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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

George Duke

Shine On: Anthology - Epic Years 1977-1984

Review by Gary Hill

This double CD compilation has some great music built into it. It focuses more on the soul side of George Duke's solo career. That said, there is still plenty of fusion here. We generally land fusion under prog rock. His time in Frank Zappa's band would likely have landed this there, anyway. There is some killer music here. A few songs on the second disc include Stanley Clarke, too. If you like funky music, you will love this thing.
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Track by Track Review
Disc 1 - Dukey Stick (1977-1980)
You and Me

Coming in with waves of keyboard sound, this grows out into an awesome fusion piece. It has some great funk in the mix. There are things here that make me think of Stevie Wonder. At other points I'm reminded of Parliament, too.

'Scuse Me Miss
This smoking hot fusion jam again has plenty of funk in the mix. There are definitely call backs to Duke's time with Frank Zappa, too. Some of the twists and turns really feel like they are cut from the Zappa playlist. This instrumental is classy stuff. 
Reach for It
Now, this funky jam is another that makes me think of Parliament. It's also not that far removed from some of Herbie Hancock's more electronic based stuff. I love the funk of this piece. 
Just for You
This has such a great groove. I love this tune. It's soulful, jazzy and great. 
Dukey Stick (Part One)
There is some serious funk built into this thing. It's another with a lot of Parliament texture to it. 
Dukey Stick (Part Two)
Imagine merging Frank Zappa with Parliament. You'll find yourself somewhere in the vicinity of this number. It's full of funk and killer sounds. 
Yeah, We Going
This fusion number is very classy. I love the keyboard soloing on it. The non-lyrical vocal arrangement is another thing that makes me think of Zappa. 
Don't Let Go
Fast paced funk based, this fusion tune is another with definite musical ties to Duke's Zappa tenure. I love the bass work, but also the piano soloing. 
I love this song. It has some great melodies. The vocal line is on fire. The whole groove of the tune works so well. 
The Way I Feel
Although the rest of this works well, the instrumental movement (and particularly the keyboard soloing) really sells it. There are some Zappa-like shifts and turns on this thing, too. 
Say That You Will
Funk and fusion work together well on this number. 
I Am for Real (May the Funk Be with You)
Now, this really feels like Parliament. The funk definitely rises to the top here. This is fun stuff. 
Although there is no huge change here, this funky tune has some awesome jamming. 
Straight from the Heart
There is more of a soulful groove to this thing. I love the keyboard work on the piece. The whole cut is just so tasty, really
I Want You for Myself
This is another killer soulful piece. It's still definitely fusion. It's also very strong. 
Party Down
Wow! This energetic stomper is so fun. It's really infectious. It's great funk and fusion merged together.
Every Little Step I Take
Not  a huge change, this is another cool funky fusion tune. 
This one again makes me think of Parliament a lot. It's a party in a funk package. 
Brazilian Love Affair
I dig this soul groove a lot. The funky bass work is great, but the vocals drive it home. 
Dukey Stick
This is an alternate take on the earlier cut. It's a killer funk jam. 
Disc: 2 - Sweet Baby (1981-1984)
Sweet Baby with Stanley Clarke

This is more of a mainstream rock ballad. As it kicks into gear, there is a lot of soul built into the cut. In a lot of ways this is more real fusion than some of the stuff on the first disc.

Never Judge a Cover By Its Book with Stanley Clarke
Here we get another mellow groove with serious funk in the mix. It's a short instrumental. 
I Just Want to Love You with Stanley Clarke
More energized and funky, this is classy stuff. It's a classy number that is quite accessible. 
Finding My Way with Stanley Clarke
This cut is very much a prog rock styled number. It has a good helping of jazz built into it, too. It's one of my favorite cuts of the whole set. 
Shine On
There is some great funk and soul merged on this. It has plenty of fusion, too. 
Positive Energy
Another killer funk fusion track, this is great stuff. 
Dream on
I really love this killer tune. It's very funky and soulful, yet has hints of proggy elements. The bass line is great, but so are the keyboard soloing segments. 
Ride on Love
This is a powerhouse tune. It's more on the funk end of the spectrum. It's also such a great tune. This is one of my favorites here. 
Son of Reach for It (The Funky Dream)
Yes, this is very funky. It's also packed with some killer jazz. I love this thing.
Reach Out (Part 1)
I love the bass work on this. The cut is very much fusion and funk merged into a killer groove. 
Reach Out (Part 2)

This is literally a continuation of the previous track.

Born to Love You
Piano leads this out here. The tune grows into a cool soulful ballad. 
You (Are the Light)
Speaking of soulful ballads, that's exactly what this track is. It's so classy. I absolutely love the keyboard fills on this tune. 
Funk and fusion combine to create fun. This is a great groove. It's an instrumental and it's quite cool. 
Heroes (Vocal)
I love the fast paced funk driving this killer track. The tune turns more toward dance mix later. 
Secret Rendezvous
This is a classy groove. 
Thinking of You
The penultimate tune is a cool jazz instrumental with some great proggy elements at play. 
Reach Out
I love the fusion of the killer closing number. 
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