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Soul With A Capital "S" - The Best Of Tower Of Power


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Tom Bowes, Brent Carter, Emilio Castillo, Michael Jeffries, Edward McGhee, Nick Milo.
  • Producer: Emilio Castillo.
  • Compilation producers: Leo Sacks, Emilio Castillo.
  • Includes liner notes by David Ritz.
  • Digitally remastered by Joseph M. Palmaccio (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
  • Personnel: Emilio Castillo (vocals, tenor saxophone); Greg Adams (vocals, trumpet, flugelhorn, background vocals); Barry Danielian (vocals, trumpet); Chester Thompson (vocals, piano, electric piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Clavinet, organ, mini-Moog synthesizer, Moog synthesizer, background vocals); Ron E. Beck (vocals, drums, background vocals); Tom Bowes , Brent Carter, Michael Jeffries (vocals, background vocals); Edward McGhee (vocals); Jeff Tamelier, Bruce Conte, Carmen Grillo (guitar, background vocals); Danny Hoefer (electric guitar); Lenny Pickett (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, lyricon); John Scarpulla, Steve Grove, David Mann (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Paul Perez (alto saxophone); Norbert Stachel (tenor saxophone); Stephen "Doc" Kupka (baritone saxophone, background vocals); Lee Thornberg (trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone); Bill Churchville (trumpet, flugelhorn, background vocals); Jesse McGuire (trumpet, background vocals); Nick Milo (organ, keyboards, background vocals); Herman Matthews, Russ McKinnon (drums, percussion); David Garibaldi (drums); Victor Conte (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixers: Clark Rigsby; Jim Gaines; Ken Kessie; Al Schmitt; Alan Chinowsky; Alan Meyerson; Tom Flye.
  • Liner Note Author: David Ritz.
  • Recording information: Fox Theatre, Stockton, CA.
  • Photographer: Frank "Frankie Foto" Abadie Jr.
  • Unknown Contributor Role: Ron E. Beck.
  • The crucial subtitle missing is that this is the best of Tower of Power on Columbia, not a career-spanning anthology that takes in their material with other labels. Since their most popular stuff was done for Warner Brothers, that creates quite a problem when you're representing this material in particular as their best. With the understanding that this disc is limited to their Columbia catalog, it's a decent selection, through chronologically haphazard, drawing from the '90s, the late '70s, and nothing else. For the most part it's competent funk, a little too heavy on the feets-don't-fail-me now braggadocio, as on "Attitude Dance." Yes, there are versions of their well-known "So Very Hard to Go" and "What Is Hip?," but take caution: these are 1998 live recordings, not the famous originals. There's a previously unreleased alternate mix of "I Love That Girl So Much" from the sessions for their 1979 album, Back on the Streets, and it would be a pretty heavy price to pay for the whole disc just to get that one track, even for insistent completists. Very Best of the Warner Years and the more extensive What Is Hip? remain far better best-of compilations on this band. ~ Richie Unterberger
Professional Reviews
Q (6/02, p.142) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Tower Of Power laid down the funk with breathtaking authority in the early '70s....they were really..."
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