The METERS....tight,funky vibes

Not too familiar with this band...but hear they get funky with da best of dem...anybody recommend a stellar recording as a starting point...I could go with a "best of"...but would rather start with a proper album...cheers

i picked up Hancock's Headhunters and me the way Audiogoners...lets get funky!
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I prefer The Meters' Josie label era (about '68 - '70). This is mostly instumental music, roughly the New Orleans counterpart to Memphis' Booker T. & The MG's better-known efforts, but in more of a funk, less soul vein, with a higher ratio of originals to covers. Both groups were long-time studio house bands for singers hailing from and/or recording in their respective cities' scenes. The Meters went on to somewhat wider major label success for a while in the early-to-mid 70's on Warners/Reprise, and while those records are worthwhile in a more mainstream way, I feel it's really the earlier stuff that ultimately distinguishes them most - and what sublime stuff it is. The classic lineup was Art Neville on keys, Leo Nocentelli on guitar, George Porter Jr. on bass, and the inimitable Ziggy Modeliste on drums, the same group perhaps most famously heard backing singer Lee Dorsey's mid-60's Amy label hit singles (Working In A Coalmine, Ride Your Pony, Get Out My Life Woman). There have been many repackages and reissues of the Josie material, both imported and domestic, over the years, and I don't know what's currently available on what labels, but you probably couldn't go far wrong with any assemblege of this period's output which looks respectably put together. Some standout singles tracks to keep an eye out for: Sophisticated Cissy, Sehorn's Farm, Cissy Strut, Ease Back, Dry Spell, Look-Ka Py Py, Chicken Strut, Hand Clapping Song...
(Hint: Listen for the all the grooves sampled by rap artists during that genre's mid-80's-early-90's heyday.)
Get the Wild Tchoupitoulas (self-titled) - it's basically the Meters and a bunch of "Mardis Gras Indians". It's a completely legendary funkout - start here.
Hi,check sound files on the web to any of the Meters discs. You would probably like the early Neville Brothers stuff as well since the Meters evolved into the Neville Brothers. Kid Creole and The Coconuts might be for you also.You mentioned you like Herbie's funky period so seek out Flood, way more cooking and funky(than Head Hunters or Thrust) up tempo tracks(some beautiful acoustic stuff as well), live and OOP Japanese only import.You also might like Graham Central Station( Larry Graham, Sly's bass player) too.The JB's, James Brown's band has some cooking discs as well. Funky listening!!!!
ditto on the Wild Tchoupitoulas. "They stomp some romp."
One thing to remember though, if you go to New Orleans don't forget your tambourine!
The Rhino Records Meters box set is great, not the best recordings from New Orleans in the 60's though.

Sundazed put out an lp of rare meters with some really nice covers (Beatles, Hank Williams, Rolling stones).

Not as good as the Wild Tchoupitoulas but still fun is Wild Magnolias : Life Is A Carnival on blue note.

I don't agree the The Meters "evolved into The Neville Brothers". Obviously, one or more of the brothers Neville play in each or both groups, but they are distinct, and The Meters Josie label stuff I'm talking about doesn't sound much like The Neville Brothers, though some of the later Meters stuff is more similar (and some of TNB's best-known tunes were originally latter-day Meters tunes written or cowritten by guitarist Leo Nocentelli, who was The Meters main songwriter). But just to be clear, Aaron Neville, the distinctive voice of TNB who had the great soul hit under his own name "Tell It Like It Is" back in the 60's, does not sing for The Meters, and The Meters have continued, albeit on and off, to play either under their old name or as The Funky Meters throughout the period of TNB's career.

BTW, a little research has reminded me that the wonderful Sundazed reissue label has released domestic CD's of the 3 original Josie label Meters LP's, with bonus tracks. You CANNOT go wrong with these, believe me!
Actually, the Meters as an entity were inactive for quite a few years during the Nevilles' emergence. It may have been a period of a decade of senescence, while Art was busy with the Neville Brothers, before he and the other Meters decided to play again.
Dan: Yes, like I alluded to above, The Meters as we knew them basically hibernated between '84 to '89, although some of the non-Neville members continued to collaborate on and off in the meantime. And Ziggy never drummed for them again after that period, as far I know. Although I'm not the huge fan of the latter-day Meters output that I am of their groundbreaking early stuff, I was very glad to get the opportunity to see them live at the Jazz & Heritage Fest in N.O. in '89 or '90 (can't remember the year exactly!). All I wanted to point out is that they didn't turn into TNB.
Actually, The Wild Tchoupitoulas are the Neville Brothers and The Meters with 5 Mardis Gras Indians.
Speaking of which, we just got the idea yesterday that maybe it's the year to finally go back down to NO for the Jazz & Heritage Festival...anybody checked out what's happening yet?
You also might want to check out The Funky Meters.

Another you might like, which I happen to be listening to right now, is Lettuce.