5 Top Indispensable Funk Albums to Get on Vinyl


Funk and wax are a lot like peanut butter and jelly. Thanks to James Brown, Funk emerged as a different genre in the 60s and has become one of the most influential movements all over the world today. Hundreds of other music genres, from rock to jazz, are known to borrow elements of funk and the groove is definitely here to stay. The top indispensable funk albums to have on vinyl are:

- The Payback, James Brown (1973)

A list of the top funk albums wouldn’t be complete without Mr. Dynamite himself. This album by James Brown was originally regarded as the soundtrack for the film ‘Hell Up in Harlem’, but it was dismissed for being ‘too black’. That only shows exactly how funk the album is. The album has magnificent artwork and the tracks are downright incredible. Tracks like ‘The Payback’ and ‘Mind Power’ are grooving. There are rhythmic melodies and bass lines and the funk will stay on your mind for days.

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- AWB, Average White Band (1974)

The Average White Band is renowned for denying all funk-based stereotypes. While funk has been regarded as black music, AWB introduced Scottish based funk sounds and broke all kinds of boundaries. The artwork of the album is minimal, but the tracks make up for it big time. ‘Work to Do’ and ‘Pick up the Pieces’ are some tracks that have become funk standard and have excellent instrumentation.

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- Gratitude, Earth Wind & Fire (1975) 

This is also a must-have on your funk list as Earth Wind & Fire are one of the most elemental groups of this genre. This one is a live album and the sound design and mixing were quite impressive, considering the time period. Tracks like ‘Shining Star’ and ‘Celebrate’ showcase the soul and energy of the musicians and they are quite moving.


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- C’est Chic, Chic (1978)

This album has more than a thousand songs and the title track ‘Chic Cheer’ is exactly what it says. It has the groove as do other songs like Le Freak and Savoir Fair that are great for the dance floor and will remind you of the good old disco days.

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- Cheryl Lynn, Got to Be Real (1978)

This breakout album is often regarded as a one-hit-wonder as it has one of the most recognizable horn lines and is certified platinum. One of the most iconic female staples is ‘Got to Be Real’ and it has really good vibes.

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