Formula V – 1977 – Phase 1

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Keyboardist/producer Charles Richard Cason is best known for his Rich Cason Orchestra of the early ’80s and for his contributions to electro-funk and West Coast hip-hop; it was Cason who wrote the music for Captain Rapp’s sociopolitical 1983 cult classic “Bad Times (I Can’t Stand It)“. But before that, the Los Angeles resident was a member of the obscure funk/soul band Formula V, which made its vinyl debut with 1977’s Phase One. Commercially, this enjoyable LP fell through the cracks, although the people who did hear it agreed that Formula V had potential.

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The album had a solid, infectious single in “Dance All Night“,which was written by Cason and had the makings of an R&B radio hit but was, for whatever reason, ignored by radio. Nonetheless, one could hear some promise on funk smokers like “Dance All Night“, “Time to Change Your Thang,”, and “Disco Funkenstein“,as well as the romantic soul ballads “She’s My Woman” and “We’ve Got Such a Good Love“. So why didn’t Phase One enjoy more attention? One can only speculate. This out of print LP falls short of remarkable, but it’s a decent effort that should not have been ignored (Review by Alex Henderson)

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