Monday, October 22, 2012

"Today Is the Day" by the Bar-Kays

Song#:  0098
Date:  03/22/1980
Debut:  79
Peak:  60
Weeks:  5
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  The Bar-Kays were originally an instrumental group that backed many artists at Stax Records including Isaac Hayes on his classic "Hot Buttered Soul." Their own chart hits began in 1967 when they hit #3 on the R&B chart and #17 on the pop chart with "Soul Finger." That song may sound familiar as it has been used in films ("Spies Like Us") and was covered by the Blues Brothers. They continued to land songs on the charts and changed their direction a bit to become more of a commercial funk band with vocals. Their #2 R&B album "Injoy" was released in 1979 and this song is the second single from the disc.

ReduxReview:  "Soul Finger?" Totally awesome. This song? Totally not. It sounds like something the Commodores might have recorded - any maybe rejected. Their early Stax funk instrumentals are great, but when they turned to the flashier commercial R&B, it is a mixed bag for me. I'm sure it was great to have constant R&B chart action with this stuff, but I find nothing special with it nor anything that reflected the origins of the group.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  The Bar-Kays were chosen by Otis Redding to be his backing band on tour. Unfortunately, four of the six band members were killed in the same plane crash that claimed the life of Redding and his manager. A fifth member, Ben Cauley, survived the crash while the sixth member, James Alexander, was on another plane as there was not room enough on Redding's plane. The two remaining Bar-Kays re-formed the group and continued on their successful career.


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