Mickey and the Soul Generation – Chocolate


Photo courtesy of Mickey and the Soul Generation


FMF Photo Archives

Records tend to show up in the most curious places, usually far away from their state of origin (but are distributed by labels in major cities all over the US). If one were to dig for records over here on the East Coast, let’s say New Jersey or New York, you’d find tons of records from NYC, Newark, NJ, and Philly that were used in juke boxes all over the Tri-State area. Record labels like Bell, Turbo, and All Platinum are labels that come to mind. You wouldn’t expect to find a record from Texas or Indiana without it being issued on a New York or Philadelphia label that had a distribution deal with said band. A few years ago, I was digging at the Spot early, and I had to be home by a certain time. On my way out, I managed to get a box of unsleeved 45’s for $20. There were hundreds of 45’s that looked like they were just tossed into this box without care, but I had a feeling that there would be some gold in there. I was right, as I found all kinds of records, but one that I had never got in the field: Mickey and the Soul Generation “Iron Leg” on Maxwell Records. Here’s a the flip side of that record: “Chocolate”.


Photo courtesy of Mickey and the Soul Generation

“We put on this old 7-inch at by Mickey and the Soul Generation which was a rare groove record with a mad rock guitar intro and no beat. I started vary speeding it so it sounded all warped. Chris Bangs got on the microphone and said, ‘If that was acid house, this is acid jazz’. That’s how Acid Jazz started, just a joke! ”- Gilles Peterson, BBC1

Organ player Mickey Foster and saxophone/ vocalist Emil Carter first played in a band called the Royal Tokens. As more band members were added, the names changed from Fabulous Four to Fabulous Five, eventually settling on Mickey and the Soul Generation. Coming straight out of San Antonio Texas and the Texas Funk scene, this band recorded a few records up until their split in 1973. Iron Leg was originally put out on GC and then picked up and distributed by Maxwell in NYC, which explains why this record was in the box with all of those juke box records. The band toured nationally with label mates Faith, Hopoe, and Charity, as well as with national acts Sam and Dave, Clarence Carter, Kool and the Gang, and the Supremes. They had another record on Maxwell entitled “Football” in 1970, and “How Good Is Good”/ “Get Down Brother” on Mr. G that was released sometime between 1971-1973. The band would split up in 1973, but Mickey put out a scorcher of a record “UFO” with Mickey and Them, also on GC Records. Another heavy organ jammy. Aside from some regional sales and notoriety, M&TSG were virtually unknown (although spun regularly in the UK by Gilles Peterson who said this about the band: “We put on this old 7-inch at by Mickey and the Soul Generation which was a rare groove record with a mad rock guitar intro and no beat. I started vary speeding it so it sounded all warped. Chris Bangs got on the microphone and said, ‘If that was acid house, this is acid jazz’. That’s how Acid Jazz started, just a joke!”) until Josh Davis aka DJ Shadow put them on blast, citing them as his “favorite Funk band”, and reissuing a 2 CD M&TSG compilation on his Cali-Tex label that told the whole tale of the band and his their music. The 45’s have also been reissued through the Jazzman label.

“Chocolate” bobs and weaves in and out a great bass line. With delicious horn stabs throughout, a steady drum beat by drummer Andrew Gordon pounds and them Mickey let’s loose on his organ. As it fades out, see if you can spot the Hip Hop sample. Put some ribs on the BBQ and open up a Shiner Bock and sit back for a slice of Texas Funk, because Mickey and the Soul Generation are no joke. Word also has it, that their “Iron Leg” side was so hot, Nipsy Russell used it in an intro on the Tonight Show. Needless to say I couldn’t find the particular link but gave you some Nipsy wisdom. I also used this side on my Mustache mix back in February. A great two sider 45, you can not go wrong with this record. Please enjoy a cleaned up version of the side. Keep Diggin’!

Download or Listen to Mickey and the Soul Generation – Chocolate from the Maxwell 45

3 responses to “Mickey and the Soul Generation – Chocolate

  1. I love this! Great find.
    Been subscribed to your blog for a minute. Lot of love from Los Angeles.

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