Detroit, 1969, one Robert Jay (Robert Brown Jr.) woke up with the devil on his shoulder and a song in his head. Luckily for us the song won out in the end.
Originally released in 1969 on Jo Ann Records as Bro Robert, the first version – “Alcohol Pt. 1” is a full on funky jangle that is very cool in its own right, but it’s the 1973 re-recording that does the trick for me. Interestingly an OG copy of the pink label ’73 version will set you back north of $600 on Discogs!
Back in 2015, California label Ubiquity Compilations added the second version to their Searching for Soul: Soul, Funk & Jazz Rarities from Michigan 1968-1980 compilation and gave the track new life.
The 1973 version of “Alcohol” is a heavy funk masterpiece with an absolutely killer chunky riff, a wicked bass line and the coolest cry baby wah scratch rhythm. Just try not to move your feet.
Check out the interview with Robert and more history on HeavyweightFunk45s HERE.
This one’s for Ben.