Cardiac Arrest

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In 1977, one of funk's most promising debuts came from Cameo, whose first album, Cardiac Arrest, made it crystal clear that Larry Blackmon's outfit was a force to be reckoned with. If you were into hard, tough funk in 1977, it was impossible not to be excited by Cameo's debut. This excellent LP contains a romantic soul ballad ("Stay By My Side") as well as the original version of "Find My Way," which is the sort of smooth yet funky disco-soul that groups like the Trammps and Double Exposure were known for in the late '70s. But for the most part, this is an album of aggressive, unapologetically gritty funk. On classics like "Rigor Mortis," "Funk, Funk," and "Post Mortem," one can pinpoint Cameo's influences -- namely, Parliament/Funkadelic, the Ohio Players, and the Bar-Kays. But at the same time, these gems demonstrate that even in 1977, Cameo had a recognizable sound of its own. And ultimately, Cameo would become quite influential itself. For funk lovers, Cardiac Arrest is essential listening. Period.

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