The Spirit Of Atlanta – 1973 – The Burning Of Atlanta
Arguably one of the funkiest albums out there, this is an underground classic.
Originally the album was supposed to be the soundtrack to a movie about the burning of Atlanta in 1864, and subsequent rebuilding efforts. Not sure if the movie was ever completed, but thank goodness the album was! I just can’t understand why this band and album aren’t better known. Not a weak track in the collection, and a real head bobber and foot tapper!
While essentially a vanity project for composer/producer/arranger Thomas Stewart, backed here by a cadre of “Hot ‘Lanta” session players, The Burning of Atlanta is nevertheless an excellent funk LP that boasts the panoramic scope of a classic blaxploitation soundtrack. With the vocals embedded deep in the mix, the emphasis lies squarely on the record’s intensely hypnotic grooves — most of the tracks extend past the five-minute mark, with the epic “Messin’ Around” clocking in at nearly twice that total. Stewart’s dramatic melodies also boast a sheen recalling Curtis Mayfield‘s classic Superfly — and just in case you couldn’t place the reference, there’s even an answer song: “Freddie’s Alive and Well“. AMG
Totally great – and a record you probably know nothing about! The album’s one of the greatest ever to come out of the Hotlanta scene of the 70s – a tight batch of funk tracks with a heck of a lot of guitar. The set was produced by Tommy Stewart, of “Bump and Hustle” fame – and it’s got an unusual style that’s equally appealing to fans of funk, and fans of clubbier music – lots of tight playing, hard riffing, and longer grooves that soar along with impeccable grace. The whole thing’s almost like the classic Wood Brass & Steel album – but with some rougher edges that make it even better! Includes the great tracks “Vine City” and “Messin Around“, both of which are very long funk tracks, plus shorter cuts that are just as funky, like “Down Underground”, “Freddie’s Alive and Well”, and “Buttermilk Bottom”.
Don’t pass this up, it’s a funky monster classic!