Friday, April 6, 2012
Funky Friday : Outa-Space
By running the sound of a clavinet through a wah wah pedal, Billy Preston created the funky sounds of "Outa-Space", originally a B-Side to the title cut from his 1971 album I Wrote A Simple Song.
Of course any DJ that actually liked music flipped the disc over to play four minutes of pure funk. Re-released in April of 1972, "Outa-Space" climbed all the way to #2 on the pop charts, went gold and won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance of 1972.( "I Wrote A Simple Song" stalled at #77.)
The "Fifth Beatle", Billy played on "Get Back" and on Abbey Road's "I Want You (She's So Heavy)". Among his other major hits were the #1 hits "Will It Go Round in Circles" (1973) and "Nothing From Nothing" (1974). He also recorded with The Rolling Stones and co-wrote Joe Cocker's big hit "You Are So Beautiful" with Beach Boy Dennis Wilson and Bruce Fisher.
Billy died in 2006 of an illness related to kidney disease, He was 59.