TIR 88: Bow-Legged Lou Breaks Down Full Force’s Production Power

Bow-Legged Lou pictured far right.


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in TIR Episode 88 (2 Parts): One of the founding members of the R&B and Hip-Hop group and production collective known as Full Force — singer, composer and producer Lou George Jr., better known as Bow-Legged Lou. The six-member Full Force — which also included Lou’s two brothers and three cousins — rivaled famed teams such as Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and L.A. Reid & Babyface as the 1980s’ most prolific writing, producing and performing entities. In addition to their own nine albums, six of which dropped during the aforementioned decade and the most recent of which hit in 2014, Full Force was responsible for even bigger hit albums and songs with several other artists and also worked with many superstars.

Among their primary acts were rappers UTFO and Roxanne Shante, R&B-pop group Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, dance-pop singer Samantha Fox, R&B singer Cheryl “Pepsi” Riley, La La, Ex-Girlfriend and Allure. Including Full Force recordings, these acts’ top 25 R&B and/or pop hits included: “Roxanne, Roxanne,” “Roxanne’s Revenge,” “I Wonder if I Take You Home,” “Alice, I Want You Just for Me!,” “Bang Zoom (Let’s Go),” “All Cried Out,” “(If You) Love Me Just a Little,” “Love Is for Suckers (Like Me and You),” “Head to Toe,” “Lost in Emotion,” “Someone to Love Me for Me,” “All in My Mind,” “Everything Will B-Fine,” “Your Love Is So Def,” “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too),” “I Wanna Have Some Fun,” “Friends B-4 Lovers,” “Just Git It Together,” “Me, Myself and I,” “Little Jackie Wants to Be a Star,” “Why Can’t You Come Home” and “All Cried Out.”

Additionally, Full Force produced and wrote most of James Brown’s 1988 comeback album that included the title track hit “I’m Real,” “Static” and “She Looks All Types ‘A’ Good.” The group also produced “Try Me,” an R&B hit for actress Jasmine Guy, and the top 5 pop hits “All I Have to Give” by the Backstreet Boys and “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” by the Black-Eyed Peas. Among the other well-known names Full Force has worked with are Kurtis Blow, the Force MDs, Bob Dylan, Patti LaBelle, Jill Scott, Lil Kim, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and N’Sync, Nicki Minaj, Whodini, Philip Bailey, Isaac Hayes, B.B. King, Anthrax, Method Man, Nile Rodgers, Howard Hewitt, Me’lisa Morgan, Bobbi Humphrey, Regina Bell and Selena. Full Force has also appeared in movies and TV, including the cult film classic, “House Party.”

In this in-depth interview, Bow-Legged Lou reveals how the group got started and became Full Force, how they honed their talents as writers and producers before releasing their own debut, he shares stories behind many of the hit songs and working with those artists, discusses his many brushes with some of the music industry’s biggest names, recounts the challenges of making an album with James Brown, gets into some personal obstacles and tells what is on the group’s horizon. Buckle up for the full story of the powerhouse production team so appropriately known as Full Force.