The Meters (LP)
Few funk groups have had as far-reaching an influence as New Orleans band The Meters, the project of keyboardist/vocalist Art Neville, and the famed house band of Allen Tousaint. During their mid-60s-to-late-70s heyday they released a heavy mixture of instrumental and vocal albums and singles of Louisiana-inflected soul, R&B, and funk music that continues to inspire and marvel, and get covered by groups and artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jaco Pastorius, Widespread Panic, and even The Grateful Dead.
The Meters had already made a name for themselves by 1969, as a backing act for the likes of Lee Dorsey and Betty Harris, but their own legacy as a group began that same year with the release of their self-titled album debut. Their distinct New Orleans swing set themselves apart from the other funk groups of the time, as they plowed their way through a bevy of groovy instrumental tracks, including interpretations of songs by Sly Stone and Buddy Buie. The Meters was additionally noteworthy for the inclusion of the track "Cissy Strut", which became a signature tune for the group, a Billboard Hot 100 hit, and a staple of hip-hop production, having been sampled in tracks by N.W.A., A Tribe Called Quest, 2 Live Crew, and Del The Funky Homosapien, to name but a few. A staple of the genre, that set a path for years and years of funk music innovation and influence.