A copy of “The Beat Goes On And On” by Ripple has lived in one of my Schweppes boxes since I bought it as a new release back in ’78.
Ripple was another manufactured name fronting a piece of irresistible Salsoul studio produced Disco goodness. At least that is what I had always thought.
… or maybe not.
More recently I have learned that Ripple were a Michigan based multi-racial group formed around 1973. They were very much a funk band then, with a percussive edge – think War crossed with early Fatback Band maybe. They released one album back then on GRC that spawned a number of singles which all made the US R&B Top 100. One of those singles, “A Funky Song”, made #41 in 1974 so cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered rare, but I had not come across it until a few weeks ago.
In fact now, after 35 years, my Salsoul Ripple 45 has, not one, but two new bedfellows as “A Funky Song” led me also to a copy of their first 45 “I Don’t Know What It Is, But It Sure is Funky”. And so the beat goes on and on, and the collection grows, and grows!
Ripple – A Funky Song 1974*
It’s difficult to think the same group were behind both of these records. But strip out the strings and the female vocals from the Salsoul outing and you can begin to believe it. This track was lifted from their second and final album “Sons Of The Gods”, a few tracks of which can be found on Youtube. Listening to those it is evident that “The Beat Goes On and On” was somewhat atypical and much of Ripple’s Salsoul album was rooted much more in their original sound. I still can’t help thinking that “Beat..” was a something of an implant though.
*45 issue dates.
All of Ripple’s early, GRC, era recordings, including unreleased tracks can be found on this CD.
The Salsoul album ”Sons Of The Gods” is also available on CD.