Zapp (album)

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Studio album by Zapp
Released July 28, 1980
Recorded 1979-1980, Detroit, Michigan (United Sound Systems)
Genre P-Funk
Quiet storm
Length 40:16
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Roger Troutman, Bootsy Collins
Zapp chronology
Zapp II
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau C+ [2]

Zapp is the self-titled debut album of the Ohio Funk band Zapp, released on Warner Bros. Records on July 28, 1980. 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 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, the studio of which Parliament-Funkadelic frequented.

The album was released on July 28, 1980 on Warner Bros. Records and was certified gold by November 1980, reaching number 2 on the Billboard Hot R&B tracks chart in the Autumn of 1980 for 2 weeks.[3] The album has been cited as one of the definitive albums of early 80s electronic funk, bringing the genre into mainstream attention. The album has also served as a partial source toward the creation of the G-funk sound of Hip-Hop, which was popular on the West coast of the United States during the early to mid 1990's. Numerous acts have extensively sampled tracks from the album.

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]

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.


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

Later Samples[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hogan, Ed (January 17, 2014). "Roger Troutman". AllMusic. para.2. Retrieved April 20, 2014. 

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.