30 January 2012

Hot Butter - Getting Off/ Getting On

Label: Dynamo
Year of Release: 1975

We've covered Hot Butter on this blog before, of course, and I've already passionately emphasised my love of the much under-rated "Popcorn", the early synthesiser track even Crazy Frog couldn't completely destroy. Stan Free was the man behind the band name, and in terms of innovations with new technology, his name is hardly up there with the likes of Kraftwerk or Giorgio Moroder - but still, his hit was one of the first widely popular electronic tracks, and with all the verve and gusto it had behind it, that's not surprising.

By 1975 the novelty of Hot Butter's moogy squeaks and squelches had worn off, which probably goes a long way to explaining how this equally brilliant single came into being. "Getting Off" is essentially a funk reworking of their earlier 1973 track "Space Walk". Whereas before the band clearly had interstellar ambitions for the track, "Getting Off" sounds more urban, bringing to mind images of housing projects, men swaggering proudly across streets with "Walk"/ "Don't Walk" crossing lights, and, er... cardboard boxes placed strategically in the middle of industrial estates for no apparent reason. It's a piece of funk which is very much of its era and does indeed underline all the usual cliches, but it swoops so gracefully and has so many pounding, exciting breakbeats (listen to the drummer yelling halfway through the track) that you'd have to have feet of lead to not be interested.

This wasn't a hit, but interest in the track has if anything increased over the years. Mark Radcliffe regularly used the song as a sound bed on his evening show on Radio One, and it continues to pick up club play in a lot of places. I suspect that will continue for some time to come.

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