Allen Toussaint

Everything I Do is Gonh Be Funky

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AllMusic Review by

Charly’s 2011 double-disc collection Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky: The Hit Songs & Productions 1957-1978 is an excellent attempt at providing a detailed overview of the first two decades of the legendary Allen Toussaint’s career as a songwriter, producer, pianist, and recording artist. At 50 tracks it is extensive but it is by no means exhaustive, lacking any of Toussaint’s ‘70s solo recordings for Scepter and Reprise, and there are a few major songs -- such as Ernie K-Doe’s “I Cried My Last Tear” and Lee Dorsey’s “Ride Your Pony” -- that aren’t here, but what is here amounts to a comprehensive, thoroughly entertaining history of one of the great figures of American popular music. Of the two discs, the first is the bumpiest, not because the material is bad but because there’s a blend of jumping instrumentals and vocal R&B where it’s apparent that Toussaint is finding his voice. He does toward the end of the disc, via a clutch of singles by the Rubaiyats (particularly the riotous “Omar Khayyam”), and then the second disc serves up nothing but gold: beginning with Jessie Hill’s “Ooh Poo Pah Doo,” it runs through Aaron Neville’s "Over You,” Ernie K-Doe’s “Mother in Law” and “A Certain Girl,” Benny Spellman’s “Fortune Teller” and “Lipstick Traces,” Irma Thomas’ “It’s Raining” and “Ruler of My Heart,” Chris Kenner’s “I Like It Like That,” the Showmen’s “It Will Stand,” and Lee Dorsey’s “Working in the Coal Mine,” “Holy Cow,” “Yes We Can,” and the title track. Most of this is easily available on other collections, but presented alongside the early work this gives a sense of Toussaint’s evolution and importance, which is enough to make this double-disc set one of the best Toussaint collections ever, even with its notable omissions.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Fats Domino
1:59
2
2:26
3
2:33
4
feat: Fats Domino
1:55
5
feat: Fats Domino
2:02
6 2:18
7 2:07
8 1:53
9 2:22
10 2:12
11 1:43
12 2:31
13 2:30
14 2:26
15
feat: The Stokes
2:35
16
feat: The Stokes
2:28
17
feat: The Stokes
1:34
18
feat: The Stokes
2:07
19
feat: The Stokes
2:55
20
feat: The Stokes
2:56
21
feat: The Stokes
3:00
22 2:14
23 2:42
24
1:41
25 2:17

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Jessie Hill
4:25
2 2:20
3
feat: Ernie K-Doe
2:33
4
feat: Ernie K-Doe
2:44
5
2:10
6
2:23
7
feat: Irma Thomas
2:02
8
2:48
9
feat: Irma Thomas
2:42
10
feat: Chris Kenner
1:56
11
feat: Chris Kenner
2:01
12
feat: Art Neville
3:15
13
feat: Jessie Hill
2:43
14
feat: The Showmen
2:13
15 2:39
16 2:52
17
feat: Betty Harris
2:30
18
feat: Betty Harris
2:22
19
feat: Lee Dorsey
2:45
20
feat: Lee Dorsey
2:28
21
feat: Lee Dorsey
3:09
22
feat: The Meters
2:50
23
feat: The Meters
3:13
24
feat: Lee Dorsey
4:48
25
feat: Lee Dorsey
4:20
blue highlight denotes track pick