of skill that is up there with EWF and the Nite-Liters. Tending towards disco a bit, but still pretty damn respectable. I always really respect it when a band does complex arrangements and beat shots, which these guys were doing in full force.
Nice work. This is why your blog is pretty much my favorite thing about the internet.
The comparisons to Rasputin’s Stash and Black Heat are on the right track too.
On second listen, damn, I love that clavinet. But then, in general, how can you argue with clavinet.
thanks man, i do appreciate it for sure.
I’ll tell you guys this….If you like Sound Experience, Then you should pick up “The Soulville Collection” cd which contains “most” of the tracks from their first and second albums…”Don’t Fight The Feeling” & “Boogie Woogie”.
There is also another cd available that is a 2-on-1 compilation that has the “Don’t Fight The Feeling” album in full on disc one. The second disc was by a group called “Flashlight” which I didn’t care for but decided the set was worthy of purchasing due to the full album of Sound Experience.
Good Afternoon! I happen to be looking arouind at the music sites, and happen to run into this blg. My name is Johhnie Foreman ( Johnny Gorman), one of the orginal members of the Sound Experience, from Baltimore Md. I was there in the beginning, and played Trombone/sang back ground, and servered as the on stage band director. It’s great to see that there are still some lkisteners out there, who still can hear our Music. Most of us became teachers/coaches and family men as the years went on. Some of us still are in contact with one another, however it’s still good to see we are not forgotten.
I love their song JP Walk. Just awesome.
I”m EVerett Harris the orginal bass player and background singer in the group. here in 2011 i’m back to playing for about five years,along with Anton Scott the guitar player also an orginal member. For a breif spell we both were still preforming live but now we’re both prducing and writing which is a new challenge