The Brothers Johnson ‎– 1976 – Look Out For #1

The Brothers Johnson ‎– Look Out For #1 front

Review by Andre S. Grindle

When funk was just entering the music scene in the late 60’s/early 70’s it was as a new hybrid music created by a number of different people with an already establish sound based in other styles such as James Brown (soul and doo-wop), Earth Wind & Fire (jazz), War, Santana and Mandrill (psychedelic latin rock) and Sly & The Family Stone who were based in a mixture of soul and psychedelic rock. Much like jazz and hip-hop later funk started out a lot like gumbo-a lot of things being blended together by a single source. And Louis and George Johnson were there from the start,playing with Billy Preston in their teens and getting hooked up with Quincy Jones for his Mellow Madness album. Their style was so enjoyable and strong that they became one of Quincy’s first satillite acts and their debut album dropped about a year later. By that time they debuted at a time when funk music had started to become an established sound in and of itself and the Johnson’s first album was a big part of that change.

A1 I’ll Be Good To You 4:44
A2 Thunder Thumbs And Lightnin’ Licks 4:51
A3 Get The Funk Out Ma Face 2:27
A4 Tomorrow 2:58
A5 Free And Single 4:07
B1 Come Together 4:12
B2 Land Of Ladies 4:30
B3 Dancin’ And Prancin’ 3:01
B4 The Devil 3:40

The Brothers Johnson ‎– Look Out For #1 back

Considering how innovative Louis Johnson’s bass sound would become in the future it’s amazing to hear the strong Sly Ston aspect in the overall sound of this album,rhytmically and melodically although the closely knit guitar/bass licks and thumps are very much theirs though very much out of the Larry Graham tradition. I’ve been listening to “I’ll Be Good To You” for years but it just hit me how much the pop melody and thumping rhythm owes to the sound of the Family Stone. In fact aside from the mild tempo’d jazzy instrumental “Tomorrow” this album is all funk. There’s straight ahead dance/funk of “Get The Funk Outta Ma Face“,”Dancin And Prancin” and “Free And Single“-all of which contain tons of clever harmony changes and reverb from the bottoms up. Few songs could sound as “mid 70’s funk” as these songs do. The powerful instrumental “Thunder Thumbs And Lightnin’ Licks” showcases their tight bass/guitar sound with the the horns, synthesizers and drums blaring away in and around George and Lewis on…another straight ahead dance-funk jam.

The Brothers Johnson ‎– Look Out For #1 label 1

On “The Land Of Ladies” the jazzier element of their sound comes out as the harmony takes on a sleeker quality and the tempo goes up and down. With Harvey Mason, Billy Cobham and Don Grusin along for the right that’s not the least bit surprising. Now on a cover of “Come Together“, already a hardcore bluesy funk groove on the original and their own “The Devil“,with it’s nasty echoes hissess and evil laughs the funk gets about as swampy,slow and deep as the Johnson’s would ever get. Now whenever I see a TV show of any short of this era I kee hearing tracks from this album played again and again during party scenes and other times the album cover posted on the cover of someone’s wall. This was a huge funk hit at the time and one of the best debut albums anyone of any genre could ask for. It found George, Louis and everyone involved playing, writing and producing to the best of their ability to create an album that was both highly singable and that grooved as hard as it could.

Five star funk all the way.

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Conversation for album: The Brothers Johnson ‎– 1976 – Look Out For #1

  • Artemio
    Posted at 14:06h, 28 February 2016 Reply

    Its was live and peace …back then …….

  • Gilberto
    Posted at 14:13h, 28 February 2016 Reply

    RIP, brother Louis, reminds me of my club days.

  • alexis
    Posted at 18:57h, 28 February 2016 Reply

    This one never gets old…

  • Renegade
    Posted at 19:15h, 29 February 2016 Reply

    The touch of the master Quincy Jones.

  • Helen Low
    Posted at 19:20h, 29 February 2016 Reply

    I absolutely love this one, grew up on it. No one makes music like this anymore.

  • Superfunkyman
    Posted at 01:16h, 01 March 2016 Reply

    I haven’t heard this for years, thanks for posting. Top sound.

  • Terror
    Posted at 01:18h, 01 March 2016 Reply

    man I use to sit back and jam this all night in 1976, this is still hooooooooot

  • Edgar
    Posted at 10:39h, 01 March 2016 Reply

    Keep on grooving man……..!!!!!!!!!!

  • Milos
    Posted at 11:26h, 01 March 2016 Reply

    Thaaaaaat Bass!!!!!!!!!

  • Scorpio23
    Posted at 13:08h, 02 March 2016 Reply

    Nice to upgrade my old lp. thank you.

  • Franky
    Posted at 23:26h, 02 March 2016 Reply

    Funk lovers delight, check the energy out…

  • admin
    Posted at 23:31h, 02 March 2016 Reply

    Classic. Brings back serious memories. Southside/Chicago.

  • Raul
    Posted at 11:09h, 03 March 2016 Reply

    Imortal piece!
    RIP Louis Johnson.

  • Norman G
    Posted at 11:13h, 03 March 2016 Reply

    Excellents musicians and group. What a great debut album.

  • Laurent
    Posted at 14:08h, 03 March 2016 Reply

    so dope

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 20:12h, 03 March 2016 Reply

    Just wanna dance. Love it!

  • Gilty3
    Posted at 00:51h, 04 March 2016 Reply

    Keep up the good work, we all really appreciate what you do here!

  • Aragones
    Posted at 10:13h, 04 March 2016 Reply

    Classic tune right here!

  • Erald
    Posted at 12:01h, 04 March 2016 Reply

    man this music is unbelievable !
    I can remember the days my auntie’s where singing this 70’s classic.

  • Nathan
    Posted at 14:40h, 12 March 2016 Reply

    Um, um, um,um, um um, um, um,um, um, um, um,

  • Riviera
    Posted at 14:39h, 23 March 2016 Reply

    super !
    nice 70s thx

  • Pooh
    Posted at 02:48h, 02 April 2016 Reply

    THANK U! FUNK FUNK FUNK. Excellent piece of work. Quincy’s 1st Superstars. R.I.P. Louis….you are forever the nucleus of all those Quicy produced Michael Jackson records & 1 of the ABSOLUTE BEST!!!

    I can’t believe no one mentioned Syreeta Wright is on this record(I’ll Be Good To U/Free & Single) & had just come off that incredible solo project Stevie Wonder Presents which Motown didnt promote. It is the perfect addition to Stevie’s stellar 72-76 creative period .

    Syreeta was the 2nd Motown act they failed to promote Ouincy featured who laterblew up( the classic With You I’m Born Again w/Billy Preston). The 1st would be Valerie Simpson(Ashford & Simpson)…..of course we know who she is 🙂

  • Farell
    Posted at 20:09h, 05 April 2016 Reply

    This music is timeless, priceless, with greatness! They paved the way for these youngsta’s

  • faab
    Posted at 15:33h, 13 March 2017 Reply

    Greatest of their LP’s. Such an excellent riddim with main bass technical flow provided by Brother Louis RIP. Thanks Nikkos

  • Psychfan
    Posted at 15:07h, 02 June 2018 Reply

    Thanks very much!

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