Le fait que son fondateur Emilio Castillo soit natif de Détroit n'est pas étranger au fait que cette formation, éclectique par ses goûts et les origines culturelles de ses membres, se soit fait connaitre dans la région de San Francisco sous le nom des Motowns avant d'opter pour Tower of Power en 1969.


the Funky Soul story - Tower Of Power 01


Le groupe marque sa préférence pour le funk dans une ville marquée par l'héritage du rock, Tower of Power débute sa carrière sur la scène du Fillmore West avant d'enregistrer son premier album, East Bay Grease en 1970.


Pris sous contrat par Warner, la formation enchaine les recueils dont Bump City (enregistré à Memphis en 1972 avec You're Still A Young Man), Tower of Power (disque d'or en 1973 avec So Very Hard To Go), Back To Oakland en 1974 et Urban Renewal en 1975, sont les plus marquants.


You're Still A Young Man


So very Hard To Go



Après un passage chez Columbia au cours de la seconde moitié des années 1970 qui voit le succès ralentir, Tower of Power retourne chez Warner avant de très vite signé avec Epic pour l'album T.O.P. en 1993.


Malgré une fluctuation constante au sein de la section cuivre du groupe, celle-ci est toujours restée soudée, ce qui leur a permis de vendre leurs services, en studio comme en tournée, à des des artistes très divers, depuis Rufus & Chaka Khan jusqu'à Elton John. Une succession rapide de chanteurs à en partie freiné la progression de l'orchestre ; après Rufus Miller, Rick Stevens a longtemps assuré la direction vocale de la formation avant que la condamnation pour meurtre de ce dernier n'amène Lenny Williams à lui succéder de 1972 à 1975.


Depuis son départ, Tower of Power n'a jamais trouvé un vocaliste capable d'assurer son avenir sur les charts, mais l'orchestre se contente de l'excellence de sa réputation dans le métier du disque.






source : Encyclopédie du Rhythm & Blues et de la Soul (éditions Fayard, 2002)



1970 / East Bay Grease

Tower Of Power - 1970 / East Bay Grease

A1. Knock Yourself Out

A2. Social Lubrication

A3. The Price

B1. Back On The Streets Again

B2. The Skunk, The Goose, And The Fly

B3. Sparkling In The Sand

1972 / Bump City

Tower Of Power - 1972 / Bump City

A1. You Got To Funkifize

A2. What Happened to the World That Day?

A3. Flash in the Pan

A4. Gone (In Memory Of Jacqueline Mesquite)

A5. You Strike My Main Nerve

B1. Down To The Nightclub

B2. You're Still A Young Man

B3. Skating On Thin Ice

B4. Of The Earth

1973 / Tower Of Power

Tower Of Power - 1973 / Tower Of Power (T.O.P.)

A1. What Is Hip?

A2. Clever Girl

A3. This Time It's Real

A4. Will I Ever Find A Love?

A5. Get Yo' Feet Back On The Ground

B1. So Very Hard To Go

B2. Both Sorry Over Nothin'

B3. Soul Vaccination

B4. Clean Slate

B5. Just Another Day

1974 / Back To Oakland

Tower Of Power - 1974 / Back To Oakland

A1. Oakland Stroke...

A2. Don't Change Horses (In The Middle of a Stream)

A3. Just When We Start Makin' It

A4. Can't You See (You Doin' Me Wrong)

A5. Squib Cakes

B1. Time Will Tell

B2. Man from the Past

B3. Love's Been Gone So Long

B4. I Got the Chop

B5. Below Us, All the City Lights

B6. ...Oakland Stroke

1974 / Urban Renewel

To<er Of Power - 1974 / Urban Renewel

A1. Only So Much Oil In The Ground

A2. Come Back, Baby

A3. It's Not The Crime

A4. I Won't Leave Unless You Want Me To

A5. Maybe It'll Rub Off

B1. (To Say The Least) You're The Most

B2. Willing To Learn

B3. Give Me The Proof

B4. It Can Never Be The Same

B5. I Believe In Myself

B6. Walkin' Up Hip Street

1975 / In The Slot

Tower Of Power - 1975 / In The Slot

A1. Just Enough And Too Much

A2. Treat Me Like Your Man


A3. If I Play My Cards Right

A4. As Surely As I Stand Here

A5. Fanfare: Matanuska

A6. On The Serious Side

B1. Ebony Jam

B2. You're So Wonderful, So Marvelous

B3. Vuela Por Noche

B4. Essence Of Innocence

B5. The Soul Of A Child

B6. Drop It In The Slot

1976 / Ain't Nothin' Stoppin' Us Now

Tower Of Power - 1976 / Ain't Nothin' Stoppin' Us Now

A1. Ain't Nothin' Stoppin' Us Now

A2. By Your Side

A3. Make Someone Happy

A4. Doin' Alright

A5. Because I think the World Of You

B1. You Ought To Be Havin' Fun

B2. Can't Stand To See The Slaughter

B3. It's So Nice

B4. Deal With It

B5. While We Went To The Moon

1978 / We came To Play

Tower Of Power - 1978 / We came To Play

A1. We Came To Play

A2. Lovin' You Is Gonna See Me Through

A3. Let Me Touch You

A4. Yin-Yang Thang

B1. Share My Life

B2. Bittersweet Soul Music

B3. Am I A Fool

B4. Love Bug

B5. Somewhere Down The Road

1979 / Back On The Streets

A1. Rock Baby

A2. Our Love

A3. Heaven Must Have Made You

A4. And You Know It

A5. Nowhere To Run

B6. Something Calls Me

B7. It Takes Two (To Make It Happen)

B8. In Due Time

B9. Just Make A Move (And Be Yourself)

1981 / Direct

Tower Of Power - 1981 / Direct

A1. Fanfare / You Know It

A2. You're Gonna Need Me

A3. Squib Cakes

B1. That's Why I Sing

B2. What Is Hip?

B3. Never Let Go Of Love

1987 / Power

Tower Of Power - 1987 / Power

A1. Baby's Got The Power

A2. Credit

A3. Some Day's Were Meant For Rain

A4. Boys Night Out

B1. Ball And Chain

B2. Through Lovers' Eyes

B3. Count On Me

B4. On The One

B5. Up Against Yourself

1991 / Monster On A Leasch

Tower Of Power - 1991 / Monster On A Leasch

A1. Little Knowledge (Is A Dangerous Thing)

A2. How Could This Happen To Me

A3. Who Do You Think You Are

A4. Attitude Dance

A5. You Can't Fall Up (You Just Fall Down)

A6. Funk The Dumb Stuff

B1. Believe It

B2. Personal Possessions

B3. Miss Trouble (Got A Lot Of Nerve)

B4. Keep Your Monster On A Leash

B5. Someone New

B6. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

1993 / T.O.P

Tower Of Power - 1993 / T.O.P

A1. Soul With A Capitol 'S'

A2. It All Comes Back

A3. Please Come Back To Stay

A4. The Real Deal

A5. Come To A Decision

A6. Cruise Control

A7. The Educated Bump (Part 1)

B1. Mama Lied

B2. Quiet Scream

B3. I Like Your Style

B4. You

B5. South Of The Boulevard

B6. Come On With It

B7. The Educated Bump (Part 2)

1995 / Solded Out

Tower Of Power - 1995 / Solded Out

A1. Souled Out

A2. Taxed To The Max

A3. Keep Comin' Back

A4. Soothe You

A5. Do You Wanna (Make Love To Me)

A6. Lovin' You Forever

B1. Gotta Make A Change

B2. Diggin' On James Brown

B3. Sexy Soul

B4. Just Like You

B5. Once You Get A Taste

B6. Undercurrent

1997 / Rhythm And Business

Tower Of Power - 1997 / Rhythm And Business

01. So I Got To Groove

02. Crazy For You

03. East Bay Way

04. Unconditional Love

05. You Do The Math

06. The More You Know

07. Recapture The Magic

08. What's Your Trip?

09. Rhythm & Business

10. Don't Knock Me Down

11. That Was Then And This Is Now

12. It Really Doesn't Matter

13. Spang-A-Dang

2003 / Oakland Zone

Tower Of Power - 2003 / Oakland Zone

1 Eastside

2 Give Me Your Love

3 Get What You Want

4 Could've Done It Better

5 This Type of Funk

6 Pocketful of Soul

7 Remember Love

8 Oakland Zone

9 Life Is What You Make It

10 Happy 'Bout That

11 Stranger In My Own House

12 Back In the Day

13 Page One

14 ...Eastside