I’ve been sitting back on a quiet Saturday evening, chillin’ out and listening to some good music. Playing right now, all the way from 1968, it’s one of the great funk classics, “Tighten Up”, by another of my favourite groups, Archie Bell & the Drells.
This is one of the early true funk masterpieces, with some great grooves and incredible dance rhythms. Aside from Bell’s voice, the one thing that really stands out for me in the tune is the fantastic bass rhythm, followed closely by the funky lead. Everything that makes funk great is present in this song. I defy anybody with an ounce of rhythm in their body not to start tapping their feet or shaking their booty when “Tighten Up” comes on the radio.
I usually associate the emergence of funk with the early-1970s, but there was a period in the late 1960s where the soul music of the earlier era was beginning to give rise to a more up-tempo funky sound, epitomised my the likes of Archie and his Drells, James Brown and others. The end of the Sixties and start of the Seventies saw the evolution of soul into funk, and then into a funky disco sound that was to be the vanguard for the coming disco movement of the next decade. It was an incredible era for music.
The version that I am listening to now is the LP version, which is just over three minutes long. There are two different versions of the song, Parts 1 and 2, which are the first and last tracks respectively on the album that I’m listening to now, ARCHIE BELL & THE DRELLS: THE PLATINUM COLLECTION. This one features twenty of the Drell’s best tracks, and “Tighten Up” is by no means the only good track on it. The album can be found here on Amazon.com, and here on Amazon.uk.
Here also is a link to a YouTube video of a combined version of Archie Bell & the Drells – “Tighten Up” Parts 1 & 2. At about six minutes long, it’s well worth listening to.