16 Jun

Cameo – Rigor Mortis





I once heard a nice little story about this track that i will now pinch as I'm too lazy to write anything myself.

Sometime in the 90's, somehow, fourbearsjr got booked to play a funk and groove gig in of all places Southend in Essex. If you don't know Southend it's one of the most stereotypical Essex places you'll ever visit, all bright lights and tackiness, bleached blond hairdos and lot's of dancing around the handbag – think "The only way is Essex" on steroids.

Anyway, he's stood in the booth and this girl comes up and complains to the guy DJ'ing about the music, a short but brief conversation that ends with her squawking "can't you play some proper music instead of this crap? What about some Soul? Have you got any Cameo?" to which the DJ replies, "Actually, I have", and he promptly whips out Cardiac Arrest By Cameo and throws on Rigor Mortis, much to the disgust of the girl complaining who stormed off moaning that "this wasn't CAMEO!".

I guess you had to be there, but for me it's a real shame that most people will only remember Cameo for codpieces, flattops and their tacky, but still great, 80's output. When, like a lot of popular 80's R'n'B bands they'd been around working hard for a long time. Technology moved on and changed the sound of Soul and Funk, but these guys were top class musicians who'd been really popular on the Funk circuit long before they hit Top of the Pop's.

Rigor Mortis is a great example of how brilliant these guys were. The vocals are unmistakable, and the groove just pumps along. it's a lovely track that's been sampled to death, but the original still rules the roost in my opinion.


*I can't even begin to tell you how hard it was to find a sensible picture of cameo, so I ended up taking the picture from http://www.soulwalking.co.uk

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