Bread Alone

by: Junie

When Walter "Junie" Morrison signed with Columbia Records in 1980, his hardcore fans hoped he would enjoy a major commercial breakthrough as a solo artist. Junie had kept busy in the '70s (first with the Ohio Players during their pre-Mercury period on Westbound, then with George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic empire), but as a solo artist, he was hardly a superstar. Unfortunately, Junie wasn't a big promotional priority for Columbia; 1980's Bread Alone and his next Columbia album, 5 (a 1981 release) both fell through the cracks. Most of the people who bought Bread Alone were the die-hard followers who had acquired the solo albums Junie had recorded for Westbound in the ‘70s. But the fact that Bread Alone wasn't a multi-platinum blockbuster doesn't mean that it lacks artistic merit; in fact, Bread Alone is excellent, albeit excellent in a different way from his Westbound recordings. With Bread Alone, Junie's solo output became sleeker and more polished; one can think of Bread Alone as a combination of P-Funk and Steve Arrington-era Slave with hints of Sly Stone. And Junie lives up to his reputation for funkiness on infectious tracks such as "Seaman First Class (Jock Rock)," "Funky Parts," and "Apple Song." With the right promotional push, this album would have been good for at least one or two radio hits. But again, Junie wasn't a priority for Columbia's R&B division. It should be noted that in 2011, Bread Alone was reissued by two different labels. The Brooklyn-based Funky Town Grooves combined Bread Alone and 5 on a single 65-minute CD, while Cherry Red reissued Bread Alone on CD without 5. And the fact that two different labels reissued Bread Alone the same year really speaks to the cult following it enjoyed; Junie only had a small following as a solo artist, but it was an enthusiastic following. Bread Alone, like 5, is well worth hearing if one fancies old-school funk. ~ Alex Henderson

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.