I was in Chinatown the other day, scouring the art galleries and meeting up with the owners of a certain boutique called Choose Chinatown (check it out, folks!) Somewhere in the back alleys of Chung King Plaza, I stumbled upon a tremendous number of dead/dying bees. I think someone had smashed a hive, but regardless of the cause of death, the sight was pretty jarring in a transient sort of way. The bee apocalypse!
So bees were on my mind, which got me freely associating with everything bee-related, from honey (PB and honey sandwich!) to Bumblebee Unlimited, one of the great New York disco acts of the 1970s. "Why not write about them, considering the circumstances?" I thought to myself.
So here we are at "D16" with a special presentation of Bumblebee Unlimited.
The key players involved in B.U., in my opinion, were Patrick Adams and Leroy Burgess, both of whom achieved massive success throughout their respective careers. (Adams won a total of 32 gold and platinum records, worked extensively with Salsoul Records, and produced a tremendous amount of stuff, including some early, innovative hip-hop by the likes of Coolio and Eric B. & Rakim; Burgess, on the other hand, began his career as the frontman of the successful Harlem R&B outfit Black Ivory and continued to produce material for a number of groups after the band dissolved.)
Anyway, I don't have a whole lot to say on the band. They're a lot of fun ... really loose and funky with plenty of Harlem R&B and soul slink packed in to leave you dripping with heavy-on-the-butter disco like you've never heard before. One of the weirdest things about the group is the vocals. Just listen and you'll know what I mean.
Bumblebee Unlimited - I Love You
Bumblebee Unlimited - Lady Bug (Larry Levan Disco Remix)
Bumblebee Unlimited - Space Shuttle Ride