Del Jones’ Postive Vibes’ – 1973 – Court Is Closed
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Del Jones’ Positive Vibes were a Philadelphia band that released two versions of the same album – both self-released on Hikeka Records in 1973. First was the ‘psych mix’ entitled ‘Court Is Closed’ and then the self-titled ‘soul mix’ with added horns and re-ordered with two extra tracks – ‘Vibe-Ing Theme’ and ‘Soul Of Black Folks’.
The story apparently goes Del Jones’ brother worked for a major record label and told Del that the original album wasn’t commercial enough so he took the original tapes to Electric Lady Studios in NYC and had horns laid over the original tracks.
Court Is Closed (1973) [Original version, 500 copies pressed]
Ebay copy for US $2,999.99 here
A1 Court Is Closed 8:20
A2 Inside Black America 4:17
A3 Times Are Hard, Friends Are Few 5:20
B1 Prelude To Hell 1:52
B2 Needle N’ Spoon 2:02
B3 Cold Turkey 9:40
Soul Of Black Folks
Review from Acid Archives
“The first version of this album (sans the overdubbed horns of the second pressing) is a great document of true inner city grit. While the anger is surprisingly subdued, these guys obviously know the down and dirty life of which they sing.
Despite all of the lyrics about drugs and being put down by the man, there’s an essentially positive message here. A few of the songs stretch out into long jams that build in intensity and really stand up well to multiple listens.
There’s a lack of real “singing” here, with most of the stories being told in a kind of matter-of-fact sing-speak, and the few times real melodies break out make you wish there were more.
Nonetheless, this is a killer LP: powerful, memorable, uncompromising and full of life, and it doesn’t sound like any soul/funk album you’ve heard.”
Extraordinary eyewitness report from the Philly ghettoes surprisingly packaged in a non-aggressive funk/jam rock grooooooove that surpasses pretty much everything else in the genre, especially the opening title track with a westcoast jazzrock feel that just kills.
Supported by the best housing project funk band anywhere Del Jones raps about the terrifying state of America ’73, while the flipside deals directly with heroin use and how to get out of it. One of the top funkrock LPs ever, blows most of your starry-eyed white-boy psych LPs away. Del Jones is still active in the African-American cause as evident from the insert he penned for the honkie reissue. “You’ve got to liquidate your assets”.