U.K. funk band Light of the World has the distinctions of having a tight head shot of a pre-stardom Sade on their self-titled debut LP cover and having guitarist Jean Paul “Bluey” Maunick as a band member. Maunick went on to lead ’90s funk-jazz band Incognito.
A nicely languid debut for this London band, the are working in a neglected style – wistful, summery jazz-funk.
‘Dreams‘ is probably the best thing here – lavish, drifting, moody chord sequences. ‘Who Are You‘, ‘Aspects‘, ‘Mirror of My Soul’ and the mellow closing ballad ‘I’ll Always Love You‘ are pretty good too. Not much ascends quite as far as it might – that was to come with their 1980 LP – but it’s a far pleasanter album than so many.
A2 Dreams 6:44
A3 Who Are You (Who Do You Think You Are?) 5:47
B1 Midnight Groovin’ 6:22
B2 Aspects 3:15
B3 Mirror Of My Soul 4:28
B4 Liv Togevver (The Greater London Funkathon) 5:01
Bonus CD Tracks
8 I’ll Always Love You 4:36
9 Emergency 3:43
10 The World Is Out 3:26
11 Midnight Groovin’ (12″ Version) 7:22
12 Swingin’ (Remix) 4:08
13 Midnight Groovin’ (Single Version) 3:2
Formed in London in 1978, Light of the World included Maunick, drummer Everton McCalla, bassist Paul “Tubs” Williams, guitarist Neville “Breeze” McKreith, percussionist Chris Etienne, keyboardist Peter Hinds trumpet player Kenny Wellington and on sax David “Baps” Baptiste.
The band’s moniker was inspired by the title of Kool and the Gang‘s 1974 DeLite album Light of Worlds, which included “Summer Madness” and “Higher Plane.” Signing with Ensign Records, the band had dancefloor hits with “Swingin‘,” “Midnight Groovin‘,” and “London Town“. Etienne died while the band was on a promotional tour for their first album.
A 12″ single “Time” [Remix] b/w “London Town” was reissued by U.K. label Old Gold. Nigel Martinez, Gee Bello, and Nat Augustin joined Light of the World just in time for the release of their second LP, Round Trip, produced by Augie Johnson of Side Effect (disco hit cover of Ronnie Laws‘ “Always There“, number 56 R&B, summer 1976). The band split up in 1981. Baptiste, Wellington, and McKreith formed Beggar & Co., and Maunick, Hinds, and Williams formed Incognito.
In 1982, EMI released a Light of the World album, Check Us Out, that featured Bello, Tubbs, and Augustin, and the singles “Famous Face” b/w “Get on Board“,”Ride the Love Train” b/w “Get on Board” and “I Can’t Stop” b/w “Check Us Out“. In 1998, EMI issued a limited edition vinyl pressing of the Check Us Out album.
Light Of The World 1980 Round Trip
Oh yes, Light of the World are very much back in our heads. The fact that the 80’s revival is kickin at the moment means that many of our favorite tracks that we loved first time around are now available again and this LP is living proof of it.
The best track they ever did is ‘London Town‘, smooth, classy, funky and makes me proud to be a londoner. ‘Time‘ is a head nodder of neck aching proportions and ‘I shot the sheriff’ despite its bemusing topic is still cool. This album represents where UK Jazzfunk was at its peak in the 80’s, i still play my full length 12″ of “Time” and to have the album again makes me smile. Buy it. Now!!