FCC - Do You Believe In Magic

edited March 30 in year-1980

ALBUM: Do You Believe In Magic
YEAR: 1980

LINEUP: Funky Communication Committee - vocals * Steve Gootch, Dennis Clifton - guitars * Lonnie Ledford - bass * Jim Evans - drums * J.B. Christman, Clayton Ivey - keyboards * Guy Higginbotham - sax

TRACK LISTING: 01 Give Me A Reason * 02 Do You Believe In Magic * 03 Falling Out Of Love * 04 Where Did You Come From * 05 Jump Into The Fire * 06 How Do You Like Your Love * 07 Changes * 08 Don't Hold Back * 09 More Than Love * 10 Let The Love On Through


Typically there's a dearth of information surrounding the Funky Communication Committee out there, but from what I could dig up this was the band's second and final album, following 1979's 'Baby I Want You'. Musically FCC are light West Coast to the core, making for splendid listening, causing me to wonder just what happened to cause these guys to fall off the radar.

The band was centered around guitarist Clifton (who passed away on new years day this year) who allegedly formed FCC with ex-Steppenwolf guitarist Larry Byrom. The title track to their debut was a minor hit and the follow up is such a smooth piece of AOR I'm surprised it isn't better known, as this is the equal of what Larsen-Feiten and Nielsen-Pearson were up to in 1980. Guitar harmonies are abundant and the funk referred to in the title is readily apparent.

The Songs

If Pablo Cruise are your cup of tea then this will go down a treat. Easy listening, made for radio AOR is the order of the day, as heard in the title track, which isn't far off what the Doobie Brothers were doing at the time also. Keyboards are thrown in from all angles during 'Falling Out Of Love', complete with some stunning backing vocals from the extended group. West Coast never had it better than this.

Boz Scaggs comes to mind while listening closely to 'Where Did You Come From', as does the Bliss Band. 'Jump Into The Fire' is archetypal West Coast funk and this what Player were up to in 1980 also, but FCC utilise some extremely tasty guitar licks which give them atmospheric power.

Even funkier are 'How Do You Like Your Love' and 'Changes', which bring Rubicon instantly to mind, although this is far more melodic. In all honesty I could listen to the delicious AOR of 'Don't Hold Back' every day and never tire of it, but the band isn't removed from tear-dropping ballads, such as 'More Than Love'.

In Summary

West Coast does not exist in much purer form than 'Do You Believe In Magic'. If you can locate a copy of this then there is plenty of melodic joy to be derived from it.

Apparently the public or RCA didn't think so and the band split. Clifton became somewhat of a minor legend as a session man in Nashville, playing in several bands over the years before succumbing to cancer. Far removed it appears from the slick content lovers of AOR will devour here.

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