On Second Thought: Chuck Brown and The Soul Searchers, "Bustin' Loose" (1979)

An update to the story told two years ago, when I had train on the brain. The train rides are coming to an end and I’m bustin’ loose.

Still gainfully employed (and gratefully so) by the same icon of industry, the company allowed my escape from the crowded concrete jungle in the middle of Gotham back to the friendlier environs of an outlier. So is this time for Ben Folds’ Rockin’ The Suburbs? Hell no, cue up Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers.

Funkmeister Chuck Brown has been well known in the Washington, D.C., area for his brand of rump-wigglin’ R&B for decades, but nationally, his claim to fame is for one, ass-kicking party tune: “Bustin’ Loose.” Shot up to No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1979, I remember it coming and going on the radio like a thief in the night, but it’s a hard song to shake from your brain.

Back then I casually thought Brown was just doing a very good James Brown impression but in reality, Brown is not a Godfather of Funk wannabe — because he’s the Godfather of Go-Go. “Bustin’ Loose” is, in fact, the standard bearer for Go-Go, in case you didn’t know. Sure, it owes a lot to JB, but with some extra tricks that get the crowd jacked up even more. Call and response, dotted and syncopated rhythms and even a tad bit of rappin’. Capped by a horn-laden bridge that comes down on you like a shit ton of bricks summoned by Brown’s famous command “givemethebridgeyall, givemethebridgeyall.”

For every home game of the Washington Nationals, there’s a party goin’ on during the seventh-inning stretch. Know how I know? Because they’re playing this song.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is a CPA and mid-level data analyst for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. Contact him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews.com.