The Gap Band - 1974 – Magicians Holiday
The Gap Band were originally known as the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Street Band in the late Sixties.The group hail from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and later changed their name to The Gap Band in 1973. Charlie, Ronnie (the oldest) and Robert Wilson were brought up in a religious household and are cousins of Bootsy Collins.
Their father was a minister in the local church and insisted his children learn various musical instruments, predominantly the piano. The Greenwood, Archer, and Pine Street Band were formed in 1967, and also featured Tuck Andress, who was later to achieve success as part of the duo Tuck and Patti. The name proved to be too long for many advertising purposes, so the brothers shortened the name to the G.A.P. Street Band, which led to their future group title.
Their first album, released under the Gap Band name, reflected a raw funk sound with deep soul ballads too.
A1 I-Yike-It 2:48
A2 Backbone 2:38
A3 After all Is Said and Done 3:27
A4 Fontessa Fame 4:38
A5 You Can Always Count on Me 5:00
B1 Bad Girl 3:35
B2 Easy Life 3:55
B3 Loving You Is Everithing 3:34
B4 Tommy’s Groove 3:42
B5 Magicians Holiday 2:54
Review by Andre S. Grindle
For those who only know The Gap Band from hits such as “Burn Rubber On Me” or “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” should definately take the time and cash to search out this recording! It comes from what I refer to as the Gap Band’s “first career”. Fresh from backup work for Leon Russell on his Stop All That Jazz album, The Gap Band sound very very different on this, their TRUE debut album (many think it was 1979’s self titled Mercury debut). Their sound here is far gutsier,rootsier and more in keeping with their southern roots then they would be later on. That being said The Gap Band are very much fully formed here. They are able to deliver great funk with a tad of a Sly Stone twist (which is exactly what they do on the first three tracks) and one of them,”Backbone” is just slick enough to join up with the best of their slick Mercury area material. On “Fontessa Fame” they go even deeper with a very deep groove and a somewhat pecuiliar afro-centric percussion outro.
Surprisingly Charlie Wilson‘s vocals are already fully formed here and his shinning moment on this album is the piano-led deep soul ballad “You Can Always Count On Me“, a straight-out-of-the-late-60’s Atlantic Records/Aretha style tune-at the end of the album Charlie Wilson pulls out an equally sweet Northern Soul turn in “Loving You Is Everything“. “Bad Girl“, in keeping with the time period has a very strong “funkadelic” acid rock flavor to it.
No matter how one cuts it, The Gap Band were more then fully formed musically even at this primative stage in their development. One thing people had neglected to realize is that they were actually around a lot longer then even this album-growing and developing on sessions and live performances.
So they were pretty fully formed by this point, even if most people don’t even know this album exists.