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  BT Express
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One of the earliest and greatest disco-funk acts, the Express stormed onto the scene with "Do It Til You're Satisfied" in 1974.  A towering slab of funk mixed for the clubs by Tom Moulton, it was just a teaser for the chugging, self-referential "Express," a groove so tight that James Brown copied it for "JB's Monorail."

The members of Brooklyn Trucking Express came together in 1972 and included Richard Thompson (vocals, guitar), Carlos Ward (sax and flute), Terrell Wood (drums), Bill Risbrook (sax, flute), Dennis Rowe (percussion), Barbara Joyce (vocals), and Louis Risbrook (vocals, bass, keys).  Shortly after meeting Jeff Lane they landed a contract with Scepter, the first label to acknowledge the disco market.  Around this time, soon-to-be-famous Randy Muller was drafted in to add string arrangements that were the icing on the cake.  The entire Do It album is a classic, but they never quite regained that level of success.  Non Stop gave up "Peace Pipe," but not much else.  By this time Muller had gotten in bed with Brass Construction and pretty much left BT Express to their own devices.  Switching to Columbia, Energy to Burn was a nice, albeit more explicity discofied, rebound thanks to "Can't Stop Grooving" and "Energy to Burn."  They stayed on Columbia until disbanding in 1980.  As a side note, keyboardist Michael Jones resurfaced as the producer Kashif during the 80s. 

BT Express' Deepest Grooves

Do It Til You're Satisfied (Scepter/Roadshow, 1974)
Their only consistent LP, but what a way to be remembered!  One of the top 10 party funk albums of all time, blaring horns, tricky string arrangements and lively, affirming lyrics.  Every song is a smoker; not even an appearance in a fast food commercial can diminish the title cut's power.  Absolutely essential, which makes their relatively weak later efforts baffling.

Non Stop (Scepter/Roadshow, 1975)

Energy to Burn (Columbia, 1976)
The Trammps-like intensity of "Energy to Burn" alone makes this worth hearing, but the entire album is packed with fast and furious grooves.

Golden Classics (Collectables, 1994)
Essentially a reissue of the first album, but with the best of Non Stop ("Peace Pipe," "Give It What You Got," "Close to You") along for the ride.  Includes some shady liner notes from A. Scott Galloway.

Copyright 2001 B. Graff.  All rights reserved.

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