Published on June 20th, 2016 | by Hondo0
Hard World – Heads Funk Band
Considering YouTube is such a huge and sprawling beast, it always surprises me how few clicks it takes to unearth an unexpected treasure. Seconds after stumbling on a playlist put together by the irresistibly-named Afrolicious Funkster, I was listening to ‘Money Makes You Happy’ by Heads Funk Band.
Woah! From the opening cry of ‘Hit me!’ this urgent slab of James Brown-inspired Nigerian funk had me hooked. It’s all swirling keyboards, Bootsy Collins bass lines and frantic, skittering drums. And it’s tight. Tight as a fish’s bum, as my dad would say. And that’s watertight.
Heads Funk Band came from Warri, in the Nigerian Delta, rising from from the ashes of The Founders and Red House. Hard World was released in 1975 and was the first of five seriously funky albums that the guys released over two years, through two different labels, and under two different band names.
The ruse worked something like this. Guitarist Felix Odey and keyboardist Kevin Coburn signed with Afrodisia as Akwassa and listed the rest of the Heads Funk Band as guest musicians. Then those musicians signed with EMI as the Heads Funk Band and listed Odey and Coburn as their guests.
Swirling keyboards, Bootsy Collins baselines and frantic, skittering drums – when you’re bursting with this much funkiness, you’ve got to find some way to let it all out
When you’re bursting with as much funkiness as these guys were, you’ve got to find some way to let it all out.
For a long time, all five albums have been almost impossible to find. But a brand new label out of Austria called PMG have secured the rights and will be re-issuing them over the next few months.
Time to get saving!