“Funkist” is considered to be the “missing link” in Bobby Harrison’s career – coming as it does between the two legendary bands Freedom and Snafu.
Previously only available on vinyl in the US this Angel Air release showcases a bunch of top-notch British rock legends: Micky Moody, (later of Whitesnake), Herbie Flowers (one-time Blue Mink, laid down the classic bass-line on Lou Reed’s “Take A Walk On The Wild Side”, later with Sky), drummers Ian Paice (Deep Purple) and Clem Cattini (ex-The Tornados), guitarists Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) and Henry McCulloch (Wings, The Grease Band) keyboard player Matthew Fisher (ex-Procol Harum) and vocalist Ray Owen (ex-Juicy Lucy).
Bobby Harrison was one of the original members of Procol Harum, when the group recorded the famous hit single “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”. After this he formed Freedom (SJPCD027 and SJPCD028) and in 1972 recorded “Funkist” with Roger Saunders (guitar) and Walter Monagham (bass).
For lovers of gritty and funky R&B, “Funkist” will not disappoint. It makes up a great trilogy with the Snafu albums also available on Angel Air (SJPCD030 and SJPCD032).
...a first-time-on-CD reissue for waht many fans consider the missing link between his careers with Freedom and Snafu...Funkist featured contributions from fellow future Snafu man Micky Moody, Humble Pie's Clem Cattini, Deep Purple's Ian Paice, Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, Procol Harum's Matthew Fisher, Wings' Henry McCulloch and Juicy Luicy's Ray Owen...
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (April 2000)
...an interesting document of a classy singer with some good songwriting ideas. Hats off to Angel Air for their comprehensive sleeve notes and interview which sets the scene and gives perspective to this release.
David Pearson, Wondrous Stories (April 2000)
...Micky Moody (Whitesnake), Ian Paice (Purple), Tony Iommi (Sabbath), Matthew Fisher (Procol): all these and more contribute to an album released in the early 1970s...which made the US Top 100.
Michael Heatley, Classic Rock (May 2000)
...there is plenty of funk and soul mixed with the blues-based rock that Bobby is best known for...The whole album is an easy mix, and Purple or Sabbath fans shouldn't expect too much heaviness. But it's a real gem, nonetheless
Record Collector (June 2000)
...a colourful collection of soulful bluesy-based British rock
Peter French, Hartlepool Mail (July 2000)
...Fans of funky heavy rock should definitely have a listen...
Mohair Sweets(August 2000)
The music is very much in the 70s, but it's sheer delight if that's where you like it coming from...As regular readers of MD will know, Angel Air have released some very good albums, and this is yet another one. Avid fans of Sabbath will also find this release a welcome addition as Iommi is here, as will Purple fans, oh, and fans of...
Modern Dance Issue 32 (December 2000)
The album's sound is embedded in 60s/70s Brit rock sound but the opening track, "Cleopatra Jones", features horns and female backing vocals, giving it a 70s disco quality. Some would even say the music could have been a perfect soundtrack to a 70s porn movie featuring Harry Reems. The rest of the album features Hammond organ, bluesy guitar, and the deep,gritty and emotional vocals of Bobby Harrison...Funkist is for those of you who want to check out early bluesy R&B based British rock, not necessarily the headbanging crew.
Metal Dreams #5
…what we have here is a piece of rock history that was only ever released in the US before…That Bobby Harrison has a great voice, and a great ability to use that voice can be seen by comparing a track like 'Little Linda Lovejoy' with its rawer edged vocals and the purer tones of something like 'Spotlight'. The quality of the backing musicians adds all you expect to the music from the likes of Ian Paice, Tony Iommi and Micky Moody amongst many others. A classic finally gets a well-deserved release.
Adrian Lyth, Classic Rock Society (July 2002)
This mid-price reissue makes available a class album taking in the blues-rock and hard rock of the era and giving it plenty of funk rhythms and soul overtones...
Joe Geesin, Record Collector (August 2002)