Peanut Butter

Gwen Guthrie took her knocks as a songwriter and backing vocalist throughout the 70s before she got her chance as a solo artist. (She wrote Ben E. King’s comeback tune, “Supernatural Thing,” so you know she’s pretty good.) Her work as a back-up singer put her in the same room as reggae-instrumentalist-kings Sly & Robbie, and when Guthrie got her chance to record in the 80s, the duo held down her rhythm section. The Padlock album, from 1983, plays like one long, bottom-heavy groove. Grace Jones also worked with Sly & Robbie around the same time, and she seems better known than Guthrie–Jones had the unique looks and the New York art-world friends–but Guthrie’s Padlock is better and more consistent than anything Jones recorded. Check out “Peanut Butter” below. I am biased in its favor because I love peanut butter, but I think even listeners less enamored of the food will still find the tune compelling. (Note: the album version of this track is slightly different, more of a dub version that stretches out the sound.)

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