First Listen: Tower of Power makes the "Step Up" with new single

(January 24, 2020) Their landmark 50th anniversary album, 2018’s Soul Side of Town, not only maintained the reputation of legendary Bay Area band Tower of Power, it enhanced it, topping the Billboard charts and winning a SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Award for the act.

Now, with their coming release, Step Up, the band forges on into the next decade of the 21st century, keeping to its continuous hardcore tour schedule (200 days a year!) and ongoing reinvigoration with the continual addition of new talent, most notably the phenomenal young lead vocalist, Marcus Scott.

The new album came together in a somewhat unusual manner, Emilio says. In 2018, after spending a few years crafting a large body of new songs, TOP headed into the studio with producer Joe Vannelli. Between the writing, arranging and recording, it was a long and careful process – six years in the making.

(January 24, 2020) Their landmark 50th anniversary album, 2018’s Soul Side of Town, not only maintained the reputation of legendary Bay Area band Tower of Power, it enhanced it, topping the Billboard charts and winning a SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Award for the act.

Now, with their coming release, Step Up, the band forges on into the next decade of the 21st century, keeping to its continuous hardcore tour schedule (200 days a year!) and ongoing reinvigoration with the continual addition of new talent, most notably the phenomenal young lead vocalist, Marcus Scott.

The new album came together in a somewhat unusual manner, Emilio says. In 2018, after spending a few years crafting a large body of new songs, TOP headed into the studio with producer Joe Vannelli. Between the writing, arranging and recording, it was a long and careful process – six years in the making.

“We knew when we went into the studio, we had so much great material, much more than one album,” says group co-founder Emilio Castillo. About halfway through recording, he continues, Artistry Music [an imprint under Mack Avenue Music Group], the band’s new label, “loved what they were hearing so much, they wanted to put all the material out on one album for the band’s 50th anniversary. “But we decided we were going to do the Michael Jackson thing,” Emilio laughs. “You know, where you record way more than you need and pick the best 12. So, we ended up with two great albums instead – Soul Side of Town for the anniversary and then Step Up for this year as we move forward.”

And to lead things off, the band gives us a taste of what’s to come with a new single, the title track, “Step Up.” A prototypical TOP jam, it highlights the band’s iconic horns and combines it with an electric arrangement and strong lead vocals from Scott.

Check out “Step Up” below and welcome TOP back to SoulTracks!

Tower of Power – “Step Up”

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