Q - 9/02, p.1243 stars out of 5
- "...Cameo will only be remembered for one song, but gadzooks, what a song....'Word Up' is unarguably classic..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1373 stars out of 5
- "Follow it all across their 30 funkated tracks."
Cameo includes: Larry Blackmon (vocals, various instruments); Charlie Singleton (vocals, guitar); Tomi Jenkins (vocals); Nathan Leftenant (trumpet, background vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Nona Hendryx (spoken vocals).
Producer: Larry Blackmon.
Compilation producer: Harry Weinger.
Recorded between 1977 & 1988. Includes liner notes by Amy Linden.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Liner Note Author: Amy Linden.
Illustrator: Mathieu Bitton.
Cameo had one of the longest-running and most mercurial careers of any funk band in the '70s and '80s. Not coincidentally, they were also one of the most inventive, effortlessly bridging the gaps between hard, sweaty funk, lithe R&B charm, and edgy, rock-tinged New Wave (especially in their '80s incarnation as a three-piece). The two-disc GOLD does a superb job of offering the band a well-deserved retrospective, reaching back to 1977's "Rigor Mortis" and continuing all the way through 1988's "I Want It Now."
Cameo first albums were cut as a 13-piece in the mold of slinky funk acts like Parliament and the Ohio Players. Under the guidance of singer/frontman Larry Blackmon, Cameo evolved over the course of the decade, slimming down and pushing its sound from by-the-numbers rump-shakers to irresistibly quirky jams like "Don't Be So Cool" at the dawn of the '80s. Soon, Cameo alighted upon the freaky, keyboard-dominated sound that would bring them their greatest success, a phase best represented by the swirling, atmospheric "She's Strange" and the sassy punch of "Word Up," the band's signature song. Cameo is often overlooked in the pantheon of influential funk acts, but the breadth and quality of GOLD should correct that mistake.