Various Artists

Standing on the Verge: The Roots of Funk

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Like dozens of collections before it, Standing on the Verge traces the development of funk and pays homage to its chief instigators. What keeps it from being old hat is a refreshing shortage of hits. Most of the songs are familiar (some were indeed hits) but they're not the ones you'd most casually guess. Instead of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," the set opens with James Brown's "Out of Sight" and continues with a fabulous chain of funk, from "Cissy Strut" to "Ain't Got Time" to more obscure songs like Bull and the Matadors' "The Funky Judge." A good little collection -- even the unknowns are worth hearing.

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