Prince Charles and the City Beat Band

  • Prince Charles and the City Beat Band
  • Gang War (Solid Platinum) 1981 
  • Combat Zone (UK Virgin) 1983 
  • Stone Killers [tape] (ROIR) 1983  (UK Virgin) 1984 

Boston funk flautist Charles Alexander leads the City Beat Band through eight long Gap Band-styled party grooves on Stone Killers (released first in America on cassette and then in England on vinyl). The music is infectious and unassailably danceable; the semi-rap lyrics vary from juvenile and bnoxious — “Big Chested Girls” — to simplistic and funny — “Cash (Cash Money).” Combat Zone is a more ambitious LP. Several real songs mix an aggressive blend of Mayfield/Chicago soul and modern stylings; elsewhere, Alexander parties hearty and even tries a notable scratch-funk revision of “Jailhouse Rock.”

[Ira Robbins]