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Music Review…’Dolemite Is My Name’ is Positively Groovy

Mondo is the premiere vinyl soundtrack record label and destination for all sorts of palette-expanding music. Pretty sure that no matter what your appetite is, they’ve got something to whet (and satisfy) it. Case in point. How many times have you asked yourself, “why aren’t there more blaxploitation revival albums out there?

The short answer is that there are. And thanks to these purveyors of acoustic awesomeness, you can easily get your hands on it. Luckily, they didn’t have to dig through obscure catalogs to unearth this glorious title; you can thank Eddie Murphy and Netflix for giving the gift of Dolemite Is My Name to the world just last year.

A pet project 15 years in the making, Dolemite Is My Name is the “origin story” of Rudy Ray Moore’s most catch-phrase forward comic personalities. The eponymous Dolemite is a game-changing, gut-busting, jive-talking hero, and the story that Murphy and company tell is as sweet and heartfelt as they come. It’s a real gem. Sure, it’s vulgar – it’s Rudy Ray Moore after all – but it’ll leave you smiling. 

Now one gentleman contributing a Cadillac’s worth of swagger to this film is Tennessee musician Scott Bomar who crafts an adoring homage to 1970s funk and Blaxploitation scores. This is funky up, down, and sideways. Much like Moore, Bomar is a self-made man. At GST we’re always going to root for those who made it under their own steam and Bomar has been making music for almost thirty years (check out his impressive bio here).

His work has nostalgic leanings, but doesn’t crib or repeat what you’ve heard in Shaft, Disco Godfather, and the like. It sounds modern, similar to John Ottoman and David Buckley’s throwback sound in their score to The Nice Guys. Bomar’s got a knack for funk and soul, and it’s saturated in every groove of this release.

As to be expected, the packaging looks and feels incredibly vintage – from the colorful front cover to the selection of production stills, even the modified Mondo logo. It all looks like you pulled this out of your Dad’s vinyl collection from garage. And, as always, Mondo teases one of their upcoming releases on the back of the obi strip.

This vinyl edition (pictured below in “Purple Galaxy”) features the full score plus tracks sung by Eddie Murphy, Craig Robinson & Da’Vine Joy Randolph. To us, the standout tracks are Scene 3, Liquor Store Wisemen, and Recording Comedy which have a focused yet mellow vibe propelled by horns, a furry of strings and guitar riffs while others like Sell It, Clean Up, and I’m Gonna Kill Dolemite which have a fun, chase scene feel that is fast-paced and upbeat.

Check out the tracklist below…  


Side A

A01. Dolemite (by Craig Robinson)
A02. Like I Should (by Craig Robinson)
A03. Parking Lot
A04. Liquor Store Wisemen
A05. Recording Comedy
A06. Sell It
A07. I Ain’t Studdin’ You (by Bobby Rush)
A08. Ballad of a Boy and a Girl (by Eddie Murphy and Da’Vine Joy Randolph)
A09. The Dunbar Hotel
A10. Clean Up

Side B

B01. Feed the Honkies
B02. Scene 3
B03. Put Your Weight On It
B04. I’m Gonna Kill Dolemite!
B05. We Done
B06. Phone Call
B07. Promote The Sh*t
B08. New House Record / Walkin’
B09. Leaving
B10. Arrived

There’s a long, sustained groove happening that underlies the funk on this album which comes across as a very fun listen, even if you’ve never seen the film. Best enjoyed in a comfortable chair with headphones, or even old, busted speakers, the notes ring true. Bomar’s compositions work like a sonic time machine. The themes are perfectly juxtaposed and punctured by Robinson’s lyrics and Murphy/Randolph’s funny innuendo-laced duet – all succeed in bringing out the smiles.

This is one essential album you never knew you needed, and it sounds sooo soulful on vinyl. Pressed on 180 Gram Black or Purple Galaxy Vinyl, we have no doubt you’ll fall in love with it. Get your copy from the Mondo site here.