It’s time to shine the Vinyl Spotlight! Every now and then on Paloozapalooza, I will focus on a random LP from my collection. This week, we have:
Lipps Inc. – Mouth to Mouth (1979)
Everybody knows “Funkytown” and everybody should know “Funkytown”. It’s nearly eight glorious minutes of pulse-pounding bass, vocoder, synthesizer, and cowbell. Songwriter Cynthia Johnson belts out the vocal performance of a lifetime, singing “Won’t you take me to Funkytown?” over and over while somehow changing up her delivery just slightly every time. As far as I can tell, “Funkytown” is pop perfection. The only issue I have with the song is that it isn’t a few minutes longer.
So with that out of the way, let me ask you this: have you heard the full album? Yeah, I hadn’t either. But 1979’s Mouth to Mouth, the debut offering from Lipps Inc., is an outstanding dance record, and one I highly recommend picking up if you ever see it out in the wild.
Mouth to Mouth came out on the always-reliable Casablanca Records, and it was almost completely arranged, produced and written by studio musician Steven Greenberg. If you dig “Funkytown,” you’ll dig the whole thing.
“Funkytown” kicks things off, as it should, and the album’s second track is the wonderful “All Night Dancing.” Johnson sings on this one as well, joined by a sea of layered vocal parts and a delightfully funky bassline. There’s even a full piano breakdown, which sounds out of place at first. but then you realize you’d be flat-out mad if it wasn’t there.
Both songs from the album’s second side are also worth pursuing. “Rock It” opens with drums and a wall of handclaps before a mystery voice whispers the name of the song and things get going in a hurry. The horn-heavy “Power” is a little more direct and to-the-point than the rest of Mouth to Mouth, skipping the extended introduction and jumping right into the fun.
Overall, Mouth to Mouth is a ton of fun. I like Daft Punk as much as the next guy, but I’ll take an album like this one or Silver Convention’s Save Me over Random Access Memories any day of the week.
Want to listen for yourself? The almighty Spotify machine actually doesn’t include this full album, but three of its four tracks can be found on Funkyworld: The Best of Lipps Inc. Listen below …