There’s an incredible story behind this release and I’m tempted to jump in the backseat and let Athens Of The North lead the narrative for you. People’s Pleasure is the same band as Everyday People, which released a 7″ single in 1976 called “World Full Of People”/”I’d Like To Stay” and which is regarded as one of the greatest Holy Grails since women in lakes were handing out swords, at least among funk aficionados.
AOTN went on a quest for the Everyday People/People’s Pleasure full length LP, Do You Hear Me Talking To You? that was nearly as robust as the one undertaken by Arthur’s lads, spanning nearly 20 years and a catalog of names including Russell Paine, Felix Manell and finally Nick The Record, who lent AOTN his “minty personal copy” for this repress.
Is the prize as rewarding as the journey? Getting this back into circulation certainly is a laudable service to both the original musicians (the rhythm section Alive & Well, and Derrick Holmes, whose synthesizer layered down in the mix tickles the ear). The genius of Do You Hear Me Talking To You? is in the production and arrangement: you can hear how violent these guys could have been live, it’s still preserved in the wide-open instrumental solos and vicious grooves which are harnessed but not tamed into pure pop gold. In particular, Holmes’ virtuoso keys are nothing short of awe-inspiring. The energy level on uptempo tracks like “World Full Of People” strikes like an asp or a live wire. Truly one of the landmark works of the ’70s, and hopefully one more people can listen to outside of chopped up DJ sets from the masters and cruddy YouTube renderings.
People’s Pleasure with Alive & Well: Do You Hear Me Talking To You? / Athens Of The North
1. People’s Pleasure: Do You Hear Me Talking To You (04:03)
2. People’s Pleasure: Dreaming Our Lives Away (03:37)
3. People’s Pleasure: Lonely People (04:11)
4. People’s Pleasure: Heavenly Feeling (05:22)
5. People’s Pleasure: World Full Of People (03:01)
6. People’s Pleasure: I’d Like To Say (05:39)
7. People’s Pleasure: A Feeling Inside (04:55)
8. People’s Pleasure: A Thank You Song (04:37)
9. People’s Pleasure: Fantasies and Dreams (04:05)