Mojo (Publisher) (6/01, p.126) - "...Their best set...seeing the intro of Lenny Williams, their best-ever singer...the new songs were more accessible..."
Tower Of Power: Lenny Williams (vocals); Bruce Conte (guitar, background vocals); Lenny Pickett (flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone, background vocals); Stephen Kupka (oboe, baritone saxophone, background vocals); Emilio Castillo (tenor saxophone, background vocals); Mic Gillette (trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, background vocals); Greg Adams (trumpet, flugelhorn, background vocals); Chester Thompson (organ, background vocals); Francis Rocco Prestia (bass); David Garibaldi (drums); Brent Byars (bongos, congas).
With their self-titled third release, Tower Of Power cemented their place in popular music. The band was on the cutting edge of the funky '70s soul scene from the beginning. Featuring their famous monster horn section, an ultra-funky rhythm team, and new vocalist Lenny Williams, if you were allowed only one Tower Of Power album this would be the one to get.
"What Is Hip?" is not the only significant hit from the album; the spirited shuffle "This Time It's Real" is a joyous groove guaranteed to put a spark in every heart. The down-and-dirty "Get Yo' Feet Back on the Ground" blends equal parts James Brown, Sly Stone, and Woody Herman's Thundering Herd. However, with its inventive lyrics, off-kilter rhythms, and athletic horn accents, "Soul Vaccination" is arguably the funkiest cut Tower Of Power ever committed to posterity. Add to this the classic ballad "So Very Hard to Go," and TOWER OF POWER is the very definition of Oakland soul music.