Kokomo - Use Your Imagination

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  Kokomo are a British band whose members were prime exponents of British soul in the 1970s. They released three albums, and the second Rise & Shine was described as "the finest British funk album of the 1970s".


Formation and personnel

Formed in May 1973 by Tony O'Malley and Terry Stannard, ex-members of the pop group Arrival, Kokomo's ten-piece line-up became: Dyan Birch (vocals), Frank Collins (vocals), Paddy McHugh (vocals), Tony O'Malley (keyboards, vocals), Alan Spenner (bass, vocals), Neil Hubbard (guitar), Mel Collins (saxophone), Jody Linscott (percussion), Terry Stannard (drums) and Jim Mullen (guitar). Spenner and Hubbard were from the Grease Band, Birch, McHugh, F. Collins and O'Malley from Arrival and M. Collins from King Crimson. Kokomo's first performance was at The Pheasantry, Kings Road in 1973, where the band's roadie Franky Blackwell, coined the band's name. Kokomo built an early reputation in the UK pub rock scene. Linscott joined when the band played at Dingwalls and she performed with them whilst working there as a waitress.

Musicians who played with the band at different times included: Glenn LeFleur (drums), Tony Beard (drums), John McKenzie (bass), Chris Mercer (saxophone), Andy Hamilton (saxophone), Mark Smith (bass), Neal Wilkinson (drums) and Neil Conti (drums).


Kokomo album and Bob Dylan

The band's first album "Kokomo" (1975) was hailed by the NME as the best debut by a British band for several years. Inspired by the tight disciplined playing of Spenner and Hubbard, Kokomo was unusual among white soul band, for its use of four featured vocalists. In 1975, Bob Dylan recruited the band to help record his "Desire" album. One song featuring the band, the Latin flavoured "Romance in Durango," appeared on the album; another, "Catfish," subsequently appeared on The Bootleg series compilation. One track left behind was a disco funk version of "Hurricane". Stannard, Linscott and Mullen left after the first album. Kokomo's second album, Rise & Shine (1976), was viewed as a disappointment by the NME and the band quickly lost impetus. Both albums had sold poorly in Britain, but charted in the United States at No. 159 and Number No. 194 for the follow-up, whose lead track "Use Your Imagination" reached No. 81 in the US Billboard and R&B chart in mid-1976.




Kokomo - Use Your Imagination / Do It Right

UK CBS S CBS 3917 stereo (1975).

Record produced by Brad Shapiro.

The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean, unmarked, and free from tears, stains or stickers.

The record centre hole displays no signs of spindle wear.

The record comes with an original company paper sleeve.

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