(Pure) Essence: Third Rock
From WEBN Album Project #2 (Circle Communications, 1977). Also on the Pure Essence 12″.

Four Tops: Still Water (Love)
From Still Waters Run Deep (Motown, 1970)

Los Fabulosos Festivals: Can I Change My Mind?
From 7″ (?, 1970)

Hot off on the tail of the Pure Essence post, I just got in the only other song that Cincinnati group ever recorded: “Third Rock.” You can hear how similar the vibe is between the two songs; pity they never recorded more given how great their funk sound was. This appears on the second volume in WEBN’s very successful Album Project series – a charity LP project that brought together many then-unknown Cincinnati acts together on each compilation. Back in 2005, I actually posted up a song by Roger Troutman (then in the band Roger and the Human Body) that appeared on the inaugural WEBN album.

And Tim Wallen, aka the Bay Area’s DJ Tim, recently hepped me to the Four Tops’ “Still Water (Love)” which I probably should have been up on years ago but upon hearing it, I suddenly realized why it sounded so familiar: Raphael Saadiq uses the song’s rhythm track behind his bonus song, “Seven.” While I applaud Saadiq’s excellent taste in early ’70s Motown, I was a bit surprised “Seven” wasn’t an original composition. Either way, listening to “Still Water” makes me appreciate just how interesting Motown was getting in those transition years between the decades. I slept and am still awakening to those new styles.

Last but not least, Beto let me know that Los Fabulosos Festivals’ cover of “Can I Change My Mind?” is not, in fact, coming out on the next Panama! comp and he gave me his blessing to share it. I have to say, I really love how this cover manages to stay true to the original but is different enough to grab your attention. For example, the opening is fantastic, with the two bar guitar line plucking its way into the wall of horns that come bursting force. And the Festivals’ singer, Ernie King, is great on vocals here (Beto reminded me that King, now named Kabir, appears on the Quantic Soul Orchestra’s Tropidelico, singing a cover of Marion Black’s “Who Knows?