Reissue of a classic from a classic band. SoL blended funk, free jazz and space age jams into as brutal and liberating as any band who attempted such stews in the early 70s. Orginally released in 1972, this record more than holds up. From the opening, killer bass riff on “Happy Tuesday,” you will sit right up and go “Yeah!” this is hardcore funk and, as is appropriate, bassist Billy Mills is the hero here. Throughout the six song, it is his bass, along with percussionist Omar Hill, that keep the bottom focus and heavy while Guitarist Monnette Sudler and Byard Lancaster on Alto take the instrumentals into deeper waters.
Each song more or less follows a funk-to –jazz-to-Out format, and the level of playing and the heat given off is always at peak. “Happy Tuesday” is almost 20 minutes, giving the band more than enough room to explore their crunchy but spiritual riffs. “Billie One” and “We’ll Tell You Later” are also killer tracks, but there are no duds in this box.
Sounds of Liberation made funk when funk was FUNK: political, hardcore, and an extension of the radical ideas then floating around in jazz. This self-titled reissue is a must have; it is basically The Last Poets without words. Yep, it’s that necessary. 9/10 -- Mike Wood (16 December, 2009)