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Tower Of Power, The Oakland Zone - If you're as old as...”

Written on: 04/07/2004 by DDD3 (11 reviews written)

Good Points
Europe gets a bonus track that the US doesn't get.

Bad Points
Japan get another bonus track (and it's better than ours...).

General Comments
Tower Of Power, The Oakland Zone - If you're as old as me, this record will surprise you, if you're one of the new breed, this record will still surprise you. OK, I'll explain...

Tower of Power were mainstays of the 70's funk scene. In the US, they had several hit singles, in the UK, they had to be satisified with good album sales. Over the years, like everyone else in that scene they faded, and we assumed that they'd broken up, so if you're as old as me you'll be surpised to discover that the band is not only alive and well, but they never stopped playing. If you're new to the band, this album is as good a place as any to start.

Songs like 'Back in the Day', 'Give Me Your Love', and the title track just hark straight back to gen-u-ine 70s funk. No machines, no loops, just 10 guys belting it out like no one you ever heard before. Trust me, the sequencer hasn't been invented that could play this stuff. Other tracks like 'Could've Done It Better', 'Pocketful of Soul', or the Euro-bonus 'Happy 'bout That' indicate an ability to tap into the smooth jazz, and AOR fields, and it's no coincidence that 'Could've...' was the most requested record on several US 'Listener request' stations.

My only real downer on this album is that we didn't get the Japanese bonus track 'You Ain't All That'. It could easily have replaced 'Life is What You Make It', which is a track that you'll probably skip after one listening, in my book. In fact, if you get the chance, you might want to get the Japanese import.

'Happy...' or 'You Ain't...'.

Tough choice. I can't help you with that. In the end I bought both.

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