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Funk, Terry - 1984 Great Texan




ARTIST: Funk, Terry
ALBUM: Great Texan
LABEL: Invitation (Japan)
SERIAL: VIH-28161
YEAR: 1984

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Terry Funk - vocals * Junshi Yamagishi, Motonobu Ohde, Tatsuya Funaoka - guitars * Kei Shibata, Masahiro Sayama, Soichi Noriki - keyboards, synthesizer * Romy Kinoshita, Eiji Nakahira - bass * Teruo Matsumoto, Masayuki Higuchi - drums * Hidefumi Toki - saxophones * Mitsuru Kanekuni, Toshihiko Furumura, Araki Toshiro, Bone Suketani - brass and woodwind * Noriko Miyamoto, Kero Endo, Mine Matsuki, Jimmy Hart - backing vocals * Amano Strings - string arrangements

TRACK LISTING: 01 Great Texan * 02 Touch Your Heart (Sayonara Boku Ienai) * 03 We Like To Rock * 04 Change Your Mind * 05 Barbara Streisand's Nose * 06 Roppongi * 07 We Hate School * 08 Great Texan (Theme From Terry Funk)


Background
On the surface this may appear to be one of the most offbeat inclusions ever presented at Glory Daze. After all an album by legendary Texan wrestler Terry Funk would probably be met with cynicism and no doubt laughter by many, the man more well known for his brutal ring exploits over the past four decades. But somehow in 1984 Funk hit the studio and recorded a fine AOR album, one exclusively for the Japanese market where he was wrestling. Straddling classy west coast and pure AOR, Funk more than deserves a place here at GD. If anything it adds to the legend of the one time NWA world champion!


The Songs
I'll be the first to admit Funk can't sing - at all. Most of his vocals here are spoken and when he does try to get in harmony the results are often hilarious. But this is one of the most charismatic personalities in wrestling history we're talking about here. Some of the music is prime early 80's AOR, almost comparable with Frank Stallone's self titled classic from the same year. The jazzy arrangements of 'Touch Your Heart (Sayonara)' are classic West Coast, evoking Boz Scaggs at his best, especially with the female backing vocals. 'We Like To Rock' is a harebrained excursion into keyboard driven rock, Funk delivering the lyrics like a robot with some sax thrown in for good measure. This sounds like it was culled from Doc Holliday's 'Modern Medicine', although what the 40 year old Funk was doing singing about being a 'juvenile delinquent' I couldn't tell you. 'Change Your Mind' surges along nicely with a 70's disco beat and some decent melody, a good comparison to Stallone. Funk tries to sing properly and fails abysmally during 'Roppongi', where he reminisces about getting wasted in Japan to the backdrop of yet more outstanding West Coast elements. 'Barbara Streisand's Nose' is a ludicrous title for sure, as are the lyrics about some broad with a huge nose, but the music is vintage AOR and reminiscent of Blackfoot's 'Siogo'. The guitar solo is exceptionally fast and melodic and the chorus grew on me quickly. Funk attempts to be rebellious with 'We Hate School', which yet again rates highly on the AOR scale, with more sterling guitar work. The same can be said for the title track, with it's brass work and wild guitar fills ending a unique album to say the least.


In Summary
I listened to this in disbelief and I'm sure I'm not the only one. This is as obscure as it comes and I'm not sure if it has ever seen the light of day on CD. It was hugely popular in Japan of course, as that country has always had a special love for AOR. Whether Funk made another album is unclear, but I highly doubt it. Funk continued his wrestling career well into his 60's, displaying the kind of unpredictability that symbolizes this album.


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Comments

#1 | gdazegod on January 05 2010 05:05:04
You do have this knack for finding the weird and the wonderful Alun. I thought Bruce Willis was a hoot, but this would have to take the cake!
#2 | MUSCLE on January 05 2010 10:14:54
are you sure hank done it this way terry?Grin
#3 | kim_hp on March 28 2011 23:32:28
I downloaded the entire album from Youtube since I couldn't find it elsewhere. How this got released is beyond me, worse 'vocals' I've never heard on a CD - but for sheer amusement, this album is hard to beat. I mean, a wrestler doing westcoast AOR, how can it not be funny? But yeah, the music itself is pretty darn good actually.

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