The Intruders: (We’ll Be) United
From 7″ (Gamble, 1966). Also on The Best Of.

Music Makers: United
From 7″ (Gamble, 196?)

Chikaramanga feat. Droop Capone: A Life Like This
From 7″ single (Tres, 2010)

My habit is to list songs in chronological order but in this case, I should really flip this around since the first of these three tunes I became familiar with was “A Life LIke This.” The 7″ single, featuring Japanese producer Chikaramanga collabo-ing with L.A. rapper Droop Capone, came out early 2010 and as a longtime Droop fan, I was digging hearing him again, especially over Chikaramanga’s bouncy beat.

Then, months later, my dude Hua played me the Music Makers’ version of “United” and I immediately connected it back to “A Life LIke This” but in my ignorance, I just assumed it was a standalone instrumental. It wasn’t until later that I put together – oh, duh, this is the instrumental backing track for the Intruders’ “(We’ll Be) United.” Honestly, though the group’s “Together” is all-time, end-of-the-night hall of fame to me, I’m not as into the rest of their catalog so “United” flew under the radar.

Both are great songs but different in their own way. For one, the vocal version has, uh, vocals but it also includes a string arrangement that’s not on the Music Makers’ single. Likewise, that latter version replaces the vocals with some very slick organ instead and the whole single just grooves something lovely.