The Chambers Brothers: Lester Chambers, Willie Chambers, Joe Chambers, George Chambers, Brian Keeney.
Producer: David Rubinson.
Reissue producer: Bob Irwin.
Recorded between 1966 and 1967.
Includes liner notes by Peter Knobler.
A black four-piece vocal group with a white drummer in the '60s may not have been unique, but it was still something of a revolutionary act, and this, coupled with their smash hit "Time Has Come Today," ensures the Chambers Brothers their place in rock history. The group started out as the house band at the hip Electric Circus club in New York's East Village. Besides their hit, THE TIME HAS COME revolves around the band's gospel roots, which are effectively used to sweeten and develop a variety of R&B and pop material such as Bacharach and David's "What the World Needs Now Is Love," and the gently swinging "Romeo and Juliet."
Their version of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" is perhaps the most obviously gospel-based cut here, and with hindsight it's apparent that, rather being a new direction, the band's trippy excursion was something of a detour. But the cowbell and guitar intro to "Time" still thrills today--check out the sly "Little Drummer Boy" quote on the extended guitar solo, too. And in the light of later developments such as Parliament/Funkadelic, the rest of the track sounds like a prophecy.
Mojo (Publisher) (11/00, p.118) - "...Their sweet harmonies, barely secularised repertoire and driving beat sounds liek nothing fromt heir time: their version of Bacharach & Davis's 'What The World Needs Now Is Love' is astonishing..."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.101) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "They kick back and chill on Curtis Mayfield's glorious 'People Get Ready,' one of a number of covers where the group completely owns the song."