Ahh...The Name is Bootsy, Baby! (1977)

(Bootsy's Rubber Band)

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Track Listing:

Ahh...The Name is Bootsy, Baby {W Collins, G Clinton, Maceo Parker}  6:52
The Pinocchio Theory {W Collins, G Clinton}  6:08
Rubber Duckie {W Collins, G Clinton, Gary Cooper}  3:18
Preview Side Too {W Collins, G Clinton, G Cooper, Garry Shider}  :56
What's A Telephone Bill? {W Collins, G Clinton, G Cooper}  5:58
Munchies For Your Love {W Collins, G Clinton, G Cooper, G Shider}  9:39
Can't Stay Away {W Collins, G Clinton}  5:28
Reprise: We Want Bootsy {W Collins, G Clinton, M Parker}  :20


Guitars: Phelps "Catfish" Collins, Garry Shider, Mike Hampton,    
 Glenn Goins, Bootsy Collins
Drums & Thangs: Frankie "Kash" Waddy, Jerome Brailey, Gary Cooper, Bootsy
Keyboards: Joel "Razor-Sharp" Johnson, Bernie Worrell
Space Bass:  Bootsy & Casper
Horny Horns: Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Rick Gardner, Richard "Kush" Griffith
Also on Horns: Randy & Michael Brecker
Front Ground Vocals: Gary Cooper, Robert Johnson
Horn Arrangements: Fred Wesley and Bootsy Collins

 "Ahh...The Name Is Bootsy, Baby"
Vocals: Bootsy Collins
Bass: Bootsy Collins
Guitars: Phelps "Catfish" Collins
Keyboards: Joel "Razor Sharp" Johnson
Drums: Frankie "Kash" Waddy
Trumpets: Rick Gardner, Richard "Kush" Griffith
Trombone: Fred Wesley
Emcee, Alto Sax: Maceo Parker

 "The Pinocchio Theory"
Vocals: Bootsy Collins, Gary Cooper, Robert Johnson
Guitars, Bass, Drums: Bootsy Collins
Trumpets: Rick Gardner, Richard "Kush" Griffith
Trombone: Fred Wesley
Alto Sax: Maceo Parker
Keyboards: Bernie Worrell, Joel "Razor Sharp" Johnson

 "Can't Stay Away"
Vocals: Bootsy Collins, Gary Cooper, Robert Johnson
Guitar, Bass, Drums: Bootsy Collins
Trumpets: Rick Gardner, Richard "Kush" Griffith
Trombone: Fred Wesley
Alto Sax: Maceo Parker
Keyboards: Bernie Worrell

Rating: GZ: ***** RC: *****


RC: It's tough to name favorites amongst the first three Bootsy albums, because they're all brilliant in different ways. Ahh... is one of Bootsy's shortest, but most powerful works. There is absolutely no filler here, and every musician is at their peak.

The album begins with what would became Bootsy's intro song during live shows, "Ahh...The Name Is Bootsy, Baby". That little bass intro with that touch of guitar and 'We want Bootsy' in the background is one of P.Funk's most memorable moments. That just leads us into that groovin' bassline. Bootsy is once again Casper here, this time in no need of an introduction as his fans mob him, and he responds wittily to their questions. "Ahh, the name is Bootsy, baby, and the better to funk you, my dear!" Maceo tells us who he is, and demands that the fans clap for him. It's the best studio approximation of a live experience that I've ever heard. "The Pinocchio Theory" may be Bootsy's most important tune, as its central philosophy--'Don't fake the funk or your nose will grow."-- served as the springboard for the whole Sir Nose thang. This song contains enough grooves, hooks and sing-alongs for three funk tunes. The sound of the song is much cleaner, with a more pronounced keyboard sound and less of a guitar influence. Bootsy's bass playing is much more subtle here, anchoring the song. It allows the singing and keyboard playing to grab most of the attention. "Rubber Duckie" is an underrated tune, perhaps because the bass groove isn't as deep as on the others. But the singing is again excellent, and the high-note horn riff is one of my favorites. The horn riff and the 'Fly, won't you come fly' chorus is used in the current live version of "(Not Just) Knee Deep". Some more of my favorite lyrics are here, like 'I rob from the rich and give to poor li`l ol` me. Ah, funk, that is.' "What's A Telephone Bill?" is one of those concept ballads, making every double- entendre possible relating to phones. The real highlight is hearing Mudbone sing, and the delicate rhythm arrangements. It builds up to some excellent slap soloing from Bootsy. But this is just the warmup for the album's masterpiece, "Munchies For Your Love." The whole song is one long buildup of tension, starting with some low-key keyboard and guitar work. The tension builds when vocals are added, talking about a hunger for love, with candy working surprisingly well as a metaphor. But the eager, hungry anticipation in the music is what really drives home the theme. Things build until they explode in a mind-boggling fuzz bass solo from Bootsy that's matched perfectly by the frantic drumming of Jerome Brailey. The album is capped off by the Mudbone showcase "Can't Stay Away", perhaps his greatest vocal performance. The beginning of the song has some Parliament-style lead-swapping, with Mudbone, P-Nut, and Bootsy taking turns, but Mudbone is the true star here.

The cover features a drawing of Bootsy amongst cheering fans, a lighthearted cover for some silly serious tunes. There's also a great inner gatefold with a monstrous photo of The Player. The album is out of print, but can be found fairly easily in a good used vinyl store, for anywhere from $5-25. It's also available on CD as an import, for anywhere from $20-35.