Wilson Pickett – Engine Number 9

Download or Listen To Wilson Pickett – Engine Number 9 from the Atlantic Records 45

I know it’s been over a week, but I’m working it baby, working it. There are some great NYC gigs coming up, as well as some stuff here in AP. Check out my Events page for all the updated gigs. Also a HUGE, I mean HUGE shout out to Heavy Soul Brutha Dave for turning me on (and really pushing me to get on it) Mix Cloud, and for spreading the word of DJ Prestige and Flea Market Funk. So if you would, take some time to check out both sites, the cool mixes by Dave and many, many others at MixCloud. Also, hit up their Favorites page, where you will find a mix of mine that made it’s way into their Funk and Soul lovin’ hearts. Many thanks guys, really. Ok, so today I thought I’d play an artist who I dig, but really never gets any shine at FMF. I have no idea why, but while picking out records and modding my head to Florence and the Machine’s “You’ve Got The Love” remix by the XX ( it’s been on constant repeat for like a week), I put my finger on this very side, so why not give it a shot? Here’s Wilson Pickett with “Engine Number 9” from 1970 on Atlantic Records.

Born in Prattville, Alabama in 1941, Wilson Pickett sang back up in a vocal group called the Falcons before he would move on to Atlantic Records. For me, Pickett was always a really raw Soul artists. As a youngster I can remember hearing songs like “Land of 1000 Dances”, “Mustang Sally”, “In the Midnight Hour”, and others blaring from my Dad’s home or truck stereo. Before I knew what he looked like, I imagined him throwing himself around the stage in a fervor, hollering all the way until last call (as if I ever knew what that was at a young age). Doing sides at Stax Records, Wilson Pickett would soon get an itch, which would eventually lead him to Muscle Shoals Studios. Here he’d cut songs from everyone from the Beatles to Bobby Womack, using the hottest session guys to back him up. Where bands for decades would go on to cover his upbeat Soul dance floor stompers, the Wicked One himself did his fair share of covers. How about a cover of the Archie’s? The guy wasn’t scared. However, after 1972, he didn’t record many more hits, choosing to do some Philly Gamble & Huff stuff, as well as hitting the tour circuit well through the 70’s and beyond. He eventually recorded some new material in the late 90’s, before succumbing to a stroke in 2006. Known for being one of the hardest working guys around, with an unmistakeable voice in Soul music, Wilson Pickett was indeed one of the greats. Check out “Hey Jude” (with Duane Allman on guitar) and “Soul Dance Number Three” if you need more proof.

This record, to me is pure fire. Gamble and Huff produced, it really smokes. The funny things is, I can’t believe it really hasn’t been sampled. Ok, the Black Sheep use the “engine, engine number 9 line” to pick it up, pick it up, pick it up on “The Choice Is Yours”. The only mention of the song ever used, and I haven’t confirmed it, was by Rick Rubin on Jay Z on “99 Problems”. Needless to say I heard Hova and Yeezy had to fork over big money for their use of “Long Red” to Leslie West of Mountain (On 99 Probs, etc.). I’m getting sidetracked though, and that sampling will be for another day. Bottom line, pick up some Wilson Pickett, specifically this killer side if you can. Keep Diggin’!

Also, check out some goodness from 2004 from Domu at the Red Bull Music Academy, who I will have some stuff with for their London Sessions starting on February 7th.

3 responses to “Wilson Pickett – Engine Number 9

  1. Glorious record! Especially the long version with that great guitar work (was that Duanne Allman?).

    Thanks for the post.


  2. Great, love Wilson Pickett and Gamble and Huff, so this smokes. I think, though, my fave Philly soul record is “Drowning in the Sea of Love” by Joe Simon.

  3. “I can’t believe it really hasn’t been sampled” off the top of my head two great records sampled this : phase n rhythm ” hook n sling” and intelligent hoodlum ” black and proud” but i might be wrong.


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