HBCU Band Classics – Episode 1 – NECK

I’m a huge fan of satellite radio. One of my favorite stations on satellite radio is called The Groove, which plays R&B and funk from the 70’s and 80s.  MANY of our HBCU Band Classics are played on that station.  You know what I mean by a HBCU Band Classic? It’s a song that you mainly hear played by HBCU Bands. PWCs are now starting to play our stuff, some of them do it right and some of them just fugg it up, but that’s for another blog post. At any rate, a HBCU Band Classic came on the radio and I realized a few things:

  • Many HBCU bands are still playing these songs after 30+ years
  • There are aspiring bandheads out there that may have never heard the ORIGINAL song
  • In a lot of cases, the HBCU band version sounds BETTER than the original
  • I just like to listen to the original to “pick out” my part, and sing along to it.  Hey, I’m a bandhead, what can I say.

So I am pleased to present to you, DFBH’s HBCU Band Classics.

Lets start off with one everybody knows.

TALKIN OUT THE SIDE OF YOUR NECK (Hampton University Version)

Now everybody and their mama plays this one. I remember there being a big debate about who played Neck first in the 80s.  It was usually a debate between members of Hampton University and Norfolk State University bands. Trust me, I heard about a lot growing up in Hampton Roads.  I don’t know for sure who did it first, but I can remember bands playing this when the song was actually out!

Personally, I’m not a fan of Hampton University’s Symphonic Variations of Neck, Opus 1, Movements 1-4 but I will just let them be. Hey, Hampton, VA is my hometown, I can’t hate on ‘em too much —  just don’t send my parents any hate mail LOL.

And THIS is the ORIGINAL “Neck” by Cameo (one of my favorite groups)

Is the band version better than the original? I have my opinions, but YOU BE THE JUDGE.

Anyway, that concludes the first installment of DFBH’s HBCU BAND CLASSICS.

Let me know what you think.

3 thoughts on “HBCU Band Classics – Episode 1 – NECK

  1. It depends on which band plays it…we know there are many different versions, and some hit it on the nail, and some just…well…miss it…

    My favorite versions are from BCU (mainly for the key signature/tone used for it) and yes, LSU (because it’s close to the original)…


  2. First of all, I’mma need that saxophone player to calm down. LOL

    Secondly…I didn’t realize that we (HBCU bands) were playing the song so fast. Listening to Cameo’s version, their slower tempo makes it a lot more funky. But we don’t necessarily play it for the funk factor, we play it to get the crowd hype. I love that each program puts their own unique spin on the song.

    Third…The Spartan Legion played it first. LOL


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