#shfl11: Brass Construction – Happy People

Well, #shfl11 finally seems to be doing what I’d hoped it would: introducing me to music I have never encountered before, despite it being on my iPod. Today, Happy People by Brass Construction, which is certainly the worst band name we’ve had so far, and possibly one of the worst names ever. According to Wikipedia they were originally called Dynamite Soul, and I can’t help thinking that they probably spent quite a lot of time wishing they’d never changed it.

Or then again, maybe not, because Happy People is taken from Brass Construction III, which was, unsurprisingly, their third album, which was released before they went on to release Brass Construction IV, V & VI. They really weren’t great at the whole naming lark, were they? Even their Best Of is more imaginatively named. Still, at least their music is better than their way with words. Happy People is a meaty, if hardly revolutionary slice of 70s disco-funk, bringing to mind Earth, Wind & Fire, The Gap Band and Kool & The Gang, amongst others.

Brass Construction, however, never quite reached the heights that these other bands did (maybe something to do with the name?), only broaching the main US Top 100 on 3 occasions, and the UK Top 30 twice. In both instances their highest position was reached with their first single, the dance-floor classsic Movin’: you may not have heard of Brass Construction (I hadn’t), but you’ll almost have certainly have heard the track (I had).

Considering that Movin’ was their first single, that Happy People, off of their 3rd album, is a clone of it, and that their last UK chart entry, in 1988, was with a remix of Movin’, it’s hard not to think that they never reached the heights because they didn’t have the same quantity of quality. That said, considering who’s sampled them, and how good Movin’ is (and Happy People ain’t bad either), you’d have to say that they’re still responsible for a lot more good music than many other, more famous acts, and I’m just glad that #shfl11 brought them into my life.

#shfl11 is a self-set challenge to write a post every day in 2011 about whatever song pops up 1st on shuffle on my iPod

Construction site by Jakob Montrasio on flickr

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