Thursday, 10 May 2018

Aaron Hall - Don't Be Afraid (1992)

MCA Records, MCSTD 1632

I originally posted this in April '09, but as this is a brand new, 320kbps rip with some extra tracks, I've made a new post.

Don't Be Afraid, alongside Teddy Riley & Tammy Lucas' brilliant Is It Good To You, were the lead singles from the Juice OST, one of the very best Original Motion Picture Soundtracks I've ever heard.

Instead of working with his former colleague Riley, Hall made this track with heavyweight Hiphop producer Hank Shocklee (of The Bomb Squad fame), whose 'wall of sound' production style blew so many of us away on the first three Public Enemy albums.

As far as CD singles go, this is a fine, FINE release, and fantastic value for money.

There are eight(!) tracks, two of them instrumentals; there's a 7" Edit of the original Juice OST track (which is still the best mix for me) which removes the female singer's parts, a track called Vocal Files (which is an alternative acapella take on the chorus), a nice downtempo, quiet storm type mix in the form of the Sex You Down Version, and a funkier-than-James-Brown's-socks version in The 125th Gangster of the Posse Mix, in which Mr Hall struts his stuff in a jazzy, semi-scat manner, and proves nobody can shout "oooh-wee" quite like he does. I aint even joking! Oh, there's also the tweaked Nasty Man's Groove mix, which is a slightly less street, more melodic pop take on the original, without straying too far from it (for the record, 'Nasty Man' was Aaron's nickname in Guy).

Don't Be Afraid is something of a classic, and certainly one of my favourite R&B tracks of the nineties.

- Kymba :)

PS - I've re-ripped this in 320kbps, and I've added the full length Juice OST album version, not listed on the CD single (as it's still the best version of the track) along with the versions from The Truth album

  • Don't Be Afraid (7" Edit)
  • Don't Be Afraid (Nasty Man's Groove)
  • Don't Be Afraid (Sex You Down Version)
  • Don't Be Afraid (Sex You Down Instrumental)
  • Don't Be Afraid (Nasty Man's Groove Instrumental)
  • Don't Be Afraid (The 125th Gangster of the Posse Mix)
  • Don't Be Afraid (Piano Jam)
  • Don't Be Afraid (Vocal Files)
  • Bonus:  Don't Be Afraid (Introduction - taken from The Truth)
  • Bonus:  Don't Be Afraid (Sex You Down Some Mo' Version - taken from The Truth)
  • Bonus:  Don't Be Afraid (Jazz You Up Version - taken from The Truth)
  • Bonus:  Don't Be Afraid (Original - taken from the Juice OST)

The Download Link is here: Don't Be Afraid (Single).zip | File size: 83.450MB

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Mickey P's Original "The Soul Vendor" Site?

Mickey P's original site.

Archivists may be interested to know that Mickey's original "Soul Vendor" blog has now resurfaced from the "Blogosphere" just as mysteriously as when it first disappeared and is now available to visit again for nostalgic and informative purposes, as the posts were initially published in a slightly different order.
However, no new content will be posted over there.
For all intents and purposes, Kymba's site here is the official home of "The Soul Vendor" and all new posts will only appear on this blog address. Plus every single post from the first Soul Vendor blog has been reproduced on here, albeit in a slightly different running order.

But, if anybody is interested in revisiting Mickey's  original site, they can now do so, by clicking on the following link here.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

The Chimes - The Chimes 1990

CBS Records 466481-1

When The Chimes released 1-2-3, I feared the worst. I suspected another Pop/Soul band to lower the tone of British Dance music. Heaven was a good quality, stronger song but it wasn't until I heard an album track that I realised there was something special here.

It was Stronger Together that convinced me that I needed to buy this album and what a great decision that was. Every track on the album is strong with 1-2-3 being (IMHO) the weakest of the collection. The Chimes managed to do for I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, what Mica Paris would later do for One. U2 ballads seem to translate well to soul arrangements. This is an album that would be well worth having on CD if it's been released?

Worth mentioning here that Pauline Henry was the voice of The Chimes but the main man was Michael Peden, who also produced YoYo Honey.

  • Love So Tender
  • Heaven
  • True Love
  • 1-2-3
  • Underestimate
  • Love Comes To Mind
  • Don't Make Me Wait
  • Stronger Together
  • I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
  • Stay

The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: 1990 The Chimes.rar Filesize: 66.44 MB

Thursday, 26 April 2018

En Vogue - Hold On (1990)

Atlantic – A 7908 CD, WEA International – 7567-86178-2-LO, 1990

I throw the word 'classic' around a lot in my write-ups, but I'm sure you will agree that this track is the very definition of the word.

I'm also quite sure you know all about En vogue already, but, if not, here's a bitesize guide: They're a Grammy-nominated R&B girl-band Assembled in Oakland, California, USA in July 1989 by  producers Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy, formerly of Club Nouveau (Mick has already given us the lowdown on Foster & McElroy and Club Nouveau here.). En Vogue launched with original members Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson (who left in 1997 & went on to form Lucy Pearl with Raphael Saadiq & ATCQ's Ali Shaheed Muhammed) and Terry Ellis. They sold over 28 million albums and singles worldwide, and have won more MTV Video Music Awards than any other all female group in MTV history, a total of 7 VMAs. The group was named the second most successful girl group of the 90's and the 18th most successful act overall of the 90's according to Billboard magazine.

Hold On starts strong with the girls giving us a wicked rendition of The Jackson 5's Who's Lovin' You, showcasing each girls soaring vocals and the beautiful harmonising of the group as a whole. It gets better when the beat drops and suddenly we have an absolutely banging tune built on a loop from James Brown's beyond dope The Payback, over which the girls can strut their stuff and dispense beautifully sung knowledge and advice on keeping your man.

You know this tune, and you sure don't need me to tell you about it. There are three mixes on the CDS, not really a lot to pick from between them, but the extended version is worth the entry fee alone, as, unlike the other two versions, it hasn't featured on a million and one R&B compilation albums.

Last bit of trivia about this particular release: The inlay card was mis-printed with details about some German (I think) act called Tony Baez (see below). Weird.

  • Hold On (7" Edit)
  • Hold On (Extended Version)
  • Hold On (Radio Version With Intro)

The Download Link is here: Hold Filesize: 32.46MB

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Mica Paris - If I Love U 2 Nite 1991

4th & Broadway 12 BRW 207

This was a superb release from the Parisienne, the best collection of songs on a Mica 12" since last year! Three different styles, all perfectly executed, great production and all on one twelve. I've bought albums with less content. A lot of albums, actually?

For those with not-so-good eyesight, I've enlarged the minute credits cos they are very important and also... interesting. Yes, I said interesting! I'm also summarising here cos they're bloody confusing?

Basically, If I Love U 2 Nite is the commercial tune, remixed by Nellee Hooper (Soul II Soul & Wild Bunch), produced by Camus Mare Celi, Andres Levin & Mica Paris and engineered by Howie Bernstein with beats by Dobi (both SIIS). It's interesting because no mention is made of the fact that it's written by TAFKAP himself, Prince..... but, the cover is respectfully purple!

I Wish I'd Never Met You is the real soul tune, produced by Patrick Moten and Joseph A. Greene for Golden Empire, mixed by Elliott Peters & Chris Fuhrman at Ground Control, Santa Monica. Engineered by Craig Burbidge & Anthony Jeffries at Aire, LA, strings arranged by Patrick Moten and Gene Page, sax by Gerald Albright courtesy of Atlantic. Mica duets with The Poet himself, Bobby Womack courtesy of CBS. Does she sound like his second violin... does she heck! The little lass holds her own and the pair sing up a storm. This track is heavenly, Mica was born to write and sing this track!

Stand Up (Extended Mix) is the serious dance floor tune, produced by Ultimatum for Gee Street and engineered by Tyrell.

The record label credits Prince inside of course, and it's interesting to note that Mica wrote the Bobby duet with Patrick Moten. My limited understanding of credits leads me to assume that she wrote the lyrics and Moten composed the music. She also wrote Stand Up with Rhallia Birch & Nick Hallam (Stereo MC's). Pretty cool for a South London lass, don't you think?

I wonder if you can still contact:
The Parisienne
P.O. Box 237,
Thornton Heath,
CR7 8SX,
My old stompin' grounds back in the 80's ;-)

  • If I Love U 2 Nite (Nellee's Club U 2 Nite Mix)
  • If I Love U 2 Nite (Nellee's Club U 2 Nite Edit)
  • I Wish I'd Never Met You (Duet with Bobby Womack)
  • Stand Up
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Mica 1991.rar Filesize: 37.23 MB

Sunday, 22 April 2018

D'Angelo - Cruisin' 1996

Cooltempo Records CDCOOL 316

D'Angelo's 1995 debut album Brown Sugar gave us this gem, along with the single Brown Sugar, revisited here by the Beatminerz to good effect. Not preferable over the original mixes but definately different. Prior to Brown Sugar's release, the nu soul movement was yet to be defined by a major release, being dominated by British artists such as Omar. D'Angelo ushered in a new sound, blending classic soul with R&B beats.

While the title song, Brown Sugar, is a thinly-veiled ode to marijuana, Cruisin' is a Smokey Robinson penned cover from his 1979 Tamla album Where There's Smoke, conventional in the classic sense. The Dallas Austin Remix enhances the Album Version for the RnB crew but the Wet Mix is pure class, a lil' piece of soul heaven.

  • Cruisin' (Album Version)
  • Cruisin' (Dallas Austin Remix)
  • Cruisin' (Wet Mix)
  • Brown Sugar (Beatminerz Remix)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: D'Angelo Cruisin'.rar Filesize: 34.47 MB

Cruisin'(W. Robinson & M. Tarplin)
Baby let's cruise,Away from here
Don't be confused, baby
The way is clear
And if you want it you got it forever
Oh, this is not a one night stand
Let the music take your mind
And just release and you will find

We're going to fly away
Glad you're going my way
I love it when we're cruisin together
Music was made for love
Cruisin' is made for love
I love it when we're cruisin' together

Baby, tonight belongs to us
Everything's right
Do what you must
And inch by inch we get closer and closer
Every little part of each other
Ooh, baby, baby
Let the music take your mind
Just release and you will find

We're going to fly away
Glad you're going my way
I love it when we're cruisin' together
Music was made for love
Cruisin' is made for love
I love you when we're cruisin' together

Baby let's cruise
Let's fly away
Let's glide
Ooh, Ooh, Let's open up and go inside
And if you want it you got it forever
I can stay there inside you and love you, baby
Let the music take your mind
Just release and you will find

We're going to fly away
Glad you're going my way
I love it when we're cruisin' together
Music was made for love
Cruisin' is made for love
I love you when we're cruisin' together