The Meters – 1974 – Rejuvenation
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This is the greatest album they cut for Reprise and it’s one of the few that ever really approaches the genius of their early work for Josie.
The record features the incredible breakbeat cut “Just Kissed My Baby” – worth the price of the album alone, plus other nice ones like “Jungle Man“, “Africa“, “What’cha Say“, and the perennial New Orleans favorite “Hey Pocky A Way“.
Also features the incredible funk jam “It Ain’t No Use” – a monster track that’s nearly 12 minutes long!
Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.128) – Ranked #138 in Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums Of All Time – “They achieved a perfect balance of funk, rock and Dixie R&B on REJUVENATION gems…” Rolling Stone (8/3/00, p.58) –4.5 stars out of 5 –
A1. People Say 5.15
A2. Love Is For Me 3.49
A3. Just Kissed My Baby 4.42
A4. What’cha Say 3.27
A5. Jungle Man 3.23
B1. Hey Pocky A-Way 4.01
B2. It Ain’t No Use 11.48
B3. Loving You Is On My Mind 3.13
B4. Africa 3.56
People Say – (single version, bonus track)
Hey Pocky A-Way – (single version, bonus track)
Not to dis the contributions of other funk masters like Parliament / Funkadelic (who are brilliant in their own right), but NO ONE can make an ass shake like the Meters in their prime. And this is their prime. Actually, every one of their previous releases (which are largely all-instrumental with the exception of “Cabbage Alley”) up to this one is a five-star title. After “Rejuvenation,” things started to go downhill, even though subsequent albums contained their share of highlights. But, it never got any better than this title. Every song is a winner, and a few are stone-cold classics (“Hey Pocky Way“, “Jungle Man“, “Just Kissed My Baby“). I’ve put this on at many a party and have delighted at seeing individuals, seated alone, morose and lonesome in the corner, begin to twitch involuntarily and uncontrollably in response to the rhythms the Meters pour out (this last statement is NOT an exaggeration). This is music which makes people who are not in the know approach you asking, “Who IS this? I gotta get this!” Actually, you may be a bit more familiar with the Meters than you think as a new generation of hip-hop artists has sampled their tracks liberally.
Great stuff! Get it, you will not regret it.
According to some, the Meters’ earlier instrumental stuff is the one and only “classic Meters”. I wholeheartedly disagree. This album is about as classic as it gets! It’s just very different from their earlier style, so different in fact that you can hardly compare them.
This is a much more mature and sophisticated work, and without dissing the instrumentals in any way – I love them too! – I must say that this is my favorite Meters album. In fact it’s my favorite album of all time!
If you are unfamiliar with the funky, funky Meters (possibly the funkiest band of all time? Just listen to the awesome Modeliste/Porter rhythm section!) – this is the place to start. An All-Time Classic from start to finish!
The title is a tip-off, as is the garish, blaxploitation-chic photo on the cover — Rejuvenation, the Meters’ second album for Reprise, should be seen as a bit of a new beginning for the quintessential New Orleans funk group. It’s not a clean beginning, since they were pointing in this direction on Cabbage Alley, but this is where their glistening, clear production, crisp performances, rock influences, and hard-edged funk coalesce into a sound distinct from their Josie recordings — not better, just different. As such, this is the definitive Reprise album from the Meters, not just because the material is stronger (which admittedly is true), but because the performances are continually inspired and the production is professional but hits at a gut level, resulting in a first-class funk album.