19 May Roy Ayers – 1976 – Everybody Loves the Sunshine
Superfly kickass record that starts off with the dynamite disco groove of ‘Hey Uh What you say come on‘ and that’s it I’m sold…I’ve seen the f**kin light at that point and from that moment forward every track is a total joy.
All that deep, rich funkalicious bass and cheesy 70’s synth licks totally get me everytime but it’s not all just lascivious party fun because on ‘The Third Eye‘ and the legendary ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine‘, he has created two songs of such staggering beauty that they almost seem out of place on an album as groovey as this.
A1 Hey, Uh-What You Say Come On 3:45
A2 The Golden Rod 3:03
A3 Keep On Walking 3:46
A4 You And Me My Love 3:11
A5 The Third Eye 6:21
B1 It Ain’t Your Sign (It’s Your Mind) 3:28
B2 People And The World 4:48
B3 Everybody Loves The Sunshine 4:01
B4 Tongue Power 3:02
B5 Lonesome Cowboy 4:03
Review by yofriend
Roy Ayers must have disappointed quite a few Jazz fans back then when he began to fuse his Jazz awareness with the Funk. But in the mid seventies, Funk was an art form of its own. There was never a time in the U.S.A. that dance music had such a high quality, and to this day, almost every decent Hiphop song has as its backbone one or more samples derived from those 70’s Funk records. Once he had made the transition to Funk music, Roy Ayers was one of its masters, producing an amazing sequence of consistent Funk masterpieces.
Everybody Loves The Sunshine is a good example of that. The title song has become a classic though it’s by far not the only cause for joy. The opener for instance, Hey Uh, sets the stage with an almost instrumental using only one, but one very effective vocal hook which draws you in to what reminds me of the West Coast funksters War. Side One of this LP is just fine, Side Two is less satisfying (exception: the title song), however, it’s not because the songs are always perfect gems why the record works, (they are not), it’s more the way the music’s recorded (no-frills, great recording sound) and how the band creates a warm, tongue-in-cheek, down-to-earth yet sophisticated sound that keeps the listener entertained. And let’s not forget: we DANCED to this sound, didn’t we just?
Check out the cover version of Gino Vannelli‘s Keep On Walking.
Review by Andre S. Grindle
Almost two decades ago now? My father purchased a CD celebrating a musical style referred to in it’s title as Nuyerican Soul. One of the songs on that collection was an updated acid jazz version of the title song of this album,and along with other songs there it featured Roy Ayers. Had absolutely no idea who the man was until hearing that. And this began a voracious time of crate digging searching for music by the man that,during the mid/late 90’s wasn’t particularly easy to come by in my neck of the woods. It was actually earlier this year that I got a CD copy of this album-featuring the tune that started it all for me with this artist.
“Hey Uh-What You Say Come On“,”The Golden Rod“,”People And The World” and “It’ Ain’t Your Sign,It’s Your Mind” are all intensely percussive Afro-Cuban jazz-funk jams full of beautiful harmonic passages,exciting compositional changes and otherworldly electronic melodies. “Keep On Walking“,the mid tempo Salsa kjazzof “The Third Eye” and of course the dynamic title song are superb examples of funkiness taken it’s slowest possible ballad tempos. “You And Me My Love“,”Tongue Power” and the comically romantic closer “Lonesome Cowboy“, dealing with the “urban cowboy gets married” theme are all thick,bassy hard funk-filled with horns and stomping drum breaks that keep down the strongest groove possible.
Something about the mid 70’s during which this was recorded just seemed to allow funkiness to be it’s own lovely reward. Hearing this particular album now helps me understand the acid jazz/funk movement really pumping out of Europe during my teen years. The songs here have the funk and Afro Cuban rhythmic underpinnings that were always central to Roy Ayers sound. Yet he also bought in both lead and orchestral string synthesizers to add great melodic/harmonic color to the music. The way he uses them on this album? The do in fact have the aural impression of bright cosmic rays shinning through from the skies above into these grooves. This all combines to make this a very special 70’s Roy Ayers album.
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