“Going Down for the Last Time” parts 1 & 2, plus extended, Ronnie Keaton & Oceanliners (Konduko Records, 1974)

This record is a perfect example of the funk that impresses, in the way it upsets expectations about how the genre should sound; of course, there is zero foundation for this comment, or anything else at all (who am I, of all people, to make any claims?)  but I’ve always disliked the excessive showiness of funk – the solos, the waiting for applause, the glitter, flashy lights and costumes - been suspicious of it, of performers and audience alike. Too often it falls into a kind of bad faith caricature; major exceptions made for a lot of the work of Eddie Hazel. No surprise in any of this, it reflects my temperament and cultural background.

This track is wonderful, though in the way it has all the elements, the sound and essence, keeping it on mute almost. I particularly like the use of the flute, used as if it were a sample on part 1 and the backing vocals – what a smart contrast between the woman’s resolve about leaving a man (who once had a job) with the men singing their parts so gently, “no mo.” Lovely.

Then for “part 2”, this impression is even more pronounced, it’s almost a dub in the way it’s done:

The flute is replaced/supplemented by horns, or they’re made more dominant; the sleepy male backing vocals become the main element.

Here’s something I found on a website in French, funk-o-logy.com, posted by Weego on the section labelled “index funky,” which I’ll translate into English.

 “A hit (une bombe) of sister funk, Florida sauce. The b-side is falsely called “part 2” when in fact it’s the instrumental. Written by singer Ronnie Keaton and King Sporty (owner of the electro-funk/reggae label Konduko in Miami and husband of soul singer Betty Wright). Ronnie Keaton is not known to have put out anything other than this excellent single that came out in 1974. The Oceanliners are credited on the label info (Jerome Smith on guitar, Robert Johnson aka Shotgun on drums and Anthony Turner on bass) who later became the Sunshine Band, of KC & the Sunshine Band fame; “that’s the way han-han han-han I like it …”). They accompanied Betty Wright on stage. There are two variations of the label: one yellow, the other green. This information probably won’t interest anyone else apart from me!”    

And the extended mix :