Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Bloodstone - Party - 1984 / 2010 - T-Neck / Funky Town Grooves

This is another gem from the 1980s that I missed and am now privileged to own on CD thanks to Sony US and Funky Town Grooves. By 1984 Bloodstone were a very well established group, and like many other groups of their composition faced a number of technological and stylistic changes as the years progressed. Some horn-filled groups suffered, other fragmented yet many adapted and embraced the new programmed, synthy styles that permeated the decade. Bloodstone may be a million miles from their 1970s splendours of "Natural High", yet the spirit, soul and funk that permeates the classiest of outfits such as Bloodstone can be heard to be undiminished here in 1984. I for one liked this progression and the sound suits the guys to a tee. "Party" being an apt title, the set remains mainly uptempo. The ballads, mostly work well bar the odd drop of sugar here and there. I would strongly recommend the synth-funk of "Feel The Heat" for starters. A track that fits in well with then-contemporary cuts from the likes of Con Funk Shun, the Chi-Lites and the Bar-Kays.

"Contagious" is a slammin' little number of 80s synth funk, riddled with 808 drums and scratchy guitar. Yet don't overlook the fact that the vocals are rough, soulful and kick ass! For fans of a subtler, more traditional outing the gorgeously lavish string-laden "Instant Love" comes across as the Kinsman Dazz meets Next Movement. "It Feels So Good (With You)" reminds me of a Cameo or Con Funk Shun cut of it's day and as such is a pleasing one to my raddled old ears. My favourite ballad here, though, is the KILLER "I Adore You" with strings, real instruments and traditional leanings. With the guitar licks this could almost be late 70s / early 80s Thom Bell material. The strings are certainly warm and even the hardest and sternest critic of the 1980s cannot fail to warm to this. All told, this really is a lovely little number and contains plenty for everyone. If we get more of the way of sets like this then I will be a very happy chappy indeed!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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