Classics: Leon Haywood – I Want’ A Do Something Freaky To You (20th Century Records)
No need to be a Disco/Soul specialist to be familiar with this jam. As so many artists have sampled it along with time. From Dr Dre to Aaliyah, Maxwell or LL Cool J to name a few. As a matter of fact, it could have pretty well deserved a mention in our 10 essential Sexy jams. With its title – I Want’ A Do Something Freaky To You – aptly speakin’ for itself. Not to mention its lascivious flow.
A track which he co-arranged with Gene Page. Featuring luminaries such as Ray Parker, Jr. (guitar), Wilton Felder (Bass) and Joe Sample (Piano). Besides standing as Haywood‘s pre-Disco period most famous cut.
Houston, TX native Otha Leon Haywood first got into Blues as a child, playing piano by the age of 3. He eventually accompanied Guitar Slim in his teens. Then he came his first single – ‘The Squat/Without A Love’ – as an organist along with saxophonist Big Jay McNeely‘s formation back in 1962. Before joining Sam Cooke‘s band as a keyboardist until the singer’s death in 1964.
He would meet sporadic success as a singer. This, until his move to 20 Century Fox Records/MCA and the incorporation of Disco and Funk vibes on his repertoire.
His biggest chart success is without a single doubt ‘Don’t Push It Don’t Force It’. A cut taken from his 1980 ‘Naturally’ album which, ironically, would be his last for MCA. The year after seeing the release of the freaky ‘I’m Out To Catch’. A song where he shared the duties with Karen Roberts, taken from his ‘It’s Me Again’ album on Casablanca Records. That same year seeing the release of the memorable ‘She’s A Bad Mama Jama’ which he wrote for Carl Carlton. His last R&B chart record being the groovy ‘Tenderoni’, from an album – ‘Now And Then’ – which, for some reason, never saw the light.
More or less considered as a one hit wonder, Leon Haywood‘s music would nevertheless influence many artists along with time. From Aaliyah to Common, 50 Cent and Redman to name but a few. Not to mention Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre who notoriously sampled his 1975 released ‘I Want’ A Do Something Freaky To You’ on ‘Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang’ back in 1992.
Leon Haywood sadly died in his sleep on Apr.05, 2016, aged 74.