‘Danceable jazz’ was the raison d’être of the group that singer and saxophonist Bobby Harris wanted to form when he left jazz-fusion band Bell Telefunk in 1976 to start afresh – so he just squeezed the two words together.

The Dazz Band, a melange of regularly changing funk players signed to Motown, were staples of specialist club and disco charts throughout the 80s, but in the UK, only one single made the Top 40. Let It All Blow wasn’t so much a title as a chant, as lyrically, the track contained little more. The numerous mixes of the song, including the basic 7″, were an exercise in showing off the band’s considerable funk.

It’s essentially an irresistible jam session, sounding improvised but clearly immaculately constructed. When the vocals do arrive, they feel like an afterthought – as though they were advised to add a few words, however meaningless, because instrumentals didn’t work as singles.

Let It All Blow was released as the launch single of The Dazz Band’s sixth album, Jukebox, in the autumn of 1984. It was a nightclub hit immediately, and after being championed by soul DJs and journalists, it eventually peaked at No.12 at the end of 1984. A follow-up from Jukebox, called Heartbeat, made No.79.

Written by Matthew Rudd, host of Forgotten 80s on Absolute 80s.

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