Monday, May 7, 2007

WZAP. Happy Radio.


While the computer was out for fixin the records and I hung out a lot. Dusted this one off and have had it on repeat ever since. Off The New Zapp IV U album from '85 a song about a radio station thats probably very near WDPK on the dial. It's talkbox heaven. Heaven. Layers and layers and layers of em. Zapp fuckin rules. For y'all that don't know heres a little bio I stole from Discogs.

"One of the most underrated funk groups of the 1980s, Zapp revolutionized the computer pop of electro with their trademark vocoder talk boxes and bumping grooves, with a leader in Roger Troutman who was more than efficient at polished production. The family group, with brothers Roger, Lester, Larry and Tony Troutman, grew up in Hamilton, OH, influenced by hometown heroes the Ohio Players as well as Parliament and other funk groups. Tony was the first to begin recording, with an obscure single for Gram-O-Phon Records, "I Truly Love You," which scraped the R&B charts in 1976. Joined by his brothers (Roger on vocals and guitar, Lester on drums, Larry on percussion, and himself contributing bass) and christened Zapp, the group played around the Midwest and gradually picked up backing vocalists (Bobby Glover, Janetta Boyce), keyboard players (Greg Jackson, Sherman Fleetwood) and a horn section.
Zapp's following quickly gained notices, and Bootsy Collins himself was hired on to work with the group on their debut album. Released in 1980, "Zapp" hit the Top 20 on the pop charts, thanks to the single "More Bounce to the Ounce." The following year, Roger released his solo debut album, "The Many facets of Roger". His special cover of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," complete with vocoderized talk box, pushed the album into gold territory (as "Zapp" had done). "Zapp II" appeared in 1982 and proved just as popular as the group's first, including Zapp's only number one R&B single, "Dance Floor."
"Zapp III" barely made the Top 40 pop charts upon release in 1983, and Roger’s second solo album, "The Saga Continues", was also a (commercial) disappointment.
What can be considered as their best record, "The New Zapp IV U" fared slightly better after release in late 1985 (thanks to the single "Computer Love"), and in 1987, Roger’s third solo album, "Unlimited!", featured the group's biggest hit yet, "I Want to Be Your Man," a chart-topper on the R&B lists and a respectable number three pop. Though Roger and/or Zapp hit the R&B charts frequently during the rest of the late '80s, the unit had effectively halted recording with the 1991 Roger LP "Bridging the Gap". Roger continued to produce and play with other artists, and it was his talk box that graced Dr. Dre & 2Pac's Top Ten 1996 single "California Love." The 1993 Roger & Zapp collection All the Greatest Hits sold well, earning the collective their first platinum record. The Zapp story ended in tragedy on April 25, 1999, when Roger was shot to death by Larry, who then turned the gun on himself."

Damn. Where's Behind the Music when you need em?

Zapp- Radio People

Ooh. Bonus.

Zapp- Funky Bounce

That ones got a little Sesame Street pinball vibe.

2 comments:

Elwood said...

was already down with Funky Bounce, but the Radio joint is new to me and DOPE. thanks

DJKL said...

these boyz loved that vocoder like no-one else. top work, mr donson!