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Tower of Power is the third album release for the Oakland-based band, Tower of Power. This is their most successful album to date, which was released in May 1973.
The album peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Top LPs chart in 1973 and received a gold record award for sales in excess of 500,000. The album spawned their most successful single, “So Very Hard to Go”. The single peaked at No. 17 during the week of July 28, 1973 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two other singles from the album also charted on the Billboard Hot 100: “This Time It’s Real” and “What Is Hip?”. It marked the debut of Lenny Williams being the lead vocalist (though Williams had a solo career prior to joining T.O.P., plus he co-penned the song “You Strike My Main Nerve” from the previous album Bump City). Tower of Power was also the first Tower of Power album to feature future Saturday Night Live band leader Lenny Pickett, who was the youngest member of the band at the time, replacing original lead sax player Skip Mesquite. Also joining the lineup was organist/keyboardist Chester Thompson and guitarist Bruce Conte, who replaced original guitarist Willie James Fulton.
Francis Rocco Prestia was born in Sonora, California, Prestia started playing electric guitar as an adolescent. When he auditioned for Emilio Castillo’s band, Tower of Power, Castillo persuaded him to switch to electric bass.
Prestia worked with the band for the next three decades, before he became seriously ill in 2001. His fans and friends created a foundation in order to help pay the artist’s medical costs. On December 5, 2014, Prestia underwent successful kidney transplant surgery.