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Tower Of Power

The renowned horn-driven funk outfit Tower of Power have been issuing albums and touring the world steadily since the early '70s, in addition to backing up countless other musicians. The group's leader since the beginning has always been tenor saxophonist Emilio Castillo, who was born in Detroit but opted to pursue his musical dreams in Oakland, California. It was in Oakland that Castillo put together a group called the Motowns, which, as their name suggested, specialized in '60s-era soul. In 1967, Castillo teamed up with baritone sax player Stephen "Doc" Kupka, and soon the Motowns were transformed into Tower of Power. (One of the first tunes the duo penned together was "You're Still a Young Man," which would eventually go on to be one of Tower of Power's signature compositions.)

Tower of Power played regularly in the Bay Area throughout the late '60s, as their lineup often swelled up to ten members, including such other mainstays as Greg Adams on trumpet and vocals, Lenny Pickett on sax, and Rocco Prestia on bass. By 1970, the funk outfit had inked a recording contract with Bill Graham's San Francisco Records, resulting in the group's debut the same year, East Bay Grease, which failed to make an impression on the charts as Tower of Power were still trying to find their own sound.

But it soon came together for the group, as 1972's Bump City would touch off a string of classic hit albums, including 1973's self-titled release (which introduced vocalist Lenny Williams and included another of the group's most enduring tunes, "What Is Hip?"), 1974's Back to Oakland, and 1975's Urban Renewal and In the Slot. While Tower of Power remained a must-see live act, as disco became the new trend in R&B the group's original funk-laden style fell out of favor, and disco-oriented albums like 1978's We Came to Play and 1979's Back on the Streets didn't please critics or fans, and the band would go nine years without releasing an album.

Despite it all, Tower of Power -- in particular their horn section -- remained a much in-demand backing group for some of pop/rock's biggest names, including Elton John, Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Huey Lewis, Little Feat, David Sanborn, Michelle Shocked, Paula Abdul, Aaron Neville, Aerosmith, Public Image Ltd., and many others. In 1988, Tower of Power returned to the studio for the album Power, and in 1991 they signed with Epic Records, where they released five albums by the end of the decade.

Into the new millennium, Tower of Power kept up their reputation as a strong live band, maintaining a steady touring schedule, and in 2009 they launched their own TOP Records label with The Great American Soulbook, in which they covered a dozen soul and R&B classics in the trademark Tower of Power style. In 2007, Tower of Power celebrated their fourth decade together with a special concert at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium, and a year later the show was issued in a special CD/DVD package, simply titled 40th Anniversary. In 2013, Tower of Power took a look back with the release of Hipper Than Hip: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, which documented a live radio broadcast from 1974. The bandmembers also announced they would be touring in 2013 and 2014 with two other iconic acts from Northern California, Journey and the Steve Miller Band. ~ Greg Prato & Steve Leggett
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Great American Soulbook

1. You Met Your Match

2. I Thank You

3. Loveland

4. It Takes Two

5. Me And Mrs. Jones

6. Star Time (Tribute To James Brown)

7. Mr. Pitiful

8. Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel

9. Since You've Been Gone (Baby, Baby, Sweet Baby)

10. (Heaven Must Have Sent) Your Precious Love

11. 634-5789

12. Who Is He And What Is He To You

x

Track List: The Oakland Zone

1. Eastside...

2. Give Me Your Love

3. Get What You Want

4. Could've Done It Better

5. This Type Of Funk

6. Pocketful Of Soul

7. Remember Love

8. Oakland Zone

9. Life Is What You Make It

10. Happy 'Bout That

11. Stranger In My Own House

12. Back In The Day

13. Page One

14. ...Eastside

x

Track List: The Very Best Of The Tower Of Power: The Warner Years

1. You Got To Funkifize

2. What Happened To The World That Day?

3. Down To The Nightclub

4. You're Still A Young Man

5. What Is Hip?

6. So Very Hard To Go

7. This Time It's Real

8. Will I Ever Find A Love?

9. Soul Vaccination

10. Time Will Tell

11. Below Us, All The City Lights

12. Don't Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream)

13. Willing To Learn

14. Only So Much Oil In The Ground

15. I Won't Leave Unless You Want Me To

16. You're So Wonderful, So Marvelous

x

Track List: What Is Hip? - The Tower of Power Anthology

Disc 1

1. Knock Yourself Out

2. Back On The Streets Again

3. Sparkling in the Sand

4. Down to the Nightclub

5. You're Still a Young Man

7. What Happened To The World That Day

8. What Is Hip?

9. Will I Ever Find a Love?

10. This Time It's Real

11. So Very Hard To Go

12. Soul Vaccination

13. Below Us, All The City Lights

14. Can't You See (You Doin' Me Wrong)

15. Squib Cakes

Disc 2

1. Oakland Stroke

2. Don't Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream)

3. TIme Will Tell

4. It's Not The Crime

5. I Won't Leave (Unless You Want Me To)

6. Only So Much Oil In The Ground

7. Willing To Learn

8. You're So Wonderful, So Marvelous

9. Just Enough And Too Much

10. As Surely As I Stand Here

12. The Soul Of A Child

15. Credit

16. A Little Knowledge (Is A Dangerous Thing)

17. I Like Your Style

18. Soul With A Capital 'S'

19. Souled Out

20. So I Got To Groove

x

Track List: T.O.P.

1. Soul With A Capital "S"

2. It All Comes Back

3. Please Come Back (To Stay)

4. The Real Deal

5. Come To A Decision

6. Cruise Control

7. The Educated Bump Part I

8. Mama Lied

9. Quiet Scream

10. I Like Your Style

11. You

12. South Of The Boulevard

13. Come On With It

14. The Educated Bump Part II

x

Track List: Monster On A Leash

1. A Little Knowledge (Is A Dangerous Thing)

2. How Could This Happen To Me

3. Who Do You Think You Are

4. Attitude Dance

5. You Can't Fall Up (You Just Fall Down)

6. Funk The Dumb Stuff

7. Believe It

8. Personal Possessions

9. Miss Trouble (Got A Lot Of Nerve)

10. Keep Your Monster On A Leash

11. Someone New

12. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

x

Track List: Ain't Nothin' Stoppin' Us Now

1. Ain't Nothin' Stoppin' Us Now

2. By Your Side

3. Make Someone Happy

4. Doin' Alright

5. Because I Think The World Of You

6. You Ought To Be Havin' Fun

7. Can't Stand To See The Slaughter

8. It's So Nice

9. Deal With It

10. While We Went To The Moon

x

Track List: Urban Renewal

1. Only So Much Oil In The Ground

2. Come Back, Baby

3. It's Not The Crime

4. I Won't Leave Unless You Want Me tO

5. Maybe It'll Rub Off

6. (To Say The Least) You're The Most

7. Willing To Learn

8. Give Me The Proof

9. It Can Never Be The Same

10. I Believe In Myself

11. Walkin' Up Hip Street

x

Track List: In The Slot

1. Just Enough And Too Much

2. Treat Me Like Your Man

3. If I Play My Cards Right

4. As Surely As I Stand Here

5. Fanfare: Matanuska

6. On The Serious Side

7. Ebony Jam

8. You're So Wonderful, So Marvelous

9. Vuela Por Noche

10. Essence Of Innocence

11. The Soul Of A Child

12. Drop It In The Slot

x

Track List: Bump City

1. You Got To Funkifize

2. What Happened To The World That Day?

3. Flash In The Pan

4. Gone

5. You Strike My Main Nerve

6. Down To The Nightclub

7. You're Still A Young Man

8. Skating On Thin Ice

9. Of The Earth

x

Track List: East Bay Grease

1. Knock Yourself Out

2. Social Lubrication

3. The Price

4. Back On The Streets Again

5. The Skunk, the Goose, and the Fly

6. Sparkling In the Sand

x

Track List: Back To Oakland

1. Oakland Stroke...

2. Don't Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream)

3. Just Then We Start Makin' It

4. Can't You See (You Doing Me Wrong)

5. Squib Cakes

6. Time Will Tell

7. Man From The Past

8. Love's Been Gone So Long

9. I Got The Chop

10. Below Us All The City Lights

11. ...Oakland Stroke

x

Track List: Collection

1. What Is Hip?

2. Clever Girl

3. This Time It's Real

4. Will I Ever Find A Love?

5. Get Yo Feet Back On The Ground

6. So Very Hard To Go

7. Soul Vaccination

8. Both Sorry Over Nothin

9. Clean Slate

10. Just Another Day

Comments

Report as inappropriate
jwramire
Not a single mention of Dave Garibaldi? Only one of the most influential drummers ever, and generally regarded as one of the best, period.
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Saw them live in Lake Tahoe this weekend, for the third time. Always a great show.
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bonjoursuzet t e 7
True music. Nothing makes me feel as good. True talent. Funk lover for life!
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This song is the s**t
Report as inappropriate
Back in high school 8 of us put a band together and called it Clean Slate. A name we took from the lyrics of one of their songs. We worshiped these guys. Some years later at a club in Fremont Ca. (Harlow's) some of the members came on stage and played all the tunes we knew of theirs. Tower will always be in my blood. Bad A** Dudes
Report as inappropriate
dragonlady60 8 8
Miss this funk
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Tower of Power one of the greatest funk bands ever sorry I never got to see them in person but caught them on don kershners rock concert as a kid . Amazing
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Rocco my brother always. Member gothan city 1965@ kennedy h.s. steve w.
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Just great music
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My Aunt Norma loved Tower of Power!! Sure do miss her, RIP
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o man love this band and this song,, so fortunate I got to see them live a couple of years ago! phenomenal !!!
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How could they mention Rocco Prestia and not mention the other half of the most solid and funkiest rhythm section ever David Garibaldi
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Like this rendition ....going out to Rob Sky McCloud....
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Worked with Tower n the mid 70's a great Funky time! Great Band Good People!!!
Report as inappropriate
What a coincidence robboct! I was just reading the bio for the second time, and was blown away that there is not a single mention of David...WHAT ? ! HOW COULD THEY HAVE NOT EVEN MENTIONED HIM?
For those who don't know, David Garibaldi is a world renowned drummer, very responsible for TOP's signature sound. He plays many very unique, and totally Funky, and soulful rhythms with ease, and is a driving force in the band's live shows. Shame on the bio writer for not even a nod to this truly great drum
Report as inappropriate
I'm disappointed that not once did I see one of the worlds most talented drummers name mentioned as part of T.O.P. David Garibaldi. Who made this mistake when writing there summary
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Soundtrack of my life .... just don't make them like this anymore !.. Nor-Cal ♡'s U .!
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-









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Simply great!
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dragonlady60 8 8
TOP.....
Excellant
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Saw you guys some years ago @ Jack London Square in Oakland, I was in the Army then, been following the group since HS. My all time favorite group. Stay together please. Keep doing what you guys do.
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Love this
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Have not heard from this group for a long long time. Thanks Pandora.
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The Best to be sure!!
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dragonlady60 8 8
Love. These guys
Report as inappropriate
The brass section sounds excellent.
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I first heard this Jam in DEC. of 1972 in Stockton Ca. Auditorium . I was visiting relatives with my Parents and siblings for Christmas. I was blown away by this Jam. Still today it brings back good memories.
Report as inappropriate
ericcwil75
Every youngman should have to listen to this song as a right of passage!
Report as inappropriate
How about Knock Yourself Out from Live and Living Color? Best in the world! All music today sucks compared to TOP!
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lenny was tuff to the bone with these white boys
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Tower. Of. Power. Greatest. Song. Love. This. Tune. High. School. Daze!!!!!!
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Still diggin' on James Brown
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Whatiship
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stevemoore23 6 1
Don't change horses in the middle of the steam
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209ricm
Cause I love you so
Report as inappropriate
This song always brings back my 17 yr old innocent heart! Thanks TOP!!!
Report as inappropriate
polingkf
C'mon, Man! There are very few units on the planet that blow this bad, this tight, this funky, and have lasted this long. THAT is what is hip. Wow!
Report as inappropriate
Super excited. They'll be at Playboy Jazz Festival.
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Jennifer Hudson sound like the lady n this song. I wonder have she ever heard this song?
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It was just announced TofP will be in Tacoma, WA June 6th. I will be there!!!!
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209ricm
What is hip tell me tell me
Report as inappropriate
I grown up on this so all you young cats live and learn what true music is
Report as inappropriate
Tower of power the greatest band I ever heard. Still listen to them. Came to cypress bayou casino in franklin LA.and blew the club away. my legend TOP forever.
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Love the song. But! Billie Paul does it so much better
Report as inappropriate
209ricm
Makes it so very hard to go
Report as inappropriate
Tower of Power, Your Still A Young Man. Great song great arrangements . But have you ever heard a song end with the horn blowing like this song??
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Love that trumpet wo!
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Cause i love u so, baby! *,*
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Activate Funkifier!
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My dad dedicated this jam to me..your still a young man..
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