Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Great Blaxploitation Era: Young-Holt Unlimited's Plays Super Fly (1973)

Young-Holt Unlimited – Plays Super Fly - front
Young-Holt Unlimited

''Plays Super Fly''
( LP Paula Records, 1973 )
Catalog # LPS 4002

Tracklisting & Hide Credits:
A1 Freddie's Dead
Written-By – Curtis Mayfield 4:32
A2 Give Me Your Love
Written-By – Curtis Mayfield 3:15
A3 Pusher Man
Written-By – Curtis Mayfield 3:48
A4 Superfly
Written-By – Curtis Mayfield 3:20
A5 Hey Pancho
Written-By – E. Young, I. Holt 4:00
B1 Could It Be I'm Falling In Love
Written-By – Mystro And Lyric 4:26
B2 (They Long To Be) Close To You
Written-By – Burt Bacharach, Hal David 3:50
B3 People Make The World Go Round
Written-By – L. Creed, Tom Bell 6:00
B4 Mystical Man
Written-By – Ken Chaney 3:50

Personnel & Credits:
Bass, Saxophone [Alto] – Eldee Young
Congas – Derf
Drums – Issac "Redd" Holt
Electric Piano – Ken Chaney
Organ, Guitar – Ringo
Photography, Artwork By [Cover Design] – Jerry Griffith
Producer, Engineer, Artwork By [Cover Design] – Paul Serrano

Format:Vinyl, LP
Recorded at P.S. Studio, Chicago.

By Jason Ankeny (AMG):
The final Young-Holt Unlimited album captures their seamless transition into a new era of Chicago soul heralded by Curtis Mayfield's landmark Superfly score. A skilled and deeply funky interpretation of the emerging blaxploitation sound that sacrifices none of the group's signature groove, Plays Super Fly is the rare cash-in record with integrity and invention to spare. Only half of the album reprises Superfly material, most notably a percolating rendition of "Freddie's Dead" -- the remainder of the set casts Y-HU in dramatically different directions, including the loping original "Hey Pancho," a sweet but never saccharine cover of "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" and a mind-boggling rendition of "Close to You" spotlighting Ken Chaney's future-forward electric piano.

Young and Holt lay down grooves from Curtis Mayfield's Superfly soundtrack ion this Paula records release (and all the good ones too -- like "Freddie's Dead", "Give Me Your Love", "Pusher Man", and "Superfly"), and they also get into some funky tracks of their own (like "Hey Pancho" and "Mystical Man"), and do a tight cover of "People Make the World Go Round" that was used by Compton's Most Wanted for "Raised in Compton"
The album's nice and stripped down -- perhaps closest to their Oh Girl LP on Atlantic... in feel, with loads of cool electric piano by Ken Chaney, laid out over the group's harder funky grooves!
From Milk Crate Beats Blog

Young-Holt Unlimited – Plays Super Fly - back

''Freddie's Dead''

Biography by Steve Huey (AMG):
Bassist Eldee Young and drummer Isaac "Red" Holt attended the American Conversatory of Music in Chicago together, and played together in a dance orchestra called the Cleffs, where they met pianist Ramsey Lewis and formed a popular jazz trio in 1956. After a decade as Lewis' rhythm section, Young and Holt split to form their own act in the wake of the trio's breakout pop hit "The 'In' Crowd." Hiring pianist Hysear Don Walker and christening themselves the Young-Holt Trio, they scored a quick Top 20 R&B hit with the infectious and silly "Wack Wack." Most of their material, recorded on several LPs for Brunswick, cut an invigorating soul-jazz groove that explored the territory between Jimmy Smith and Junior Walker, with dour bass, Ray Charles-inspired keyboards, faint scat vocals, and a live party ambience. In 1968, Walker was replaced by Ken Chaney as Young and Holt tightened up their sound, added some funky rhythms, and renamed the group Young-Holt Unlimited. They scored a left-field smash with the instrumental "Soulful Strut," which was actually the backing track from Brunswick soul singer Barbara Acklin's "Am I the Same Girl." Although the actual Young-Holt group was rumored not to have even played on the track, it went all the way to number three in 1969, driven by a bright, indelible horn riff. Attempts to duplicate its success met with indifference, and although Young-Holt Unlimited remained a popular concert attraction on both the R&B and jazz circuits (sometimes with pianist Bobby Lyle in place of Chaney), their recording career was on the wane. They cut LPs for Atlantic (1972's Oh Girl) and Paula (1973's Plays Superfly) that failed to restore their commercial momentum, and disbanded in 1974. Both Young and Holt reunited with Ramsey Lewis in 1983.

cov-rec superfly

''People Make The World Go Round''

1966: Wack Wack (in Harriet the Spy)
1967: Feature Spot (as The Young Holt)
1967: "The Beat Goes On"
1967: On Stage
1968: Soulful Strut
1968: Funky But!
1968: Live at the Bohemian Caverns
1969: Just a Melody
1970: Mellow Dreamin'
1971: Born Again
1973: Oh, Girl
1973: Young-Holt Unlimited Plays Super Fly

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Milk Crate Beats

Original post:24/02/2008

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