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Zapp

One of the most underrated funk groups of the 1980s, Zapp revolutionized the computer pop of electro with their trademark vocoder talk boxes and bumping grooves, emulating the earthier side of Prince and Cameo, with a leader in Roger Troutman who was more than efficient at polished production. The family group, with brothers Roger, Lester, Larry, and Tony Troutman, grew up in Hamilton, OH, influenced by hometown heroes the Ohio Players as well as Parliament and other funk groups. Tony was the first to begin recording, with an obscure single for Gram-O-Phon Records, "I Truly Love You," which scraped the R&B charts in 1976. Joined by his brothers (with Roger on vocals and guitar, Lester on drums, Larry on percussion, and himself contributing bass) and christened Zapp, the group played around the Midwest and gradually picked up backing vocalists (Bobby Glover, Jannetta Boyce), keyboard players (Greg Jackson, Sherman Fleetwood) and a horn section (Eddie Barber, Jerome Derrickson, Mike Warren).

Zapp's following quickly gained notices, and Bootsy Collins himself was hired on to work with the group on their debut album. Released in 1980, Zapp hit the Top 20 on the pop charts, thanks to the single "More Bounce to the Ounce." The following year, Roger worked on Funkadelic's The Electric Spanking of War Babies and released his solo debut album, The Many Facets of Roger. His special cover of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," complete with vocoderized talk box, pushed the album into gold territory (as Zapp had done). Zapp II appeared in 1982 and proved just as popular as the group's first, including Zapp's only number one R&B single, "Dance Floor."

Zapp III barely made the Top 40 pop charts upon release in 1983, and Roger's second solo album, The Saga Continues, was also a disappointment, though his cover of "Midnight Hour" featured the Mighty Clouds of Joy. The New Zapp IV U fared slightly better after release in late 1985 (thanks to the single "Computer Love"), but in 1987, Roger's third solo album, Unlimited!, featured the group's biggest hit yet, "I Want to Be Your Man," a chart-topper on the R&B lists and a respectable number three pop. Though Roger and/or Zapp hit the R&B charts frequently during the rest of the late '80s, the unit had effectively halted recording with the 1991 Roger LP Bridging the Gap. Roger continued to produce and play with other artists, and it was his talk box that graced Dr. Dre & 2Pac's Top Ten 1996 single "California Love." The 1993 Roger & Zapp collection All the Greatest Hits sold well, earning the collective their first platinum record. The Zapp story ended in tragedy on April 25, 1999, when Roger was shot to death by Larry, who then turned the gun on himself. ~ John Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Zapp V

1. Ohh Baby Baby

2. I Play The Talk Box

3. Stop That

4. Fire

5. Been This Way Before

6. Back To Bass-Iks

7. Jesse Jackson

8. Ain't The Thing To Do

9. Sad Day Moaning

10. Rock Star

11. Jake E Stanstill

x

Track List: Zapp III

1. Heartbreaker (Part I, Part II)

2. I Can Make You Dance (Part I)

3. Play Some Blues

4. Spend My Whole Life

5. We Need The Buck

6. Tut-Tut (Jazz)

7. Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing) (Live with Intro By Mo Ostin)

x

Track List: Zapp 6 Back By Popular Demand

1. Intro

2. You've Got Mail

3. Say You Will Say You Won't

4. I Wanna Love You

5. She's 'bout To Roll

6. The Discussion (Skit)

7. The Way You Walk & Move

8. If You Would Love Me

9. This Is Our Song To You

10. Be With You Forever

11. Late Night Fantasy

12. Zapp Is Back

13. Get Up Off The Wall

14. I Finally Found What I've Been Searching For

x

Track List: Zapp & Roger - All The Greatest Hits

x

Track List: The New Zapp lV U

1. It Doesn't Really Matter

2. Computer Love

3. Itchin' For Your Twitchin'

4. Radio People

5. I Only Have Eyes For You

6. Rock 'N' Roll

8. Make Me Feel Good

9. Ja Ready To Rock

x

Track List: Zapp II

1. Dance Floor

2. Playin' Kinda Ruff

3. Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing)

4. Do You Really Want An Answer?

5. Come On

6. Touch Of Jazz (Playin' Kinda Ruff, Pt. II)

x

Track List: Zapp

1. More Bounce To The Ounce

2. Freedom

3. Brand New Player

4. Funky Bounce

5. Be Alright

6. Coming Home

Comments

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Zapp predicted the future with this one
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Jamming to Doo Wa Ditty by Zapp on a Monday afternoon... w h a t a way to wind down...groov i n g to Classic R&B....
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In 70's in front of my house brother's would be listening to Zapp in there lowriders car and all there friends would be there too.... I miss that....Amy
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ferguson.lat a n y a
Heartbreaker ! ! ! ! Classic
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I like this song!
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"Going to Paulsations tonight Ma" "Joop cologne" and "Lugz" my brother jamming to this while getting ready to go out and I ironed his shirt at about 4, 5,6 or 7 haha. #goodtimes. #Tails #Sonic ����������
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That is. my. jam
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Rip cousin roger
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RIP, Love you,Rest On!!!!
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computer love ♡
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Nice
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Computer love it
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I wanna be your man...Palm island Beat Right There!!
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Brings back the memory of roller skating.. ALL NIGHT
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Giving the bright light lets learn and shine like a new diamond
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seaster72288
Grown and Sexy!!
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torresdaniel l e 2 3 2 3
Zapp music still jams,, thats why today artist r still biting there beats and style
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Classic,,, dance floor would be packed back then and now still❣️
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Smooth, and lovely
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You are my Computer Love.. Classic and holds up over time!
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Great music
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One of my favorite songs
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Computer Love by Zapp
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You got that right
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Orange County 714 Santa Ana. 90's-00's cruising down Bristol st
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I
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kaylahdear
This song was EVERYWHERE in 1985!!
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Computer love
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computa ❤
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Grow up listening to zapp
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Good song
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alexander614 5
The jam!
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⚡️♦️⚡️♦️⚡️♦️
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It's not alright - I will be alright
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It's gonna be alright
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RiH Roger Troutman. . u leavw1behind some gr8 memories
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Yes
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Charlie Wilson
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Happy birthday Roger Troutman ❤️
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shundamopar7 3
S**T THATZ THAT SATTIDAY CLEAN MUSIC!!! SUNNY SOUTH DALLAS!!!
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One bad a** jam.....y que!
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There goes my BABY
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Favorite forever
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Still bumping this in 2016!!!
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Zapp is the best band ever...��
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marioferr22
So ruff so tuff for most of us doing the most lol dammmmmm
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lizabdiaz
DANCE FLOOR JAMMING THIS SONG
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I wish Pandora would actually play Zapp and Roger on "Zapp and Roger Radio". I hear one Zapp and Roger song per every 10 random artists.
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Now this is music. Not like today's crap
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Yaaassss
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