Daily Archives: January 3, 2010
Pleasure was a funk band from Portland, Oregon that formed in 1972 as the combination of the bands Franchise and The Soul Masters. These members included Dennis Springer on saxophone, Dan Brewster on trombone, Marlon “The Magician” McClain on guitars and background vocals, Bruce Carter on drums, Tony Collins on flugelhorn and trumpet, Donald Hepburn on keyboards and background vocals, Michael Hepburn on keyboards and background vocals, Nathaniel Phillips on bass and background vocals, Bruce Smith on percussion and background vocals and Sherman Davis on lead vocals. When Wayne Henderson of The Jazz Crusaders saw them perform in an Oregon club he helped them secure a record deal with Fantasy Records and their first album Dust Yourself Off was released in 1975. The album did not produce any hit records but it was solid funk jazz offering that earned them comparisons to The Blackbyrds and acknowledgement of an obvious Tower Of Power influence. Pleasure would be one of a few bands that would foretell the coming of groups like Jamiroquai and The Brand New Heavies. Accept No Substitutes was their second album in 1976 that captured funk soul lovers despite a lack of commercial recognition except for the minor hit “Ghettos Of The Mind.” The song “Let’s Dance” was good but went unnoticed until West Street Mob covered it in 1981 and of course it is another song that has been greatly sampled. 1977 brought about the release of Joyous that Wayne Henderson produced who’s influence can be heard on “Let Me Be The One,” “Dance To The Music,” the title track and another heavily sampled mellow tune “Sassafras Girl.” Get To The Feeling was released in 1978 and the it produced the favorites “No Matter What” and “Ladies Night Out.” Future Now was their 1979 release and “Glide” was the only song to infiltrate the airwaves but there were other jams
such as “Nothin’ To It,” “Space Is The Place,” “Thoughts Of Old Flames” and “Strong Love.” Special Things came out in 1980 and it contained the dance classic “Take A Chance,” “Special Things,” “Spread That Feelin’ Around,” “Living Without You” and “Yearnin’ Burnin’.” Give It Up released in 1982 would be their last album and it was recorded for MCA records. The title song, “Take It To The Streets,” “Sending My Love” “What’s It Gonna Be” and “It’s So Hard” satisfied their fanbase and allowed them to split up while still sounding good. Drummer Bruce Carter passed in 2006. Their music is kept alive through a worldwide network of dance music lovers, funk/R&B soul collectors and radio programmers/DJs that keep old school music in rotation.