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8.4.08

Tower Of Power


Tower Of Power - Live And In Living Color - 1976 - Warner Bros
Recorded at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium and Cerritos College in 1976, this album proves the old adage - It's "quality not quantity" that counts. This album has got to be one of the best live albums ever recorded. It may be short, but it has five classic live tracks. The vocals, the musicianship, and the sheer energy of this incredible live R&B/Funk band make this album a seventies classic, and VHR by A.O.O.F.C.  Check out TOP's "Back To Oakland" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 108 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1.Down to the Nightclub - Castillo, Garibaldi, Kupka
2.You're Still a Young Man - Castillo, Kupka
3.What Is Hip? - Castillo, Garibaldi, Kupka
4.Sparkling in the Sand - Lopez, Castillo, Kupka
5.Knock Yourself Out - Castillo, Kupka

BAND

Lenny Pickett - Flute, Saxophone, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor)
Francis Prestia - Bass
Chester Thompson - Organ, Keyboards, Clavinet, Vocals
Hubert Tubbs - Vocals
Greg Adams - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Vocals, Horn
Emilio Castillo - Sax (Tenor), Producer, Vocals
Bruce Conte - Guitar, Vocals
David Garibaldi - Drums
Mic Gillette - Trombone, Flugelhorn, Piccolo, Horn, Vocals, Trumpet
Stephen "Doc" Kupka - Saxophone, Vocals, Sax (Baritone)

REVIEW

The band's final album for Warner Bros. before it decamped to Columbia, the absolutely stunning 1975 Live and in Living Color ensured that Tower of Power left in a blaze of glory. Recorded at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium and Cerritos College, the group brought what remains one of the era's finest live albums to glorious fruition. Leaving behind the dismal soul of its previous In the Slot, the band fell back on its two great strengths -- classy live performance and unerring funk. With every ounce of the group's full energy packed into the grooves and a little more added for emphasis, Live squeezes out five tracks of epic proportions. Reaching back to its debut LP, East Bay Grease, Tower of Power jammed on a majestic 23-minute rendition of "Knock Yourself Out" and the sleepy classic "Sparkling in the Sand," before continuing its sonic domination across two songs pulled from Bump City. "Down to the Nightclub (Bump City)" is effusive, while "You're Still a Young Man" is an absolutely outstanding performance of one of TOP's finest songs -- and judging by the audience enthusiasm, it packed as much power in 1976 as it did in 1972 (and indeed, still does today). Courageously, only one track, "What Is Hip?," emerges from the group's most successful era, but with its rock riffing slices and roiling organ solo, you really don't need anything else -- it stands well as a lone representative of what many hail as TOP's finest hour. There's nothing to fault here except, possibly, the decision to release a mere single disc at a time when live double albums were becoming de rigueur, a move guaranteed to leave listeners crying for more. But perhaps that was the intent all along -- too little is always sweeter than too much. © Amy Hanson, All Music Guide

BIO (WIKI)

Tower of Power is a 10 member horn-based soul band from Oakland, California. In the mid-1960s, 17-year-old tenor saxophonist Emilio Castillo moved from Detroit, Michigan, to Fremont, California. He started a band called 'The Gotham City Crime Fighters' which evolved into 'The Motowns', including bassist Francis 'Rocco' Prestia, specializing in soul music covers. During 1968, Castillo teamed up with baritone saxophonist Stephen Kupka (later to be dubbed 'The Funky Doctor') and trumpet/trombone player Mic Gillette, moved to Oakland, and together began writing and performing original material. One of their early influences was the now late great Soul Pioneer artist James Brown. They changed the band's name to 'Tower of Power' and began playing frequently in the Bay Area. In 1970, Tower of Power (by then including trumpeter/arranger Greg Adams, and drummer David Garibaldi) signed a recording contract with Bill Graham's San Francisco Records and quickly released its first album, East Bay Grease. Next, augmented by percussionist/conga/bongo player Brent Byars, they moved to Warner Bros. Records and 1972's Bump City and 1973's self-titled release, Tower of Power, were breakout albums for the band. The former album included "You're Still a Young Man", which peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. The latter album contained possibly their most enduring song, "What is Hip?" Tower of Power was the third album release for the Oakland-based band. This was the group's most successful album to date, released in the spring of 1973. The album peaked at #15 on the Billboard Pop Album chart in 1973 and received a gold record award for sales in excess of 500,000. The Album also spawned their most-successful single "So Very Hard To Go". Although the single only peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, "So Very Hard To Go" landed in the Top 10 on the surveys of many West Coast Top 40 radio stations, hitting #1 on most of them. The Album also charted two other singles on the Billboard Hot 100, "This Time It's Real" and "What Is Hip?" 1974's Back to Oakland spawned another hit, "Don't Change Horses (in the Middle of a Stream)," that reached #26 on the Billboard Hot 100, plus "Time Will Tell," which charted at #69. On some of their releases in the mid-1970s, such as Urban Renewal (1974), the band moved more towards funk from soul; however, they continued recording ballads as well. After vocalist Lenny Williams moved on, the band's days of chart radio airplay declined. During the later 1970s, they briefly tried recording somewhat disco-sounding material. Tower of Power has remained active throughout the years, and still tours extensively and worldwide today. Inevitably, over a nearly 40-year span, some personnel changes have been part of the history and evolution of this funk and soul institution. At least 60 musicians have been touring and/or recording members of the group through the years, including current Saturday Night Live musical director/saxophonist Lenny Pickett, drummer David Garibaldi, bassist Rocco Prestia, organ master Chester Thompson, saxophonists Richard Elliot and Euge Groove, and early guitarist Bruce Conte, whose cousin and BALCO founder Victor Conte also briefly played bass guitar in the band from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. One of their original vocalists, Rick Stevens, after leaving the band, was sentenced to life in prison on three counts of first-degree murder. The other original vocalist, Rufus Miller, performed most of the lead vocals on 'East Bay Grease'. Bruce Conte recently rejoined ToP, replacing almost 10-year ToP veteran guitarist Jeff Tamelier, and even more recently departed again, after slightly more than a year, quoting personal recording projects and health issues. Long term fans will note that for this relatively short period during 2006–2007, that ToP (with Bruce) had 5 of their (then) 11 'Back-in-the-Day' members 'Back-on-the-Stage'. Next, following Bruce into the guitarist position was Charles Spikes (very capable, though temporary, while auditions for a permanent player were held), and currently Mark Harper, who so far, from an audience perspective, seems to be a valuable addition to the group, and who also offers powerful yet accurate harmony vocals. Tower of Power has released 18 albums over the years (Compilations and regional variations not included), the latest being 2003's 'return to form' CD, entitled Oakland Zone. In addition, their horn section has become well-known as a backing unit for other artists. The ToP horn section has appeared on many artists' recordings, including Little Feat, the Monkees, Santana, Elton John, Linda Lewis, RAD. (Rose Ann Dimalanta), John Lee Hooker, Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship, Heart, Huey Lewis and the News, Spyro Gyra, Lyle Lovett, Poison, Phish, Toto, Pharoahe Monch, and Aerosmith. Tower's early song, 'So Very Hard To Go' was featured in the soundtrack of the 2002 film City of God. The ToP Horns' most notable touring was as part of the Top 40 Pop group 'Huey Lewis and The News', during the mid-80's. They joined for the 'Sports' tour, to support Huey's highly successful album of the same name, recorded on several of Huey's next albums, and Huey enjoyed the experience so much that he later hired other horn players to continue the bigger sound he had achieved with the Tower Horns. - Huey has collaborated in a few of Tower's song writings. Tower of Power has also made special guest appearances on the albums of other major recording solo artists. In 1993, the band was featured on Luis Miguel's album Aries, in a cover of "Attitude Dance" titled "Que Nivel de Mujer". Most recently, Tower of Power has been featured on Josh Groban's Awake album, during an instrumental break in "Machine". Tower of Power recently performed in Pitman High School (California) in 2004

6 comments:

Bunky Boy said...

Hi
I was hoping to get this but the site says.
"Reported Attack Site!"

Got another link for it?
Thanks
Bunky

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Bunky. Thanks for reporting broken link from the wonderful Shareonall, which promised a lot but never deliverd. I'll have a new link 4U within 36 hrs. Keep in touch

Blake said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Please repost! Im on my knees begging and thats NOT something i do. If u decide to repost, my email is ********@gmail.com. Please send it there. Much appreciation! Blake

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Blake. That message above is amended to remove your e-mail address. Expect a new link in 2 days. Thanks...Paul

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

Password if needed is aoofc