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Heed the Call: Soul, Funk, and Disco From Aotearoa



SOUL, FUNK, and DISCO from AOTEAROA 1973 to 1983
collected on double 12inch LP for first time in 40+ years RELEASED DEC 1st

It’s circa nineteen-seventy-something and Aotearoa New Zealand is a nation ready to groove.

With the world’s largest Maori and Polynesian populations, 50 million sheep, two major islands, long hot summers, longer damp winters, AM-only radio and, until 1975, just the one glorious television channel, what else was there to do? Rabble-rousing (and not always sober) Prime Minister Rob Muldoon was in his pomp, the economy was in the toilet, and rugby was a sodden, shambles played in a muddy bath... dance was all the people had left!

Sure, a ready supply of international soul, funk, and disco was available through the major labels (with a 40 per cent sales tax to boot), but the time was right for local artists to pour their souls and accents onto vinyl.

Colour, clothes and sex began seeping onto the dance floors as kids watching televised music clips at home were turning to their parents: “Is that a boy or a girl?” New Zealand would never be the same again. A new generation was taking over and they wanted to boogie.

A new group of faces was taking to the dance floors. People like Mr Funky, people who’d stepped out in style and wanted to get down with their own bad self. A funky revolution was brewing with bands that’d been mired in the middle ground now swerving into sounds more suited to the disco than a rugby club social. Other bands broke from cabaret and stopped being the show to fuelling the show.

These then are the songs that drove a country from black and white to technicolour, and being a scene born in total isolation it took turns that weren't heard anywhere else.

This is funk, soul and disco as it would’ve sounded if Studio 54 had been set up within five minutesof a dairy farm, a rugby club and a marae, and if nothing else it finally let people to dance because they simply wanted to.

Heed The Call! collects the best New Zealand soul, funk, and disco from the afrotastic days of 1973 to 1983. Artists like Mark Williams whose House For Sale became a northern Soul grail, The (three) Yandall Sisters (two of whom feature behind Mark WiIlliams on our cover), a teenage Tina Cross, Dalvanius & Prince Tui Teka; all became New Zealand household names. This collection mines overlooked nuggets from their respective catalogues alongside lesser known boogie cuzzins like The Pink Family with their non-secular floor sizzler Don't Give Your Life Away, the gritty gospel soul of Sonia & Skee, The Johnny Rocco Band, Inbetweens, and The Totals. The Kaukau brothers were four fifths of Golden Harvest and hit the national charts with the number one I Need Your Love in 1978 featuring 17-year-old singer, Karl Gordon, in yellow satin and parachute pants. Local 60s beat pioneer Larry Morris, fresh from the big house after a public LSD misdemeanour, finds his groove on Who Do We Think We're Fooling. Funk dynamos Collision, hailing from Tokoroa where they’d played as The Shriek Machine, move to Australia on the mafia’s coin and Dalvanius’ insistence to record the showstopper, You Can Dance. Early 70s Acid Rockers Ticket flaunt their funky flare(s) with their Vertigo single only release Mr Music (later covered by Collision) while windy city fusion jazzers The 1860 Band take form fitting self promoting t-shirts to the next level while re- interpreting Rita Jean Bodine's Thats The Kind Of Love.

* Compiled by Alan Perrott and John Baker

* Double LP, with illustrated inner sleeves showcasing the sleeves of all the original LP releases

* First re issue of Dalvanius & The Fascinations 12 inch disco mix of Voodoo Lady with Dal & the gals being backed by Tokoroa's finest Collision

* THE 12 inch mix of Voodoo Lady is unique to the vinyl version - the CD Voodoo Lady is the truncated 7 inch version

* First time re issue on vinyl for all tracks

* Liner notes by co compiler Alan Perrott black & white booklet with tasty pics and ephemera

* Locating original copies of these records will 1:take a long time and 2: make you wish you'd won lotto

* Limited to 1000 copies worldwide


Dalvanius & The Fascinations - Voodoo Lady - 12 inch mix 1977

Collision - You Can Dance 1978

Mark Williams - Disco Queen 1975

The Johnny Rocco Band - She's Knocking At My Door 1975


THe 1860 Band - That's The Kind Of Love I've Got For You 1978

Inbetweens - Mr Funky 1975

Tina Cross - You Can Do It 1979

Golden Harvest - I Need Your Love 1978


Mark Williams - House For Sale 1977

The Pink Family - Don't Give Your Life Away 1978

Prince Tui Teka - Heed The Call 1974

The Yandall Sisters - Sweet Inspiration 1975

Sonia & Skee - There's A River Somewhere 1978


Ticket - Mr Music 1973

Larry Morris - Who Do We Think We're Fooling ? - 1976

Herb McQuay - Night People 1983

The Totals - Total Man 1980


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