Various Artists

O.G. Funk: Locking, Vol. 2

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When VRL included O.G. Funk: Locking, Vols. 1 & 2 in its Underground Dance Masters Music Series, the L.A. label was using the word "underground" in reference to the urban dancers who got into "popping" and "locking" in the 1970s. But while poppers and lockers were certainly underground, most of the music they danced to wasn't. The majority of songs VRL includes on O.G. Funk: Locking, Vol. 2 (which spans 1971-1997) are far from underground. The Average White Band's "Pick Up the Pieces," Aretha Franklin's "Rock Steady," War's "Me and Baby Brother," and other '70s funk and soul classics heard on Locking, Vol. 2 were major hits that soared to the top of the charts. Mass Production's "Groove Me" (1978) could be considered an underground classic (except for 1979's "Firecracker," MP was more of a club act than a radio act), but songs as famous as Kool & the Gang's "Open Sesame" and B.T. Express' "Express" hardly qualify as underground. Although most of VRL's choices are excellent, some 1997 hip-hop/funk recordings by the Guzman-Sanchez Brothers are pretty routine. The abundance of '70s pearls are what make this collection worth owning.

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