Instant Funk


Instant Funk

Instant Funk were a 1970s disco band, best known for their disco classic, "I Got My Mind Made Up".

Instant Funk came out of New Jersey consisting of Raymond Earl, Scotty Miller and guitarist Kim Miller. The group was then called The Music Machine and they were very successful as a back-up band for The Manhattans, Bunny Sigler and also the TNJs. Throughout their careers, Instant Funk would be the back-up band for many stars, including Lou Rawls, Loleatta Holloway, The O'Jays, MFSB, Curtis Mayfield and Evelyn Champagne King (they are the backing band on the hit single, "Shame").

The group relocated to Philadelphia in 1976 to release its first album, "Get Down With the Philly Jump", as they started to formulate their own sound. The group followed this album up with a release for former MFSB guitarist Norman Harris' new record label Gold Mind, with front man Bunny Sigler entitled "Let Me Party With You".

The Gold Mind label folded, and Instant Funk's new cut "I Got My Mind Made Up" was transferred to the Salsoul label, which pushed the record heavily to all of the disco clubs. The remix of this song by club DJ Larry Levan and engineer Bob Blank quickly became the talk of Manhattan. "I Got My Mind Made Up" hit #1 on both the R&B and disco charts and #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the spring of 1979. The group's eponymous first album on Salsoul was also a hit, reaching #1 R&B and being certified gold disc status.

Instant Funk initially stayed together to tour ahen Salsoul folded. They eventually disbanded, and Bunny Sigler went on to perform as part of The Trammps.

Album discography

*1976 - "Get Down With The Philly Jump"The title track (by T. Life) is a wonderful, propulsive riff tune, well worth searching out the album for. The rest of the disc is nowhere near that level, but it's pleasant, especially when they stick to funk ("Give Me Your Love"; "The Mack Is Back"). They show taste and versatility, stretching from the ballad "So Glad I'm The One" to the Mandrill-like "Funky Africa" (with flute opposite distorted guitar) without being tacky or contrived. But many of the tunes are slight ("Go For Yourself"; "It Ain't Reggae (But It's Funky)"). For some reason, this didn't hit, and the group spent a few years without a record deal.
*1979 - "Instant Funk (9.97)"Produced by Bunny Sigler, and he stays close to T. Life's Philly/Salsoul blend of lush, smooth orchestration and funky rhythms. The single "Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)" is the band's best known song, and deservedly so: it's a brilliant shot of uptempo disco-flavored funk, and "Don't You Wanna Party" (with a bizarre "jungle gym" refrain) is just about as good. Sigler and the band also pull off some ballads ("Crying"; "Never Let It Go Away"). There are problems, though: "Darth Vader" is silly, and the "Zanzibar"-like "Wide World Of Sports" never quite gets going.
*1979 - "Witch Doctor"Seems like they were trying a little too hard to ride trends here: the opening "Slap Slap Lickedy Lap" has a vocal chant recalling "Got My Mind Made Up" and a rhythm guitar line lifted from Kool and the Gang. "Bodyshine" is a duller take on the same subject (and an even more similar chant). The love songs are also a step down from previous releases ("I Had A Dream"; "It's Your Love On My Mind"), so the only find is the title track.
*1980 - "The Funk Is On"As with "Got My Mind Made Up," the best thing about the group is the relaxed yet propulsive funk bass of Raymond Earl ("It's Cool"; Scotty Miller and Earl's "You Want My Love"). And the loose good-time vibe makes the record enjoyable even when it's thin ("Funk-N-Roll," with overdone gag yodelling). But the writing is weak: "Everybody" is a shameless copy of "One Nation Under A Groove," and the ballad "What Can I Do For You" relies on the falsetto group backing vocals that Earth, Wind & Fire were able to make work, but just sound precious on everyone else. The title track is by Randy Muller, his usual no-frills funk groove. Produced by Sigler. The title track was sampled by L.A. electro group, Valerna, in 2007 for their single by the same name.
*1982 - "Looks So Fine"By now the band was starting to incorporate Gap Band-style electronics, which has the unfortunate effect of pushing Earl's bass to the sidelines ("Gotta Like That"). Proving the point, the album's one certified terrific cut is the one with a tight Earl bass line prominently on display ("Why Don't You Think About It"). The love song "Jumpin' To Conclusion" isn't one of their worst, but not one of their best either... Ultimately, what's disappointing about the record isn't the quality of the weak tunes, which they were always prone to, it's that they've lost the easygoing natural vibe that made them Instant Funk in the first place.
*1983 - "Instant Funk Volume 5"
*1983 - "Kinky"Continuing in the same a Rick James-inspired electro-funk direction that doesn't really pay off ("Keep It Up"). They make a further attempt to ride trends with a Melle Mel-derived rap from Donald Lamons on "Don't Call Me Brother." Two songs are from the suspect pen of Leon Ware: "Passion" (which at least has nice group vocals on the chorus) and the title track, a "Superfreak" knockoff. The strategy succeeds only on "Funkiest Party In The World," which is an overstatement, but it is an enviable blend of early hip hop beats, vocal chant and funk bass line. Then there are two forgettable love songs by Sigler, "Let's Make Love" and "Tonight We're Gonna Make Love."
*1996 - "Greatest Hits"
*1996 - "The Best of Instant Funk"

ee also

*List of number-one dance hits (United States)
*List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart
*"Slam Dunk The Funk" - a notable song by the band.


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