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    Default The Gap Band


    The Gap Band

    Though never given just due by music critics, for the better part of a decade the Gap Band created some great music that has increased in stature over time and has influenced a new generation of artists who have liberally borrowed from the Gap sound in creating modern soul and hip-hop albums.

    Formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the early 70s by brothers Charlie, Ronnie and Robert Wilson, the Gap Band largely mimicked musical pioneers George Clinton, Stevie Wonder and Earth Wind & Fire before developing their own distinctive sound in the early 80s that propelled them to the forefront of soul and funk music. Named as an acronym for three streets in Tulsa, the Gap Band spent most of the 70s as backing musicians or as the warm-up act for visiting artists ranging from the Rolling Stones to Willie Nelson.

    The group recorded a couple minor albums in the mid-70s but received their first taste of national success only after signing with Mercury Records in 1979. Working with producer Lonnie Simmons, the Gaps hit the top of the Soul charts with the Clinton-inspired humorous cut "I Don't Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance" (more commonly known for the repeated rap "Oops Upside the Head"). However, the group didn't distinguish itself from the remainder of the burgeoning pack of disco-funk groups until 1980's III, an excellent disc on which the Gap Band broke out of the shadow of its influences to establish its own brand of infectiously funky, electric sound characterized by the album's big hit, "Burn Rubber." The group showed its songwriting development with now classic gritty ballad "Yearning For Your Love," and the surprising piano ballad, "Nothing Comes to Sleepers."

    The Gap Band's next album, while not as uniformly strong as III, was its biggest. IV became one of 1982's biggest soul albums and popped out three top 10 crossover smashes, "Outstanding," "Early In the Morning" and the group's most notable hit, "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" - a song that has since been sampled by other artists countless times. About that time the Gap Band was also becoming a great touring funk band, and the group spent the remainder of the 80s topping bills around the world while also maintaining its Soul radio popularity with hits such as "Big Fun," "Party Train," "Beep A Freak" and a #1 remake of the Friends of Distinction's "Going In Circles." Charlie Wilson also established himself as one of the most distinctive lead singers in soul music, as his slightly raspy, strong baritone powered also not only Gap hits, but also songs of other artists (most notably Zapp's "Computer Love").

    By 1990, a general decline in the quality of the group's work, a changing in musical tastes and Charlie Wilson's slippage into alcohol and drug addiction sidelined the Gap Band. However, Wilson overcame his addictions and the group proclaimed its return with a national tour and the aptly titled 1996 album Live and Well. The Wilsons continued to perform (successfully) and record (not so successfully) over the remainder of the decade. In 2000, Charlie Wilson recorded a well-received second solo album (he had released an unsuccessful solo disc in the early 90s) that included two great ballads, the UAC hit "Without You" and the duet with Marc Nelson "For Your Love."

    In this decade the Gap Band has become increasingly recognized by a new generation of artists, largely through remakes and samples of the group's biggest work. Charlie Wilson has continued to provide guest vocals for other artists, most recently singing lead on the 2005 smash hit "Signs" with Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake. He was recently signed by Jive Records and finished a new CD, Charlie, Last Name Wilson, with an all-star cast of modern producers, including The Underdogs and R. Kelly.

    While often labeled by critics as a group that followed, not led, trends, the Gap Band has secured its place in soul music history through a number of great cuts that have stood up well and that continue to exert an influence on both classic soul radio and on younger artists of the hip-hop generation.

    By Chris Rizik


    "OK, first of all, I have this skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something that I cannot help. Okay? But when people make up stories that I don't wanna be what I am, it hurts me. It's a problem for me, okay? I can't control it. But let's reverse it. What about all the millions of people who sit out in the sun to become other than what they are?" -- Michael Jackson (1993)

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    OUTSTANDING:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N9E0...eature=related

    EARLY IN THE MORNING:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dDKb2X2yBs

    YOU DROPPED A BOMB ON ME:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXUgtEe99ZY

    OOPS UPSIDE YOUR HEAD:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_KmbW7TiB0

    BURN RUBBER (WHY YOU WANNA HURT ME):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddSRNWtST5I

    YEARNING FOR YOUR LOVE:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMRJqM4_EyE

    ----
    You know, the usual classics from the Brothers Wilson.


    "OK, first of all, I have this skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something that I cannot help. Okay? But when people make up stories that I don't wanna be what I am, it hurts me. It's a problem for me, okay? I can't control it. But let's reverse it. What about all the millions of people who sit out in the sun to become other than what they are?" -- Michael Jackson (1993)

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    I have all of their albums, including Magician's Holiday from 1973, and the 3 Charlie solo albums. I even have a record where they were the backup group for Leon Russell. I didn't buy the live album from 1996 though, but I've heard most of it. I do have a concert video from 1980 though. The 1st 2 albums had a different sound than the more famous ones on Mercury/Total Experience. The subject matter was kinda different too.

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    Quote Originally Posted by DuranDuran View Post
    I have all of their albums, including Magician's Holiday from 1973, and the 3 Charlie solo albums. I even have a record where they were the backup group for Leon Russell. I didn't buy the live album from 1996 though, but I've heard most of it. I do have a concert video from 1980 though. The 1st 2 albums had a different sound than the more famous ones on Mercury/Total Experience. The subject matter was kinda different too.
    It's interesting how throughout their career, they were able to transition to different styles of music even within the 1980s. Other than the Isley Brothers, I've never seen another R&B band that had success with funk, disco, rock, soul, quiet storm and even new jack swing the way the Gappers did.

    Robert Wilson has got to be one of the baddest bassists that ever played bass, Ronnie Wilson is a gifted songwriter and Charlie Wilson, of course, is one of the greatest singers of any genre of all time to me.


    "OK, first of all, I have this skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something that I cannot help. Okay? But when people make up stories that I don't wanna be what I am, it hurts me. It's a problem for me, okay? I can't control it. But let's reverse it. What about all the millions of people who sit out in the sun to become other than what they are?" -- Michael Jackson (1993)

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    Around 1989, Charlie played keyboards on a Eurythmics tour and also the album they had out at the time. He also produced "Mercedes Boy" and "Take Your Time" for Pebbles. Ronnie is a pastor now, but still performs with the group. I heard they were recording an album last year, but don't know what became of it.

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    That's probably because Charlie was working on a solo project and he had to get that out of the way first before the Gap Band could really work on finishing the album. It's amazing that though they haven't released a new album together in years, they can still perform and generate a huge audience, much like Maze (Charlie Wilson and Frankie Beverly reportedly don't get along for some reason).

    IMHO, Charlie made "Computer Love" (the Roger & Zapp joint).

    Here's my new favorite Gap Band song from their 1980's Gap Band III album:

    THE WAY:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzMdUa0_DMM


    "OK, first of all, I have this skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something that I cannot help. Okay? But when people make up stories that I don't wanna be what I am, it hurts me. It's a problem for me, okay? I can't control it. But let's reverse it. What about all the millions of people who sit out in the sun to become other than what they are?" -- Michael Jackson (1993)

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    Here's a couple of cuts from the 1st album

    Tommy's Groove

    I-Yike-It

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    Here's one of my favorite Gap Band funk joints:

    OPEN UP YOUR MIND (WIDE):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1Fgx...eature=related


    "OK, first of all, I have this skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something that I cannot help. Okay? But when people make up stories that I don't wanna be what I am, it hurts me. It's a problem for me, okay? I can't control it. But let's reverse it. What about all the millions of people who sit out in the sun to become other than what they are?" -- Michael Jackson (1993)

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    Quote Originally Posted by troubleman84 View Post
    Here's one of my favorite Gap Band funk joints:

    OPEN UP YOUR MIND (WIDE):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1Fgx...eature=related
    I find this song ironic, considering Charlie's later problems.

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    Quote Originally Posted by DuranDuran View Post
    I find this song ironic, considering Charlie's later problems.
    I know, right? Back then it was probably for somebody else but looking back on it, Charlie was really out of it with drugs and alcohol. I'm lucky he was able to survive it though.


    "OK, first of all, I have this skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something that I cannot help. Okay? But when people make up stories that I don't wanna be what I am, it hurts me. It's a problem for me, okay? I can't control it. But let's reverse it. What about all the millions of people who sit out in the sun to become other than what they are?" -- Michael Jackson (1993)

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    Quote Originally Posted by troubleman84 View Post
    I know, right? Back then it was probably for somebody else but looking back on it, Charlie was really out of it with drugs and alcohol. I'm lucky he was able to survive it though.
    GAP toured with the Rolling Stones early in their career, and most people know about "indestructable" Keith Richards.

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    Huge Gap Fan. dug there albums in the late 70's through early 80's. they had to deal with there own Suge Knight in Lonnie Simmons and that whole pre death row thing at total experience. Charlie Wilson had gotten black balled by the industry and of course with the drugs and everything else had sidelined him,but the eurythmics hooked him up and the later in the early to mid 90's Snoop Dogg brought him in on board at doggy style records.

    they are vastly Underrated IMO. very versatile band and harmony for days.

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    Quote Originally Posted by mistermaxxx View Post
    Huge Gap Fan. dug there albums in the late 70's through early 80's. they had to deal with there own Suge Knight in Lonnie Simmons and that whole pre death row thing at total experience. Charlie Wilson had gotten black balled by the industry and of course with the drugs and everything else had sidelined him,but the eurythmics hooked him up and the later in the early to mid 90's Snoop Dogg brought him in on board at doggy style records.

    they are vastly Underrated IMO. very versatile band and harmony for days.
    I don't really know anything about Total Experience or Lonnie Simmons. I've heard he was a tyrant in the studio, but that's it.

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    I had heard Lonnie ran a tight ship over there at the label. Lonnie and the Wilson brothers were said to have had a very contentious relationship with each other.


    "OK, first of all, I have this skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something that I cannot help. Okay? But when people make up stories that I don't wanna be what I am, it hurts me. It's a problem for me, okay? I can't control it. But let's reverse it. What about all the millions of people who sit out in the sun to become other than what they are?" -- Michael Jackson (1993)

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    Default Re: The Gap Band

    Quote Originally Posted by DuranDuran View Post
    I don't really know anything about Total Experience or Lonnie Simmons. I've heard he was a tyrant in the studio, but that's it.
    my uncle use to be in the business and he knew about Simmons cashing in on some insurance policys and starting up his label,etc.. he ran shady rought shot tactics.

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