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Soul Express Album Review

Fatback: So Delicious (1985 Reissue)

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So Delicious
US Wounded Bird 2010
Reissue of the original 1985 album on Cotillion, remastered
1) Girls on My Mind 2) Go out with a Bang 3) Lover Undercover 4) Sequence 96 5) Let's Play Tonight 6) She's a Go-Getter 7) So Delicious 8) Start It up 9) Evil

After the Phoenix album Fatback's mellow and soulful lead singer Michael Walker and Johnny Flippin departed the group (forming their own group Point 3 FM), and Fatback had no other choice but to return to their funk roots. They couldn't have done it better!

"Glorious real mean, low down dirty 102 bpm snorting solid funk groove with irresistible fluid bass and honking sax. Over which they gloat `yes yes yes' while imagining the delights of all those young lay-dees! Certain murder in black clubs."

That was James Hamilton's review of the opening cut (and the single release) of the album in Record Mirror, and I can only agree. The man behind the "honking sax" that makes the track so delicious (like the album title suggests) is, of course, David Sanborn, who blows a meaty unceasing solo that lasts about six minutes. Marvellous stuff!

There were three other killer cuts on the album. Probably the catchiest was Lover Undercover with its groovy rhythm pattern and hooky guitar riff. The group's new vocalist John DeBerry didn't impress me, though. Sequence 96 is a magnificent lesson in building the `fatback' groove piece by piece. My favourite of these three is, however, the seductive Let's Play Tonight, which has a splendid, funky groove.

A more melodic mover She's a Go-Getter fails mainly because of the weak vocals. However, on 2 tracks, the mid-paced title track and the hurried ticker Evil, Ben E. King is featured on lead vocals. Still, the most worthwhile part of these is David Sanborn's strong sax soloing on So Delicious.

As a whole, one of the strongest funk albums of the 80s, now reissued on Wounded Bird label.
- Ismo Tenkanen
Soul Express

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