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Odyssey - Electric One (LP)
 

Odyssey - Electric One (LP)

Price: $500.00 currently not available     
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Genre: soul
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title:  Electric One
Company: Tiger Lily
Catalog: TL 14031
Year: 1976
Country/State: US
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: small punch out hole top right corner
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 13326
Price: $500.00

So, without a doubt, here's one of the holy grails in the tax scam genre. I've looked thorough various harcopy and on line reference materials, but have never found a review of this LP, let alone another photo of this late-1970s slice of soul and funk.

In typical Tiger Lily tax scam fashion, 1976's "Electric One" doesn't carry biographical, or performance information. In fact, other than the song titles and songwriting credits the only piece of information on the LP comes in the form of a small note on the back panel crediting the album to 'Family Productions'. Speculation on my part, but in this case Family Production seemingly you back to Artie Ripp's infamous, short-lived L.A.-based record label which seems to have served as a "feeder" source of material for some of the albums that came out on Morris Levy's Tiger Lily label. As mentioned, I can't tell you anything about these guys other than to my ears they sounded like a bunch of white guys trying their best to sound soulful ('Fill My Soul') and occasionally funky ('Superman'). The songwriting credits (split between T. Saviano and V. Turturoo), seemingly supported the contention this was a white band. That's always a difficult proposition and while there tracks were never less than professional, it made for a narrow marketing niche (perhaps explaining why the album wasn't initially released by Artie Ripp's Family label).

- Kicked along by some jumpy mini-moog, 'Stop Your Dreamin'' was a bouncy, pseudo dance number that sounded a bit like a good KC & the Sunshine Band-meets-Pablo Cruise track. Very mid-1970s vibe mixing heavy, Latin percussion with a throwaway, but catchy dance feel ... Yeah, this one was better than anything WIld Cherry ever did. rating: *** stars
- 'Fill My Soul' was a pretty, if somewhat anonymous, soul-tinged ballad. While I liked the song (particular the brief wah-wah guitar solo), the supper club arrangement may have been a bit too middle-of-the-road for lots of listeners. That's not to say the song didn't have radio potential. rating: *** stars
- 'Superman' found these guys trying to get funky. Nothing wrong with that, unless you were a bunch of white guys who seemingly thought Howard Wayne Casey made for a good musical role model. A great example of a bad musical concept - this track did nothing to help their reputations ... rating: ** stars
- The mid-1970s saw a slew of songs trying to make serious statements about American social inequities. I guess you can file 'Ghetto Boy' under that category. Musically it was a slice of supper club soul with a lyric that wasn't particularly subtle, or insightful. If you really felt the need to listen to something along these lines, I'd suggest Ben E. King and the Average White Band's 'A Star In the Ghetto'. rating: ** stars
- Another 'statement' song, 'Waitin' for An Answer' was at least cloaked in a likeable pop melody that recalled something a band like Wet Willie, or Head East might have released. rating: *** stars  
- On the surface I should have detested a song like 'Keep On Pushing'. A horn propelled, slightly funky number, with some hokey self-empowerment lyrics, the initial impression was off a fourth rate Tower of Power, but for some reason this one was actually kind of enjoyable. Yeah, the arty horn arrangement was a bit of a surprise. Maybe that's what peaked my interest. rating: *** stars 
- 'Moonlight' found the band taking a stab at an adult contemporary ballad. Pretty, but ultimately kind of dull and plodding. rating: ** stars
- The album's strangest and most interesting performance, 'Electric One' sounded like a strange hybrid of George Clinton and Parliament, Dr. John and some '70s new age outfit. Shame the track faded out just as it was really starting to gather some real energy. rating: **** stars
- Unfortunately, ''Two Times' saw the album end on a disappointing note. Probably he album's dullest performance, this slice of pop was simply forgettable. The less said about it, the better. rating: * star

So what to I make of this one? It's clearly one of the rarer Tiger Lily releases (this is the only copy I've ever seen). but musically it's a mediocre release. Nothing really awful (okay, 'Superman' was pretty lame), but then nothing particularly original or awe-inspiring. If you're going to buy this one, that decision is going to be predicated on rarity rather than musical inspiration. I know ... I'm actually trying to sell this item. ''Course I would feel bad hyping it merely to sell it ...

"Electric One" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Stop Your Dreamin' (T. Saviano) - 2:24
2.) Fill My Soul (V. Turturoo) - 4:01
3.) Superman (T. Saviano) - 3:39
4.) Ghetto Boy - 3:39
5.) Waitin' for An Answer (T. Saviano - V. Turturoo) - 3:00

(side 2)
1.) Keep On Pushing (V. Turturoo) - 3:45
2.) Moonlight (T. Saviano) - 4:48
3.) Electric One (T. Saviano - V. Turturoo0 - 3:54
4.) Two Times (V. Turturoo) - 3:50

Wonder if the T. Saviano is well known sax player Tom Saviano ...
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