Zapp (album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 28, 1980
StudioUnited Sound Systems (Detroit, Michigan)
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerRoger Troutman, Bootsy Collins
Zapp chronology
Zapp II
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [1]
Robert ChristgauC+ [2]

Zapp is the debut studio album by the American funk band Zapp, released on July 28, 1980 by Warner Bros. Records. The album's style was highly similar to Parliament-Funkadelic, as the band was working with and being mentored by both Parliament members William Earl "Bootsy" Collins and George Clinton during the album's production. The album was produced by Zapp frontman Roger Troutman and Bootsy. The Troutman family of the Zapp band had close ties with the Collins family, both being Ohio natives. This friendship proved instrumental in Zapp gaining a record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 1979. Zapp was recorded between late 1979 and early 1980 at the United Sound Studios in Detroit, Michigan, of which Parliament-Funkadelic frequented.

The album reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot R&B tracks chart for 2 weeks in fall 1980.[3] The album has been cited as one of the definitive albums of early 1980s electro funk, bringing the genre to mainstream attention. The album has also served as a partial source toward the creation of the G-funk sound of hip hop music, which became popular on the West coast of the United States during the early and mid 1990s. Zapp was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in November 1980.

Background and recording[edit]

During the late 1970s, Zapp was noticed by two longstanding friends of the Troutman family, Phelps "Catfish" Collins and William Earl "Bootsy" Collins who were both members of Parliament-Funkadelic in the early 1970s. Prior, Roger Troutman often played locally in the Ohio area with his brothers, originally forming the band 'Roger and His Fabulous Vels' at a young age in 1966.

George Clinton just happened to step into the studio this night and he really liked this one part that we had already re-did on 'Funky Bounce'. He advised us to loop that section and put the other talk-box parts over it. At that time, this was considered a genius act, because you had to actually cut the tape and make the right cut, line it up and loop it. So let us not forget that Dr. Funkenstein was way ahead of his time as well.

— Bootsy Collins

Impressed with Zapp's musical abilities upon seeing them at a live performance, they invited the band to visit the United Sound Studios in Detroit, Michigan where they subsequently wrote and recorded the demo for the song "More Bounce to the Ounce" which would later appear on their debut. George Clinton the front-man of Parliament-Funkadelic encouraged the band to present the demo tape to Warner Bros. Records, which ultimately led to the band's signing on the label in early 1979.

The full album was ultimately recorded at the same studio between late 1979 and early 1980 and was released on July 28, 1980 under the Warner Bros. label. Zapp was produced by both Roger Troutman and Bootsy Collins, Bootsy Collins also provided the guitar work for the album.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Roger Troutman

Side one:

  1. "More Bounce to the Ounce" – 9:25
  2. "Freedom" – 3:48
  3. "Brand New Player" – 5:51

Side two:

  1. "Funky Bounce" – 6:46
  2. "Be Alright" – 7:52
  3. "Coming Home" – 6:34

Chart performance[edit]

  • In 1980, "More Bounce To the Ounce" went to number 2 on the US Black singles chart and the self-titled album went straight to number one on the US Black albums chart also in 1980.


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[4] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  • Vocals-Bobby Glover, Jannetta Boyce, Marchelle Smith, Delores Smith
  • Percussion-Larry and Lester Troutman
  • Conga Drums-Larry Troutman
  • Trapp Drums-Lester Troutman
  • Bass, Vocals-Terry Troutman
  • Sax-Carl Cowen
  • Keyboards, Vocals-Greg Jackson
  • Guitars-Bootsy Collins
  • Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards, Talking Box, Bass, Harmonica, Vibraphone-Roger Troutman

Later Samples[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hogan, Ed (January 17, 2014). "Roger Troutman". AllMusic. para.2. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  4. ^ "American album certifications – Zapp – Zapp". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Tony Bolden, The funk era and beyond: new perspectives on black popular culture. Macmillan, 2008.
  • Portia K. Maultsby, "Dayton Street Funk: The Layering of Multiple Identities" The Ashgate research companion to popular musicology. Ashgate, 2009.
  • Dave Tompkins, Wax Poetics Magazine number 35 (2009)
  • Rickey Vincent, Funk: the music, the people, and the rhythm of the one. Macmillan, 1996.
  • Alexander G. Weheliye. “Feenin: Posthuman Voices in Black Popular Music.” Social Text 71 (summer 2002): 21-47.