The One Giveth, The Count Taketh Away (1982)

(William "Bootsy" Collins)

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Track Listing:

Shine-O-Myte (Rag Popping) {W Collins, G Clinton}  4:32
Landshark (Just When You Thought It Was Safe) {W Collins, Phelps Collins}  4:03
Countracula (This One's For You) {W Collins}  3:15
# 1 Funkateer {W Collins}  3:27
Excon (Of Love) {W Collins}  5:24
So Nice You Name Him Twice {W Collins, Maceo Parker, Joel Johnson}  3:50
What's W-R-O-N-G Radio {W. Collins, Reginald Calloway}  4:05
Music To Smile By {W Collins}  4:15
Play On Playboy {W Collins, P Collins}  3:23
Take A Lickin' and Keep On Kickin' {W Collins}  4:35
The Funky Funktioneer {W Collins, J Johnson}  :35


Guitars: Bootsy Collins, Phelps 'Catfish' Collins
Keyboard: Bootsy Collins, Joel 'Razor' Johnson
Drummer & Percussionist: Bootsy Collins
Horny Horns: Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Richard 'Kush' Griffith
Blow Power Arrangements: Fred Wesley, Bootsy Collins
The Hey Hey MC: Maceo Parker
Opening Act: Sweat Band
General Mothers of America: Godmoma Here
Space Bassist: Bootsy Collins
Other Musicians: Bernie Worrell, David Lee Chong, David Spradley, 
 Wes Boatman, Rahni Harris, Kevin Oliver, Larry Hatcher, Frank Waddy
Vocals: Cynthia Girty, Carolyn Myles, Arneneta Walker, (Godmoma)   
 P-Nut Johnson, Garry Shider, Ron Ford, Jeannette McGruder, 
 Mallia Franklin, H. Bissantz, Midnight Star
Rating: GZ: * RC: ***1/2


TK: The album was originally titled The Secret Life Of Fruit, and the concept was totally different.

RC: This album was the first of Bootsy's many comebacks (others would come in 1988, '90, and '94). It's definitely his slickest-sounding work, with a heavy emphasis on keyboards and even some early electronic percussion. Despite the slickness, a lot of repetitiveness in sound (especially in percussion), and one song too many, there's still a lot of good stuff here. Fans of early Rubber Band albums may have some trouble with Bootsy abandoning funk's rougher, Funkadelic-inspired edges, but he throws in enough guitar and heavy fuzz bass to keep everyone happy. There are also a number of lyrical references to earlier albums, as well as some memorable new verbal hooks and chants. Once again, female backup vocals are quite prominent, although Garry Shider and others balance this out a bit, providing a better overall vocal balance than on Ultra Wave. Bootsy works best when he has a strong male voice countering his own freaky vocals. Bootsy once again does most of the instrumentation, but old pals like Bernie Worrell and Frankie Waddy pitch in as well.

"Shine-O-Myte" has the legendary line, 'The secret to walking on water is knowing where the rocks are.' Its main lyrical gimmick is people singing in pig latin, which works surprisingly well. It is used sparingly, making it effective. There's a strong rhythm guitar presence, as it drives the song. Bootsy is in great form here vocally. A talkbox can be heard for the first time on a Bootsy record. "Landshark" has another classic chant: 'Shake what you brought with ya/You know what it's gonna getcha'. Of course, the idea is a play on both the film Jaws II and the Saturday Night Live parody of same. It's a rump-shaker of a jam, commanding us to 'put a wiggle in your wobble'. Guitars are once again prominent, with even a solo at the end. "Countracula" is another driving dance tune, with more amusing lyrics about the Count who can only count to one--as in 'The One'. Things slow down a little with "#1 Funkateer", a somewhat dull song that veers a bit too much into disco. "Excon (of Love)" is a subpar ballad that lacks the sharp musical and lyrical focus of the better Bootsy ballads. "So Nice..." is a direct sequel to "Ahh...The Name...", but it works because of its engaging horns and great rapping from Maceo, as well as a great guitar vamp. "What's W-R-O-N-G Radio" is a slightly disco-ish dance tune, but it's redeemed by great Bootsy vocals and good drumming. "Music To Smile By" is a memorable slow number featuring great percussion and singing. "Play On Playboy" is another excellent dance number notable for its guitar. The tune and backwards-sounding lyrics make it an underrated gem. "Take A Lickin'..." (another advertising reference) is another solid guitar-bass romp, also very danceable. "The Funky Funktioneer" is a little snippet that describes an auction, selling Bootsy as the #1 Funkateer. It's spiced up with horns and fuzz bass.

Overall, Bootsy concentrates on simple-sounding dance numbers that are less interesting percussively than his older material, but still contain enough surprises to be engaging. 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. The cover features Bootsy in a castle, wearing a skin tight outfit, holding a sceptre with two custom Space Basses by his side.