Lost Classics! ‘Wicked’ Pickett Does Disco … Or Not

The artist who released A Funky Situation in 1979 was not a happy camper.  Through most of the 1960s, Wilson Pickett was THE MAN, cutting hits like “Land of 1,000 Dances,” “In the Midnight Hour,” “Mustang Sally” and many others.  But by this point in the late 1970s his career had taken a steep downturn.

When A Funky Situation came out “Wicked” Pickett had this to say: “We no longer make records like we feel. We have to make records according to what they will play on the radio. Anytime you’ve got artists singing songs, doing grooves that they don’t want to do, it’s terrible.”  The way you did “grooves” back then was disco.  Pickett’s new label wanted him to make a disco album.

Now Wilson Pickett was a BAD mo-fo.  He was famous for his hair-trigger temper, and he liked to play with guns (he even went to jail for carrying a shotgun).  But he had an uncanny ear for hit songs and hot musicians to back him up (check out the cat playing guitar in the photo above). 

So if you think he really went “disco” in 1979, think again.  “Lay Me Like You Hate Me” is ferocious … and those opening licks on “Hold On To Your Hiney” are, ah, maybe you’d just better listen.  You can dance to it, but it sure as hell ain’t disco.

Pickett died in 2006, still an angry and sometimes bitter man.  He was one of the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his music can still be heard in countless TV shows and movies.  Give ’em hell, Wilson!

MP3: “Lay Me Like You Hate Me”

MP3: “Hold On To Your Hiney”

Wilson Pickett in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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