The unmistakable sound of The Meters needs little introduction due to their lofty vaulted heights, legendary funk breaks that have been sampled by a thousand artists and danced by an audience of devoted crate diggers. Cherry Red records have now brought together their Josie, Reprise and Warner Records long players in a snazzy looking 6 CD box set.
Heralding from New Orleans soul central the bands line-up featured a juggernaut of musicians that have been hard to match. Art Neville on keys, Leo Nocentelli taking on the guitar, bassist George Porter Jr and drummer Joseph ‘Zigaboo’ Modeliste, the band stuck together like super glue, but with the power to separate their musical gifts to form an hypnotic powerhouse groove which formed the basis of their stellar hits including Look Ka Py-Py, Cissy Strut and Hand Clapping Song.
From the band’s first steps into the realms of recording material it’s easy to observe the class on show leaving little doubt to the legendary status that the quartet so richly deserve. Guitar licks sound like audible confectionary ready to digest, drums clatter and assemble into a perfect musical explosion, whilst the chewy bass rumbles the speakers free of any cobwebs, finally the B3 organ is an unmistakable star of its own accord, the distinguishable sound masterfully breads a life of its own amongst its fellow competitive instruments.
Of the music that’s on show here the gathering is formidable. If you dare open the package what slaps you in the face is the remastering is first-rate, devoid of blemish, the appeal is swift and lasting. Each album has been adoringly preserved like never before the standouts are Here Comes The Metre Men, A Message From The Metres and Just Kissed My Baby. Each album is worth plaudits alone but as a group of recordings collected together there is little to separate these efforts as funk groove / soul masterpieces. The other albums on show equally appeal as the band merge into the backing band that would successfully back the master of voodoo funk Dr John.
Without fail this is an absolute must for anyone wanting to rediscover these emphatically crackerjack releases. Go grab yourself a piece of the action and get down, deep and funky with the annual champions of the dancefloor, The Metres.
The Metres – The Archives can be purchased from the Cherry Red website