D’Angelo – Chicken Grease

Michael Eugene Archer (born February 11, 1974), better known by his stage name D’Angelo (pronounced dee-Angelo), is an American R&B and neo soul singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He is known for his production and songwriting talents as much as for his vocal abilities, and often draws comparisons to his influences, Marvin Gaye, and Prince. D’Angelo was one of the most influential artists during the rise of the neo soul movement.

Voodoo is the second studio album by American recording artist D’Angelo, released on January 25, 2000, by Virgin Records. Recording sessions for the album took place during 1998 to 1999 at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, featuring an extensive line-up of musicians associated with the Soulquarians musical collective. Produced primarily by D’Angelo, Voodoo features a loose, groove-based funk sound and serves as a departure from the more conventional song structure of his debut album, Brown Sugar (1995). The album features lyrical themes regarding spirituality, love, sexuality, growth, and fatherhood.

Amid heavy promotion and an anticipated release, the album was released to commercial and critical success. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling 320,000 copies in its first week, and spent 33 weeks on the chart. It was promoted with five singles, including the hit single „Untitled (How Does It Feel)“, whose music video garnered D’Angelo mainstream attention and controversy. Upon its release, Voodoo received general acclaim from music critics and earned D’Angelo several accolades. It was named one of the year’s best albums by numerous publications.

The album is D’Angelo’s last studio album prior to a sabbatical period of legal controversies and absence from the music scene, following the end of the album’s international supporting tour in late 2000. While successful early on, the tour eventually became marked by concert cancellations and D’Angelo’s personal frustrations. Voodoo has been regarded by music writers as D’Angelo’s best work and a creative milestone of the neo soul genre during its apex. It has sold over 1.7 million copies in the United States and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The sparse funk song „Chicken Grease“ has lyrics advising against acting „uptight“, and it features D’Angelo referencing the line „I know you got soul“ from Eric B. & Rakim’s song of the same name (1987). It contains an ambiguous harmony and bass by Pino Palladino, who evokes the playing style of James Jamerson, with spontaneously improvised variations-on-a-theme parts that sit back „in the pocket“. The track was originally intended for Common’s Like Water for Chocolate, but D’Angelo offered Common the song „Geto Heaven Part Two“ as a trade. „Chicken Grease“ is named after a technical term that musician Prince used for his guitarist to play a 9th minor chord while playing 16th notes. The song contains background voices, which one writer described as „omnipresent party people channeled in from ‚What’s Going On‘ and ‚Voodoo Chile‘, laughin and carryin on all over“. Co-written by D’Angelo’s former girlfriend, singer Angie Stone,

Pino Palladino (born 17 October 1957) is a Welsh bass guitarist who gained fame playing primarily rock and roll, blues rock, and rhythm and blues music, although he has been lauded for his ability to play most genres of popular music, including jazz, neo soul, and funk. His career has spanned several ensembles, including the John Mayer Trio and The RH Factor, a band mixing elements of soul, jazz and R&B, which he formed with jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove. He was also Pete Townshend’s and Roger Daltrey’s first choice to fill the position left by John Entwistle as the bassist for The Who. Adding to an eclectic grasp and melodic approach on his instrument, he has become one of the most sought-after session players on the bass and has played on a large number of recordings by some of the world’s most successful entertainers, in part, by mastering a variety of techniques on both his late 1970s fretless Music Man StingRay bass guitar and, later in his career, adding fretted Fender Precision and Jaguar basses. His playing has earned him custom instruments bearing his name.

[From Wikipedia]

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