The Many Facets of Roger (1981)


Jump to complete album lyrics.
Or, go back up to the Non-Core/Non-Funk album list.

Track Listing:

I Heard It Through The Grapevine {Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong} 11:45?
So Ruff, So Tuff {Roger Troutman, Larry Troutman}  4:49
A Chunk Of Sugar {R Troutman, L Troutman}  5:28
Do It Roger {R Troutman, L Troutman}  8:11
Maxx Axe {R Troutman, L Troutman}  8:16
Blue (A Tribute To The Blues) {R Troutman, L Troutman}  3:24


Producer: Roger Troutman
Lead Vocals: Roger Troutman, Dick Smith
Background vocals: Roger Troutman, Dick Smith, Janetta Boyce, Marchelle Smith,
 Delores Smith, Greg Jackson, Bobby Glover, Zapp Troutman
Bass: Zapp Troutman
Congo Drums & Percussion: Larry Troutman
Drums: Lester Troutman
Guitar: Roger Troutman
Horns: Carl Cowan
Keyboards, Synthezier, Fender Rhodes: Roger Troutman
Maxx Axe (synthesized guitar): Roger Troutman

 "I Heard It Through The Gravevine"
Talkbox, Guitar, Bass, Keyboard: Roger Troutman
Background Vocals: Roger Troutman, Zapp Troutman, Bobby Glover, Greg Jackson,
 Janetta Boyce, Shelly Smith, Dick Smith
Drums: Lester Troutman
Percussion: Larry Troutman
Horns: Carl Cowen

 "So Ruff, So Tuff"
Talkbox, Background Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards: Roger Troutman
Drums: Lester Troutman
Percussion: Larry Troutman

 "Do It Roger"
Lead Vocals: Roger Troutman, Bobby Glover, Greg Jackson
Background Vocals: Roger Troutman, Zapp Troutman, Bobby Glover, Greg Jackson,
 Bootsy Collins, Janetta Boyce, Shelly Smith, Delores Smith
Talkbox, Guitar, Bass: Roger Troutman
Keyboards: Roger Troutman, Greg Jackson
Drums: Lester Troutman
Percussion: Larry Troutman
Horns: Carl Cowen

Rating: ***1/2


MW: This was originally slated to be on George Clinton's Uncle Jam record label, but due to assorted legal hassles, Roger pulled out, apparently causing a lot of people to get angry at him. It was especially bad because the album was very successful, success that Clinton and Co. desperately needed. Apparently, George Clinton produced some of the tracks on here.

RC: Roger Troutman was a disciple of George Clinton and James Brown, and one thing he learned was never to put all your eggs in one basket. Both of those men had a number of groups on a number of different labels, so that no one company would own all of their music. Also, it gave them a chance to branch out a bit, playing different kinds of music for each label, or at least variations. Thus, Roger got a solo deal for himself in addition to his Zapp contract and his work on different labels with the Human Body. His material as Roger started off very differently than the Zapp stuff, focusing a bit more on instrumentals and blues pieces. Roger may be one of the quirkiest commercial funk artists around; his touches of humor and weird aesthetic make up for his sometimes overrepetitive rhythms. And his first solo album is as good as any of his other work, with a surprising blues focus.

The first track, a cover of "Grapevine", is a warped, inspired song. The use of the talkbox and crisp rhythms, along with all sorts of funny sound effects, make this a great track. Hearing those familiar lyrics at a high pitch and weird modulation is an amusing experience. "So Ruff, So Tuff" is a typical Roger dance tune, propelled by exquisite chank guitar played super-precisely. It's completely irresistable. "A Chunk Of Sugar" is an excellent instrumental, again led by that clean-sounding guitar. The vocal presence is replaced by a fine horn arrangement. "Do It Roger" is a mellower dance song, tending towards more guitar leads and a funky synth bass. Roger's guitar work is flawless and funky. "Maxx Axe" is a hot blues-rock guitar jam. "Blue" is an amusing blues song, with the feel of a little blues club. The early part of the song features some nice horn riffing that leads into Roger doing his best Buddy Guy impersonation, with some nice, long, stinging solos.

This album is out of print, but shouldn't be that hard to find. It's also available as an import from Japan. I probably wouldn't pay more than $15 for the album, and $30 for the CD.