"R.R. Express" comes from their 1981 album "Jump Street". Whitfield's in full soundtrack mode here, using actual sound effects of trains and crossing bells, while at the same time scoring clusters of brass and tuned toms to imitate the sounds of a train. Over its eight minutes it builds to a dense mass of funk and studio tricks over a rolling bassline, with delayed arpeggiated synths also adding to the rhythmic train effect.
"Lock It Down" comes from 1979's "Rainbow Connection", and is one of those great straight-ahead funk tracks that Rose Royce managed to do a few times on each album. It's written by Miles Gregory, responsible for Rose Royce's most melodic hits : "Love Don't Live Here Anymore", "Wishing on a Star" and "Is It Love You're After", as well as the Undisputed Truth's "Sandman". Here, however, he's more down on the funk side.
You can also find all 11 albums by Rose Royce here at Funky Disposition, and some recent posts of Whitfield acts The Undisputed Truth and Mammatapee at Soundological Investimigations.
(And then, bizarrely and sadly, Norman Whitfield died two days after I did this post. See the tribute post with full discography)
01. "R.R. Express" (Norman Whitfield)
02. "Lock It Down" (Miles Gregory)
Catalogue # K 17875 (T)
Production and arrangements by Norman Whitfield
Brass and String Arrangements on track 2 - Bruce Miller.
Vinyl rip to WAV and 320-MP3 by Simon666
Post album links go to Funky Disposition and Soundological Investimigations.