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  Fatback Band
 

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Click below for a Fatback sample:

Keep On Brother Keep On

Backstrokin'

 

  

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The definition of a party band, Fatback's fun loving songs include the awesome "Keep On Steppin," "Backstrokin'" and "Fatbackin'."  Their seemingly endless bag of ruthless grooves meant they could always be counted on for a couple of guaranteed slamming singles even if the entire LP wasn't up to par.

Bill Curtis formed the band in early 70s New York City.  A drummer, Curtis originally wanted the band to back artists he'd found for his prospective production company.  But after a short while he decided to drop that idea and launch Fatback as its own entity.  The other major contributors to Fatback were guitarist/vocalist Johnny King and keyboardist Gerry Thomas, who also worked with the Jimmy Castor bunch.

Their earliest records were released on Perception, one of the more open-minded labels of the area.  Soul March, People Music and Feel My Soul were recorded between 1972 and 1974 and performed well for the band.   The single "Street Walk" graced the top 30 in late 1973, and People Music in particular is highly revered.  On these early sessions Fatback began their tradition of inviting random people into the studio to create a party atmosphere for recording. 

Signing to the Event subsidiary of Polygram in late 1974, "Keep On Steppin'" was the beginning of a higher level of recognition for Fatback.   Curtis saw the disco invasion coming and met it headlong with the floor movers "Are You Ready to Do the Bus Stop," "Spanish Hustle" and "Yum Yum," exacting a convincing blend of funk rhythm and disco spirit. They would soon ditch the "Band" and be known simply as Fatback. 

After years of moderate hits, they broke out on 1980's Hot Box, their biggest seller.  "Money" and "Backstrokin'" showed off the new Fatback, with keyboards and synths replacing the emphasis on horns.  They'd seen the future of funk, and it did not include 4 piece brass sections.  The electro groove would continue through the end of their career, which quieted down after "I Found Lovin'" in 1985. 

Fatback Band's Deepest Grooves

Let's Do It Again (Perception, 1972)

People Music (Perception, 1973)

Feel My Soul (Perception, 1974)

Keep on Steppin' (Event, 1974)

Yum Yum  (Event, 1975)
"Let the Drums Speak" and "I've Gotta Learn to Dance" are break classics. Curtis guested on the 2004 remake of "Speak" by Bah Samba.

Raising Hell (Event, 1976)

Night Fever (Event, 1976)

NYCNYUSA (Spring, 1977)

Fired Up 'N' Kickin' (Spring, 1978)
Monster groove "I Like Girls" is one of the last records to have the original Fatback vibe.

Brite Lites, Big City (Spring, 1979)

Hot Box (Spring, 1980)

Is This the Future? (Spring, 1983)
Last hit "I Found Lovin'" is on here.

The Fattest of Fatback (Rhino, 1997)

Fatbackin' (Castle, 2000)
Their three Perception LPs on 2 cd's. Far and away the easiest way to get these obscurities.

"I Found Lovin" (Pure Filth, 2002)
High powered house mix of this 80s jam makes it acceptable for modern dancefloors.

Fatback's Soul Shop (Kent, 2003)
Unearthed material from Fatback Records, a label the group ran prior to finding success on their own. Includes material from proteges Mary Davis and Johnny King. 

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