Tower Of Power ‎– We Came To Play - 1978 - Funk / Soul / Rhythm & Blues (Vinyl)


Tower Of Power ‎– We Came To Play - 1978 - Funk / Soul / Rhythm & Blues (Vinyl)

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In the summer of 1968, tenor saxophonist/vocalist Emilio Castillo met Stephen "Doc" Kupka, who played baritone sax. Castillo had played in several bands, but Castillo's father told his son to "hire that guy" after a home audition.[5] Within months the group, then known as The Motowns, began playing various gigs around Oakland and Berkeley, their soul sound relating to both minority and rebellious listeners.[3][6]

Castillo wanted to play Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, but he realized he would never get in with a name like The Motowns.[6] The band agreed on Tower of Power and the name stuck.[7]

By 1970, the now renamed Tower of Power—now including trumpet/arranger Greg Adams, first trumpet Mic Gillette, first saxophone Skip Mesquite, Francis "Rocco" Prestia on bass, Willie Fulton on guitar, and drummer David Garibaldi—signed a recording contract with Bill Graham's San Francisco Records and released their first album, East Bay Grease. Rufus Miller performed most of the lead vocals on this debut album.[3] The group was first introduced to the San Francisco Bay area by radio station KSAN, which played a variety of artists such as Cold BloodEric Mercury and Marvin Gaye. The single "Sparkling in the Sand" received airplay on the Bay Area soul station KDIA.[citation needed]

Augmented by percussionist/conga/bongo player Brent Byars, Tower of Power was released from their San Francisco label contract and moved to Warner Bros. Records. With Rick Stevens now replacing Rufus Miller as lead singer, 1972's Bump City gave the band their first national exposure. This album included the hit single "You're Still a Young Man", which peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Stevens' pinnacle vocal performance before leaving the band.[4] Emilio Castillo, who, along with Stephen Kupka, co-wrote "You're Still a Young Man," told Songfacts that the song was based on a true story concerning a former girlfriend who was six years older.[8] The single "Down to the Nightclub" received heavy airplay on West Coast FM stations and several AM stations.[citation needed]

Tower of Power, released in the spring of 1973, was the third album for the band. It featured Lenny Williams on lead vocals and Lenny Pickett on lead tenor saxophone. Bruce Conte replaced guitarist Willie Fulton and keyboardist Chester Thompson also joined the band during the recording of the album. This was the group's most successful album. It peaked at #15 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and was RIAA certified as a gold record (for sales in excess of 500,000 copies).[citation needed] The album also spawned their most-successful single "So Very Hard to Go". Although the single peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100,[4] it landed in the Top 10 on the surveys of many West Coast Top 40 radio stations, hitting #1 on many of them. The album also charted two other singles on the Billboard Hot 100, "This Time It's Real" and "What Is Hip?"[3]

1974's Back to Oakland spawned another hit, "Don't Change Horses (in the Middle of a Stream)", that reached #26 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Time Will Tell", which charted at #69.[4] The funk-jazz classic instrumental "Squib Cakes" also came from this album.[9]

On Urban Renewal (1974), the band moved more toward funk than soul; however, they continued recording ballads as well. Williams left the band in late 1974, and was replaced as vocalist by Hubert Tubbs. Though the band remained popular, their days of chart radio airplay declined. During the late 1970s they briefly tried recording disco-sounding material.[3] Leader Emilio Castillo said in an interview that the band's brief foray into quasi-disco was at the request of Columbia Records, who had the band under contract at the time.[citation needed]

On January 12, 2017, long-time drummer, David Garibaldi, along with a bass player, Marc Van Wageningen, were hit by a train as they walked across tracks before a performance in Oakland.[2] They both survived the accident. According to their manager, Jeremy Westby, they are both “responsive and being treated at a local hospital”

Label Condition (Out of 10) ~9 slight slight waer / punch hole
Vinyl Condition ~ (Out of 10) 
Side # 1 - 10
Side # 2 - 10 mint vinyl !
BIN *217

Label:Columbia ‎– PC 34906
Format:Vinyl, LP, Album 


A1 We Came To Play 3:35
A2 Lovin' You Is Gonna See Me Thru 6:03
A3 Let Me Touch You 4:32
A4 Yin-Yang Thang 4:20
B1 Share My Life 3:54
B2 Bittersweet Soul Music 3:27
B3 Am I A Fool 3:58
B4 Love Bug 4:01
B5 Somewhere Down The Road 4:38

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