Tony Alvon & The Belairs: Sexy Coffee Pot
From 7″ (Atlantic, 1969)

Aretha Franklin: Rock Steady (Alt. Mix)
Unreleased (Atlantic, 1971)

Both available on What It Is!: Funky Soul and Rare Grooves (1967 – 1977)

Among the various activities that had me busy earlier this year was writing the liner notes for this Rhino Records’ new 4-CD boxset. It is, to be sure, an ambitious effort, even for reissue specialists like Rhino: 91 songs, drawn from the vaults of Atlantic (including ATCO, Cotillion and other subsidiaries), Warner Bros. and Rhino itself.

I pulled two cuts – one a personal favorite, the other one an “exclusive” featured in the boxset. “Sexy Coffee Pot” is possibly the most desired of the various songs included on the album, a 45 only funk cut that’s well-known but still fetches hundreds on the market. It’s easy to see why – it’s such a solid, front-to-back dancefloor burner, with a heavy horn section to keep the mood hot while the bassline locks everything down, especially during the brief but memorable solo.

The Aretha is a notable treat: an alternative mix of “Rock Steady” that doesn’t sound that different on the front end but once you get the second half, you can hear the new direction it goes in.

I’ve got a couple of 17-song samplers that Rhino was kind enough to spot me with to give away to Soul Sides listeners. To win ’em, answer this:

At least two of the songs in the boxset have appeared on Soul Sides at some point in the past. Name two and win a sampler. Send your answers to soulsides@gmail.com, attn: Funk Box Trivia.

Good luck!

Got the winners…(I’ll email you if you won). The correct answers would have been two out of these three:
Grasella Oliphant’s “Get Out of My Life Woman”
Wade Marcus’ “Spinning Wheel”
Cold Grits’ “It’s Your Thing”
Wilson Picket’s “Engine #9”

Bonus round: name all eight albums the new Soul Sides banner is built from. Post your answer to the comments, make sure I have your email address. First one gets a What It Is sampler.