Best known for the hit ballad "Natural High" from the 1973 album of the same name, Bloodstone have been credited as an important force in black music's transition from the smooth, vocal-based R&B of the early '60s to the tougher, dance-oriented urban funk and rock-influenced soul of the '70s. The group's U.K. debut album, Bloodstone, found the unit's sound already fully developed, matching driving, Sly Stone/late-period Jimi Hendrix-style grooves and wah-wah-infused guitar with vocals that alternately tap into James Brown-ish guttural groans and the band's own melodic, doo wop roots. Interestingly, this combination often ends up sounding like a missing link between P-Funk and early Three Dog Night. Highlights include the stomping funk raver "Lady of the Night," the dramatic, gospel-infused slow jam "Dumb Dude," and the booty-shaking, Isaac Hayes-like "Take These Chains." Also of note isBloodstone's unique take on Bobby Russell's pop-country classic "Little Green Apples" (first a hit forRoger Miller and later recorded by everyone from novelty hitmaker Sheb Wooley to crooner Vic Damone to reggae legend Dennis Brown), which adds a heaping helping of sex to the normally staid song's inherent romance. Though all the tracks on Bloodstone have been released in various forms elsewhere, hearing these recordings in their original setting is highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of funky soul music. AMG.
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