Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Politicians featuring McKinley Jackson

Many of you will by now probably own a copy of The Go! Team’s new single, Grip Like A Vice. On the back of the sleeve it says “contains elements of Psycha-Soula-Funkadelic” by The Politicians; a bit like saying the b-side, a cover of Sonic Youth’s Bull In The Heather, contains elements of Sonic Youth’s Bull In The Heather.

The Politicians were the house band of Hot Wax, one of the two labels put together by the songwriting triumvirate of Holland, Dozier and Holland after their 1968 split with Motown, like the Funk Brothers were to Motown or the MGs were to Stax.

Their only album, 1972’s The Politicians featuring McKinley Jackson, opens with Psycha-Soula-Funkadelic. The next song on the album is The World We Live In, which you will notice bears more than a passing similarity to Primal Scream’s Loaded.

I asked Brian O’Shaughnessy, who produced Loaded, about this remarkable likeness some years ago at glamorous London indie venue, the Water Rats. He said that the young lady who played the horn riff was a classically trained session musician who made the riff up herself. There was absolutely no chance she’d ever even heard of The Politicians, let alone be familiar enough with them to rip off a song.

Still, alarmingly close, are they not?

The World We Live In was written by McKinley Jackson with the help of Hot Wax’s men with the magic touch (hear me out!), Dunbar/Wayne* (they wrote Band Of Gold! Give Me Just A Little More Time! (You’ve Got Me) Dangling On A String! Many, many, more!).

*Ronald Dunbar was a songwriter before his work with the Hot Wax and Invictus labels. Edith Wayne was a pseudonym for Eddie Holland (some say the entire songwriting team of Holland, Dozier, Holland). All the H-D-H boys were still under contract to Motown when they left, so for legal reasons couldn’t write for their new labels, hence the pseudonym (Eddie Holland’s contract had longer left to run than his colleagues’).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great story! Thanks for this. I just found the Politicians and they couldn't be more awesome.