Rare Finds: Society of Soul & Sleepy’s Theme CDs

The power of Amazon led me to both of these rare Dungeon Family albums. I’ve been trying to get CD versions for over five years. Scratch two more off my CD grail!

brnchldSociety of Soul – Brainchild (1995, LaFace)

Society of Soul was Organized Noize (Sleepy Brown, Ray Murray, and Rico Wade), Big Rube, and Espraronza Brown Spaulding. The soulful R&B, funk, and spoken word laced album spawned two singles “Pushin” and “E.M.B.R.A.C.E.”

Pushin’

In the Dungeon Family canon and even in LaFace’s catalog as a whole this album is definitely forgotten, but just a good as the TLC, Goodie Mob, OutKast, and Toni Braxton albums that were released from 1994-96. I made a brief post about this album back in 2010, namely UGK sampling track 15 “Peaches N’ Erb.”

Note the UGK connection for the other album I’m discussing…

slpythmeSleepy’s Theme – The Vinyl Room (1998, Bang II Records)

Back in 2009, I stepped into one of my favorite mom & pop music stores and asked if where/if I could find this album. I vividly remember receiving, “you ain’t gone find that nowhere!” It took my nearly five years, but I found The Vinyl Room.

Sleepy’s Theme was another Sleepy Brown involved project and is sometimes credited as his first album, predating 2006’s Mr. Brown. I’d call this album a little bit more funky than Brainchild and undeniably 70s influenced. Give a “blind listen” to a few tracks from this album and you’d swear it dropped on Curtom in 1975. One standout, Still Smokin” utilized an Andre 3000 lyric on the hook and was transformed into a “keep it warm for me baby” hit. In spite of  a handful of skits weighing the album down, it’s still a strong, focused, wonderfully executed and produced album.

Still Smokin

Now, the UGK connection. If you take a listen to “Simply Beautiful,” it’s the same beat as “Bump and Grill” by UGK from the I Got The Hook Up Soundtrack. I’ve always wondered the specifics behind this, but I do know Pimp C produced both tracks and was credited on drums for the Sleepy’s Theme track. According to the liner notes (see below) his publishing company Pimp My Pen International is also credited, so it’s official Pimp C. Sleepy Brown also gives him a shout on the song as well. No shady beat jacking was involved. In all, Pimp C was credited on three tracks from this album.

IMG_3865IMG_3863Now that I’ve acquired these two albums, it’s on to finding a few more rarities in physical form:

Odd Squad – Fadanuf fa Erybody (Original Pressing)
Blu – Below The Heavens (Original Pressing)
Curren$y – This Ain’t No Mixtape (Gotta find an affordable copy)

I’ll be sure to drop a post if I get my hands on these!

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