Buddy Miles – 1970 – A Message To The People

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The prolific drummer’s most creative album, ‘A Message to the People’ can well be seen as the artistic completion of Buddy’s search for perfect funk-rock-folk-soul fusion. 

Retooling Joe Tex’ “You’re Right, Ray Charles” into a frenzied, hard driving, brass drenched instrumental, Miles pays hommage to one of his biggest inspirators by naming the vamp after him. The entire band gets down here, with the horn section trading riffs before combining forces on the bridge, pumping out a truly gutbucket hook that is preposterous in its infectious stankativity. 

A1 Joe Tex 4:57
A2 The Way I Feel Tonight 5:05
A3 Place Over There 5:42
A4 The Segment 2:35
B1 Don’t Keep Me Wondering 2:01
B2 Midnight Rider 3:35
B3 Sudden Stop 4:17
B4 Wholesale Love 2:37
B5 That’s the Way Life Is 2:00

By Soulmakossa

Buddy’s trademark lazy-stompin’ groove propels the laidback “The Way I Feel Tonight“, spotlighting Miles’ raspy, high-pitched vocal abilities. Features a smoldering sax solo, as well as one of Charlie Karp’s heavily wah wah’d free-form guitar workouts. 

Next up is something of a two-piece suite; adding some folksy, rollicking guitars and keeping a solid, funky bottom on drums, “Place Over There” also incorporates elements of Blues and horn-heavy Southern Soul. Shifting in tempo throughout, it makes way for “The Segment“, probably the most haunting track here. Minor-keyed and brooding, with a warbling organ droning on in the back, Miles persistently belts out the line ‘Yes I know, she told me so’ with punishing horns accentuating his every desperate plea. My only beef with this song is that it’s so short… The live version, which appeared on ‘Buddy Miles Live’ a year later, really takes the tension on display here to bigger and scarier heights. 

Kicking off Side B is another ‘twofer’, as Buddy and band tackle two much loved Allman Brothers jams. “Don’t Keep Me Wondering” is pure sleaze-funk, with the wailing, bumping horns and Miles’ hard driven drumming. It abruptly transforms into the much darker “Midnight Rider“, adding more of a rock feel to the funk. 

Sudden Stop“, the famous Percy Sledge hit, is the weakest track here: the execution is good, but this slow grinding ballad really sounds a bit out off place amidst the heavy barrage of funk-rock and gospelfide folksy soul. 

Much better is a rowdy take on Otis Redding’s “Wholesale Love” – a track posthumously released in 1969. Buddy stays close to the original, keeping in that Memphis vibe. It proved to become his biggest Pop hit. 

Closing this remarkable disc is the introspective “That’s the Way Life Is“, where Miles and company once more cook up an unlikely stew of funk, folk, gospel and rock. 

Hands down, this is Buddy Miles’ best studio album. And if you can dig this, you MUST check out the live album released in 1971.

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Conversation for album: Buddy Miles – 1970 – A Message To The People

  • Montesto
    Posted at 14:06h, 02 November 2018 Reply

    These dudes from the 70s were the best musical geniuses of any era I think personally!

  • DustyF
    Posted at 19:16h, 02 November 2018 Reply

    wooweee….nice one here! Thanks!

  • Simenon
    Posted at 21:56h, 02 November 2018 Reply

    A real find. pure joy. Thank you.

  • LIz67
    Posted at 12:01h, 03 November 2018 Reply

    Dopeness as usual. Thanks!

  • Marios
    Posted at 20:07h, 03 November 2018 Reply

    Thanks for adding good vibes in our lives

  • Dezzz
    Posted at 08:44h, 04 November 2018 Reply

    Great great album, I’ll be holding on to my copy forever! 😉

  • Darious
    Posted at 10:02h, 05 November 2018 Reply


  • Marvelfun
    Posted at 12:28h, 05 November 2018 Reply

    Stunning 👌❤️

  • Ramon
    Posted at 21:02h, 05 November 2018 Reply

    a great job once again!!

  • MuddFlapp
    Posted at 22:04h, 05 November 2018 Reply

    Joe Tex track called You’re Right Ray Charles
    Buddy samples the horns for the track named Joe Tex
    first sample ever
    Buddy got more energy than three of us put together in a silo of monster energy drink.
    The pic on the back is well worth the price

  • Marty
    Posted at 10:05h, 06 November 2018 Reply

    Thanks for this upload, its an inspiring master piece.

  • Elton
    Posted at 10:48h, 06 November 2018 Reply

    So damn nice👍

  • Byron
    Posted at 22:03h, 06 November 2018 Reply

    thank you very much for your generosity and wonderful research, you make our lives better!

  • Franklin
    Posted at 22:27h, 06 November 2018 Reply

    Love this blog another rare album i gotta check out.

  • Calvin
    Posted at 22:52h, 06 November 2018 Reply

    thanks for all of the music you provide. you’ve really opened my eyes to a lot of great records.

  • Kenny
    Posted at 09:41h, 07 November 2018 Reply

    Gorgeous music!!!!

  • Zaba
    Posted at 22:24h, 12 November 2018 Reply

    Best music ever!

  • Shemp David Niven
    Posted at 18:41h, 29 May 2019 Reply

    A first-rate album….BUT….Mercury (or whoever has the masters) needs to remix/remaster this bad boy *yesterday* – in fact, the whole Buddy canon (up to CHAPTER VII) could stand with a proper rediscovery.

    • YaFeelMe
      Posted at 16:39h, 22 June 2019 Reply

      Fully agree. I have most of Buddy’s albums on vinyl and while they sound good…. they could sound so much better.

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