Fantastic Voyage – Lakeside (1980)

Fantastic Voyage is Lakeside‘s biggest hit and the title track to the Dayton, Ohio band’s 1980 album.
It hit number 1 on the RnB Chart and was their only single to crack the Billboard Hot 100. In 1994 Coolio released his massive hit by the same name which sampled this original heavily. Coolio‘s track no doubt has etched the now familiar elements into pop-culture’s collective psyche – so even if this is the first time you’ve heard the original,you already know to “slide, slide, slippity slide, forget about your troubles and your nine-to-five”.

Aside from all the most obvious moments, of which there are just so many and each one is undeniably fantastic in it’s own right – for me just after the bass-driven bridge around three-minutes-thirty, the falsetto vocal refrains in the of “to the land of funk” are sheer perfection – in this moment they are delivered in a similar register as the title hook, but with an exaggerated pompousness which borders on kitch and in so doing they deliver a moment of funk-sublimity.

The band appear on the album artwork as pirates – around the same time Adam and the Ants were donning similar garb across the Atlantic in the UK.

Fun-fact: a latter touring member of Lakeside’s line up (from 1983-1997) was Tyrone Griffin Snr (on horns) – his son Tyrone Griffin Jnr is Ty Dolla $ign, who has said that it was through his father’s playing Lakeside, that he met artists like Earth, Wind & Fire and Prince as a child, which led to his love and interest for soul music.