In the late 1960s, just as funk music was starting to develop into its own sound, a Houston, TX group would score one of the first major Billboard hits for the genre. "Tighten Up" was released in 1968 by the R&B vocal group Archie Bell & The Drells, backed by the T.S.U. Tornadoes. The song reached the #1 position on both the R&B and pop charts, and sold over a million copies by May of 1968. Rolling Stone Magazine named "Tighten Up" one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and it has gone on to be covered by a wide array of artists and groups, from James Brown to R.E.M. to Yellow Magic Orchestra, while the original Archie Bell & The Drells recording has been sampled in tracks by Janet Jackson, Digable Planets, Finesse & Showbiz, and even The Go! Team.
Fresh off the success of "Tighten Up", the band decided to rush out an album, despite the fact that their leader was out of commission from a leg injury. That didn't stop Archie Bell & The Drells from putting out the album Tighten Up, in 1968. In addition to the eponymous pop hit, the album featured the band's Texas funk take on songs by Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd, and Sunny Ozuna, as well as other Bell originals. Not long after Tighten Up's release, the band would find further success after coming into contact with the legendary production/songwriting duo Gamble & Huff.
|A1||Tighten Up (Part 1)|
|A2||Tighten Up (Part 2)|
|A3||I Don't Want To Be A Playboy|
|A5||Knock On Wood|
|B1||Give Me Time|
|B2||In The Midnight Hour|
|B3||When You Left Heartbreak Began|
|B4||A Thousand Wonders|
|B5||A Soldier's Prayer, 1967|