Along with the Pop Group and Rip Rig & Panic, Pigbag was a brilliant U.K. underground group who created a unique fusion of funk, disco, and post-punk that drew on the diverse, groove-orientated music of Can, Fela Kuti, Miles Davis, and James Brown. Dr. Heckle & Mr Jive was the debut album they cut in 1981 with producer Dick O'Dell for his Y Records label. The label was defining a new punk-funk sound with the scattered shards of the punk explosion; with groups such as the Pop Group, the Slits, and Pigbag, this scene started picking up on ethnic music grooves and melded them with the D.I.Y. approach of punk. The taut instrumental funk of "Getting Up," "Big Bag," "Brian the Snail," "Wiggling," and "Brazil Nuts" became an underground dancefloor classic. With their first single and anthem, "Papa's Got a Brand New Pig Bag," the group incidentally scratched the surface of the mainstream and appeared in the pop charts. But overground success was very self-consciously avoided with their debut LP, which deals in experimental, long-form workouts and edgy funk grooves somewhat reminiscent of A Certain Radio and the New York disco scene of the early '80s.
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AllMusic Review by Dean McFarlane