Avoid the Funk: A Defunkt Anthology

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This is a serviceable look back at the first part of Defunkt's illustrious career, and though the label should have included more music, there's no arguing with the quality of the content. Included are "Make Them Dance," the lead track from the band's debut album and still perhaps the creepiest song they've ever recorded; live versions of "Strangling Me With Your Love" and "In the Good Times" that squash the original studio versions like grapes; an extended 12" single mix of "Razor's Edge" (bandleader Joe Bowie's harrowing personal account of heroin addiction); and a great live version of Defunkt's self-titled theme song. The collection's title track is a sweaty, full-speed-ahead funk explosion, and the band's take on the O'Jays' "For the Love of Money" is lots of fun as well. These alternate takes and live versions will be enough to attract fans who already own the studio versions, and taken altogether this collection offers a useful overview for newcomers as well. Recommended, though paying full price for a program this brief is a bit painful.

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