GET ON THE BADFOOT

Badfoot Brown and Bunions Funeral Marching Band: Martin’s Funeral

From Bill Cosby Presents The Badfoot Brown and Bunions Funeral Marching Band (Uni, 1970)

Badfoot Brown and Bunions Funeral Marching Band: The Mouth of Fish

From Bill Cosby Presents The Badfoot Brown and Bunions Funeral Marching Band (Sussex, 1971)

Moistworks recent postings on their favorite Tribe Called Quest samples made me think of “Martin’s Funeral,” a song by Bill Cosby’s Badfoot Brown and Bunions Funeral Marching Band. People forget that besides becoming the posterboy for the Black bourgoise in the 1980s, Jello spokesperson and the guy who helped rescue Melvin Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baaadassss Song, Cosby recorded a modest amount of music in the 1970s. This site does a great job of tracking much of Cosby’s output.

What’s strange about his two Badfoot LPs is that they have the identical name – the only difference between them (besides the songs) is what label each appeared on. Makes talking about the LP a little tricky but most folks I know just either refer to them as either “the brown cover” or “the blue cover.” Simple enough.

“Martin’s Funeral,” (one assumes he’s talking about MLK) is a mezmerizing song that builds along slowly, working in that main motif throughout. I really appreciate that patience – 3 minute funk bombs are great, but sometimes, it’s nice to just to chill to a 15 minute song. Of course, if you do want things a bit snappier, you can turn on “The Mouth of Fish,” which is a 1/3rd shorter, kicks off with a slick break and is one mean ass funk tune with a nice jazzed up outro.

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