Possibly my best-ever charity shop find, this magical slice of frequently sampled P-funk, released in the UK in 1976, connects back to the previous 45 in the series in being a track which A Certain Ratio covered and issued as a single themselves in 1980, and which surely had a formative influence on their sound. On their debut The graveyard and the ballroom, acr tightened up Banbarra’s already taut funk to snapping point; their cover of ‘Shack up’ is a faithful, if darker version of the bubblier original.
The message of ‘Shack up’ seems quaint now, but in the mid-seventies, I guess it may have raised a few eyebrows – although if you were into your funk, you were probably loose enough to be hip to its central tenet, which is that it is better and wiser to shack up together rather than marry.
Like Television’s ‘Little Johnny Jewel’, also released in the US in 1975, the B side is a continuation; splitting the track in two does the A side a favour in terms of rendering it supremely punchy, but I imagine when it was played in Studio 54, you would have preferred to hear the two sides of the single seamlessly mixed into six minutes, complete with the second half’s thoroughly dirty guitar solo.
There aren’t many facts out there about the record’s creators, Joseph Anthony Carter and Moe Daniels, and this was Banbarra’s only release. I guess the duo must have realised that there was only one way from ‘Shack up’, and that was down.