The Lost Generation – 1972 – Young, Tough and Terrible
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They’re young and tough – and especially wonderful too – easily one of the most compelling harmony soul groups to ever hail from the Windy City! The set’s a Chicago soul gem from the early 70s – recorded with a laidback, slightly tripped-out vibe that’s different than the tighter styles of other groups from the same scene – definitely righteous at points, with some of the superbad modes you might hear from an east coast lineup like The Delfonics or Soul Generation, especially when they were trying to get a bit more conscious in their message. Arrangements are great – handled by Tom Tom Washington, Eugene Record, and Cliff Davis – very much at the best Brunswick mode, but again with a deeper sort of vibe too. The title cut’s a monster, and a very fitting follow-up to their earlier “Sly, Slick, & Wicked” track – and the album features 2 versions (vocal and instrumental) of a cut called “This Is The Lost Generation”, a very righteous soul groove with a heavy production tip.
A1 This Is the Lost Generation 3:34
A2 Tired of Being Alone 5:47
A3 All in the Course of a Day 3:16
A4 You’ve Got to Crawl Before You Walk 3:26
A5 Sure Is Funky 3:41
B1 The Young, Tough and Terrible 3:03
B2 Paulette 3:02
B3 Thin Line Between Love and Hate 3:39
B4 One More Bridge to Cross 3:26
B5 This Is the Lost Generation (Instrumental) 3:31
Review by Soulmakossa
Trying to keep up consistency, The Lost Generation came up with an album titled similar to its premier output. ‘The Young, Tough and Terrible’ was released in 1972 and is pretty much in the same vein as its predecessor.
The big exception, however, is the clever, political funk track “This Is the Lost Generation“. Bubblin’ over a smouldering groove, Lowrell Simon’s lyrics are inspired and to the point, poignantly pointing out the differences between ‘the generation gap’, e.g. attitudes towards life before and after the rise of Black consciousness, as espoused by Blacks themselves. Beautiful, jazzy guitar licks, flutes and a slight Latin vibe give this amazing track a ‘blaxpo’-sound that’s unlike anything else on this album – or, for that matter, on their first LP.
Covers had always been a forte of the band, and on their second jam they went for true-to-the-original renditions of Al Green’s “Tired of Being Alone” and The Persuaders’ “Thin Line Between Love and Hate“. A little less orthodox material was culled from Detroit’s psy-soul outfit The 8th Day; their smash hit “You’ve Got to Crawl Before You Walk” gets the Lost Generation treatment here. Most appealing of all is their rendition of Ashford & Simpson’s bouncy “One More Bridge to Cross“.
The originals are were its at, though. Brunswick producer Richard Parker wrote the well-grooved, mid-tempo cruiser “All In the Course of a Day” – a great slice of Chicago Soul featuring those big arrangements that never get in the way of the Funk – as well as the uptempo, horn induced smoker “Paulette“.
Lowrell Simon, the group’s leader, wrote far less for this LP as he had for the Lost Generation’s first outing. But his “Sure Is Funky” does rank as one of his finest achievements. As the title implies, this is a hard socking slab of gutbucket funky soul: crashing drums, distorted wah wah guitars and a fat, fat bass line. Simon also had a hand in writing the title track, which, despite its ominous wording, actually is a very smooth, soft ballad.
Closing the disc is a fantastic instrumental version of “This Is the Lost Generation“; the same drilling groove, this time lavishly smothered with jazz guitar riffin’.
Maybe not as strong as its predecessor, but tracks such as “This Is the Lost Generation” (both the vocal and instrumental) and “Sure Is Funky” make ‘The Young, Tough and Terrible’ another must have for Chicago Soul buffs.
You can also get their 1970 Sly, Slick And The Wicked LP on our back pages here.