Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Josie vs. Jackson

There have been quite a few twee funk compilations released lately and most of them contain a fair share of glorious Jackson 5 rip-offs. The artists included are kids, of course, so these comps tend to miss out on some of the J5 facsimiles created by adults.

One group that straddles the kiddie/adult line is Josie and the Pussycats. (No, seriously.) In 1970, "they" released a full-length album of excellent pop-soul directed at the animated series' pre-teen audience. The "group" was fronted by the very adult Patrice Holloway, sister of steamy soul chanteuse Brenda Holloway. The album contains a faithful cover of "I'll Be There," but the influence of the J5 is felt throughout. "You've Come A Long Way Baby" obviously uses "The Love You Save" as a blueprint, while "Stop, Look and Listen" is based around the the main riff of "ABC." Far from being mere copies, though, these tracks are fantastic in their own right. Indeed, the Josie and Pussycats record is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable releases of the bubblegum era. The pre-fab genre was big on singles, of course, but bubblegum albums were often cluttered with filler. In contrast, the Pussycats' album is lean--a mere 10 tracks--but all are quite good. Track it down if you can. In the meantime, enjoy these:

"You've Come A Long Way Baby" - Josie & the Pussycats

"Stop, Look and Listen" - Josie & the Pussycats

1 comment:

Captain Kilby's Theory Ranch said...

There were several musical cartoons that brain washed us with bubble gum. I remember the Jackson 5ive cartoon around that same era. At some point I even remember them making like guest appearances on the more popular cartoons like Scooby Doo. Then you have shows like Fat Albert that brought us a sort of Jazz Funk vibe.