100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s #79 Luscious Jackson – Naked Eye

Released : 1996

It was one of the more unlikely precepts on which to join a group, but when Jill Cunliff and Gabby Glaser offered drummer Kate Schellenbach the opportunity to sign up for Luscious Jackson, their carrot was that she would be joining a covers band whose repertoire would consist solely of material by experimental funkers ESG. Schellenbach – founding member of the Beastie Boys and who at the time had become part of the wraparound scene for all-girl punkers the Lunachicks – accepted on the spot and what to that point had been a cool idea became something flesh and blood.

With the addition of keyboard player Vivian Trimble and a deal with the Boys Grand Royal label, as an all female group named after a six foot ten basketball player at first DJ’s and promoters struggled to figure out exactly what they had on their hands. But it was on their Daniel Lanois produced second album Fever In, Fever Out that the quartet’s free associative mix of hip-hop, funk and sixties pop coalesced impressively.

Naked Eye was at the intersection of all these influences, it’s gamboling bass, Schellenbach’s looping snare and pristine chorus grafittiing the A-trains of your mind like Motown with a beehive cutting it up on twin Technics decks. Understated and under rated even at the time, here was proudly feminine music with plenty of balls.