Tuesday, 30 September 2008

D'Angelo - Brown Sugar 1995

Cooltempo Records 12COOLDJ 307
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D'Angelo was a breath of fresh air in 1995. Known to his Mum as Michael Eugene Archer, he was hailed as America's R&B Jesus. His first two studio albums, Brown Sugar and Voodoo, have both been held in high esteem by artists and listeners alike. Singer, pianist, guitarist and songwriter D'Angelo is known for his production and songwriting talents as much as for his vocal abilities.

Brown Sugar (the album) was released in June of 1995. The album crept up on an unsuspecting public finally breaking with Lady in 1996. By that time the title track debut solo single from the debut solo album of the same name, and the follow up single, Cruisin', had both been played to death by the more discerning soulies in the know.

On this UK 12" it's between the Soul Inside 808 Mix and the Dime Bag Mix and as much as I want Carl McIntosh to be the best, I think the Dodge Soul Inside mix just takes it. I love Dodge City Productions but I expect a Loose Ends connection to be more soulful, either way there not much in it.

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  • Brown Sugar (Soul Inside 808 Mix)
  • Brown Sugar (Dime Bag Mix)
  • Brown Sugar (Dollar Bag Mix)
  • Brown Sugar
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: D'Angelo 12.rar Filesize: 59.63 MB

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Courtesy of Kymba and featuring an extra track but you still need the 12" for the Dime Bag Mix.

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  • Brown Sugar (Radio Mix)
  • Brown Sugar (Soul Inside 808 Mix)
  • Brown Sugar (Dollar Bag Mix)
  • When We Get By
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: D'Angelo - Brown Sugar CDS.rar Filesize: 24.22 MB

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Sunday, 28 September 2008

China Black - Searching 1994

Wild Card Records CARDD7
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China Black comprised of Errol Reid and Simon Fung. The group first released the song Searching in 1992 which stayed in the reggae chart for 12 weeks at number one and went top 5 in the R&B chart. Unfortunately, their indie record label went bankrupt and the track failed to chart in the UK Top 20. It was re-issued in the summer of 1994, when pop-reggae became the new trend in the British charts and this time made it to number four, selling 350,000 copies in the process. Although they had good results with other singles (namely Stars) nothing came close to the success of Searching. The Original Mix by Longsy D, a.k.a. Andrew Alexander Long is the most authentic, bearing in mind the track is by nature, written as a reggae song, but the *Mykaell S. Riley Mix is, hands down, the most commercially accessable. The Ronin Mix tries, with some success, for the RnB style and Heavy Tactic go for the Dubby Trip Hop route. A song this infectious is hard to spoil but Full Force (Peter DiOrio not Bowlegged Lou) have a good go.

Birmingham born Errol Reid, has enjoyed a successful career in the music industry. Errol started singing at school and has since written for many well known artists. During his career he has appeared on many TV shows like BBC TV Children in Need, Princess Diana's Concert of Hope and many many more. During his time with China Black he toured all the major arenas of the world and sung duets with Robin Gibb on his world tour and also the late Barry White. Simon Fung turned his attention to songwriting, signing to Peermusic (one of the biggest independent publishers in the world) and working with various producers, writers and artists, such as Blue, Atomic Kitten and Natasha Bedingfield whilst also setting up his own record label as well as TV and film work.

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  • Mykaell S. Riley Mix
  • Original Longsy D Mix
  • Ronin Mix
  • Full Force Mix
  • Heavy Tactic Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: China Black.rar Filesize: 30.7 MB

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*Trivia:
Mykaell S. Riley has worked for artists such as Soul II Soul, Courtney Pine and a host of others. He began with Steel Pulse before moving on to found the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra. His career spans over twenty years, during which he has performed, produced, managed and consulted on many artists and their projects. As a professional writer/producer, his work encompasses TV, Film and Theatre, but mainly albums, over thirty of them - resulting in over nine top twenty positions, and three number ones. A Senior Lecturer in Music Production at the University of Westminster, Mykaell is also Senior Trustee for the Black Music Education Trust, a new initiative borne out of the need to document the history of black music.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Everis - Back To Basics 1990

Soul Town Records SOUL 009
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In 1989 Everis joined up with Soul Town Records, where he released several singles including a cover of Closer I Get To You with the cult underground artiste Maxeen. In 1990, he released his debut album Back To Basics. During his time at Soul Town he had some success with hits such as Summer Time, Stay and Better Love.

In 1992 Everis supported The Jones Girls comeback and first ever London gigs at the Dominion Theatre and has appeared on the same bill as Kym Mazelle, Don-E, Kenny Thomas, The Escoffereys, Omar, Mica Paris, Gabrielle and many more.

My apologies for the quality of this post but I was only able to find a second hand copy of this album with no cover (homemade art above). There is a bit of 'vinyl grind' at the beginning of each side and some 'pop and crackle' throughout but not too much that it spoils the listening experience. I would, however, welcome a clean copy and proper artwork?
  • Get Your Love
  • Say
  • Hooked On You
  • Don't Stop The Love
  • Sweetest Love
  • Looking For A Lover
  • Staying Awake All Night
  • My Latin Experience
  • Better Love
  • Girl
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Everis.rar Filesize: 57.97 MB

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Friday, 26 September 2008

Kicking Back - Everything 1990

Ten Records TENCD 307
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Featuring Taxman, Kicking Back debuted in 1990 with the single Devotion. It was quickly followed up with this release, Everything, both of which failed to make much of an impact. The only other recording I'm aware of is All I Want, which features on the flipside of the Devotion single.

Everything is a jaunty little soulful tune built on a reggae foundation. Taxman raps in a reggae style (which doesn't appeal to me personally) but the song is soulful, the melody catchy and the female vocal is gorgeous. It's worth a listen guys, it's just a shame nobody done a tax-deductable mix?

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  • Everything (Original 7")
  • Everything (Kickin' Mix)
  • Devotion
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Kicking Back.rar
Filesize: 22.21 MB
Description: Kicking Back
Filesize: 22.21 MB

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Thursday, 25 September 2008

Maxeen - Never Been In Love 1990

Soultown Records SOUL 007
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In 1990 Maxeen released Never Been In Love (Like This Before) on the highly credible Soultown Records label. She released several singles including a duet cover of Closer I Get To You with the cult underground artiste Everis. Everis released his own Back To Basics album in 1990 and Maxeen was supposed to have her album Emotions released soon. I've never seen any evidence that it was released, let alone available to buy?

Never Been In Love is written by Maxeen herself and produced by Maxeen & E. Pellins. I would gamble a fair sum on a spelling mistake there. Everis now goes under the name of Everis Pellius. The track is engineered by Wayne 'Bustin' Brown who has worked with many British artists such as D Influence. It's extremely frustrating how little information there is about these people, it's about time the likes of Blues & Soul Magazine started a Brit Soul database. They certainly have the information and so would I if I hadn't lost all my B&S mags half a decade back. :-(
  • Never Been In Love (Like This Before) Queen Bee Mix
  • In Love (Killer B 18 Cert) Bass Line Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: 1990 Never Been.rar Filesize: 20.89 MB

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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Capitol Classics Volume 1 1988

Capitol Records EMS 1316
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Massive respect to my man Boo for supplying the artwork for this gem! As we are unable to record the vinyl at its (French?) source, I have collected together the tracklist. Can you please confirm that I have used all the correct versions Boo?

The first two Capitol Classics releases were essential at the time, I never managed to get this release and had to wait to find the tracks I wanted on other compilations. The later releases were 'less essential' back in the day although they are all interesting for different reasons now.

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In the case of this album, the tracks that were of interest at the time were likely to be A Taste Of Honey - Boogie Oogie Oogie, The BB&Q Band - On The Beat, The McCrary's - Love On A Summer Night (a Jazz Funk classic), Dayton - Sound Of Music and Mystic Merlin - Just Can't Give You Up.

Most of these are now easily found and no surprise but what about L.J. Reynolds - Key To The World (a Nortern Soul anthem?), Eddie Henderson - Prance On (a forgotten Jazz Funker) and the wonderful O'Bryan - Doin' Alright. These are great songs that have been left on the back shelf for too long, good to be reminded of them again. Gary Bartz - Music Is My Sanctuary is a fine tune that slipped through the cracks into obscurity, sounding much younger than it's 31 years of age. The pearl in the shell making this album essential for me though, Sheree Brown - It's A Pleasure, and it certainly is!

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A great list of record shops on the rear makes good reading. It's like a list of my favourite lunch time visits throughout the 80's & 90's. Tooting, Balham, Brixton, Holborn, Chingford, Hackney, East Ham, Bow, Putney & Croydon. Good to see Mi Price listed as there were LWR (92.5) DJ's working there. Every one of them helped relieve me of large portions of my hard earnt wages. Several shops in the heart of London's Soho helped, some were record shops too! Steve's in Leicester Square deserves a mention, as does Reckless in Soho, Solar in Brixton underground and Beano's in Croydon Market.

Thanks Boo
, a great post! ;-)

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  • L.J. Reynolds
  • A Taste Of Honey
  • BB&Q Band
  • Eddie Henderson
  • McCrarys
  • Sheree Brown
  • Dayton
  • O'Bryan
  • Mystic Merlin
  • Gary Bartz
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Capitol Classics.rar Filesize: 92.43 MB

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Saturday, 20 September 2008

Street Sounds Edition 15 1985

Street Sounds STSND 15
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The most memorable Street Sounds Edition for me. Not because of the choice of tracks but because of the climate at the time it was released. Aleem's awesome Get Loose was so overplayed by this time that I always skipped the track when playing this album. Packed full of goodies, as usual and the longevity on this selection is as good as the day it was released. Caprice, 100% still sounds fresh to my ears, as does Evelyn 'Champagne' King's, Your Personal Touch in it's short but efficient Dance Mix format. The beautiful ballad, Mated by David Grant & Jaki Graham is here in it's Extended Version but my favourite tracks are Mr DJ by The Concept, simple but effective, and the track I bought the album for, Princess, After The Love Has Gone the Chief Inspector Remix, which is based on the Wally Badarou classic, Chief Inspector, which was huge at the time.

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  • The Concept - Mr DJ
  • Aleem - Get Loose
  • Colonel Abrams - Music Is The Answer
  • Brass Construction - Give & Take
  • David Grant & Jaki Graham - Mated
  • Princess - After The Love Has Gone
  • Evelyn King - Personal Touch
  • B.T. Express - Uptown Express
  • Caprice - 100%
  • Masquerade - One Nation
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Street Sounds Edition 15.rar Filesize: 110.98 MB

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Thursday, 18 September 2008

TRUCE - TRUCE EP 1995

Big Life Records BLRD112
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T.R.U.C.E. ('To Reach Universal Cultures Effectively') were one of the original UK R&B girl groups tipped for stardom in the mid ˜90s. Prolific producer Paul Waller took them to the brink on his independent Relevant label before a short-lived contract with Big Life. On this EP they work with a wealth of talent including Ian Green, Don-E & The Ethnic Boyz.

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Michelle Escoffery was a member of girl R'n'B trio Truce, who were known for great tracks like 'The Finest' (1995) on Big Life records. She has since decided to devote herself to her songwriting and vocal production talents and has had many of the top producers and singers in London approach her for her scribe skills.

The singer and songwriter, who grew up in Streatham and spent her teenage years in South Norwood and won an Ivor Novello award in 2002. The songwriter, who has written for All Saints, Tina Turner and Beverly Knight and once sang with Stevie Wonder, began singing with her three sisters in her local Seventh Day Adventist church. They became The Escofferys and spent school holidays touring churches across Europe and the UK until they were signed by American label Atlantic. In 1993, Michelle was headhunted to join R&B girl group Truce. Her writing for the group attracted industry attention and she began writing for other artists including Hinda Hicks, Damage, Fierce and she enjoyed huge success with The Artful Dodger album 'It's All About The Stragglers'.

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  • Treat U Right (7" Edit)
  • Celebration Of Life (7" Edit)
  • Better Days
  • Come Go Away
  • Don't Give Up
  • Treat U Right (Full Length Mix)
  • Celebration Of Life (Full Length Mix)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Truce.rar Filesize: 47.73 MB

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Walter Beasley - I'm So Happy 1987

Urban Records URBX 14 DJ
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Another wonderful piece of jazz based Soul from the heart of the UK Rare Groove scene. Jump On It is a Lionel Job produced instrumental by saxophonist Walter Beasley. It sits nicely alongside 3 mixes of I'm So Happy, produced by Job & Beasley. Walter Beasley’s musical journey began in the early 1970s in his hometown of el Centro, California. When his aunt gave him his first Grover Washington, Jr. record at age nine. By his early teens, Beasley was playing saxophone in various bands around Southern California. One of the top five best-selling African-American saxophonists in the world since the late 90’s, Beasley has performed with contemporary jazz and R&B icons Brian McKnight, Gerald Albright, Ronnie Laws, Kirk Whalum, Bob James, Norman Brown, George Howard, Art Porter, Stephanie Mills, Vanessa Williams and Rachelle Ferrell.

Considered by most as “the heir to Grover Washington Jr.’s throne,” the Boston-based musician has been one of the ten highest selling saxmen in the world since 1998 while working as a full professor of music at The Berklee School of Music, where he began teaching in the mid-80s.

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  • I'm So Happy (12" Remix)
  • I'm So Happy (Dub)
  • I'm So Happy (7" Version)
  • Jump On It
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Walter Beasley.rar Filesize: 30.64 MB

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Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Pennye Ford - Dangerous 1985

Total Experience Records FT 49976
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Penny (with or without an 'e') Ford's musical roots run deep, daughter of record exec. Gene Redd Sr. (King Records) and singer Carolyn Ford and sister of Sharon Redd ('Beat the Street'), She was exposed to a lot of music as a result of Dad's work with James Brown and Kool & the Gang. She got into music at five years old, when she started piano lessons and she eventually became an in-demand session vocalist. Ford can rightfully make claim to being "Ms. New Jill" before there was New Jack Swing. She signed with Total Experience Records, home of the Gap Band and can be heard on their hit single I Found My Baby. The New Jack sound owes a lot to the artists of Total Experience.

Ford debuted as a recording artist in her own right on the 1984 album Pennye, which yielded two R&B charters, Change Your Wicked Ways and the slammin' Dangerous (this 12" is a must for dance fans). With production by Jonah Ellis, Oliver Scott, Jimmy Hamilton and Maurice Hayes (Have Myself a Good Time), and Yarborough & Peoples (Don't Stop the Music) Pennye was loaded with sassy soulfulness and is a good precursor of the new jack sound. Remix duty is carried out by Lonnie Simmons, the legendary Total Experience producer that made the Gap Band a success.
Ed Hogan, All Music Guide
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  • Dangerous (Remix)
  • Change Your Wicked Ways (Remix No. 1)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Pennye Ford.rar Filesize: 40.86 MB

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The Brand New Heavies - Back To Love 1994

FFRR Records BNHCD4
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BNH developed a sophisticated sound that screamed classic soul in an era dominated by Hip Hop. Formed in 1985 by London school friends, Jan Kincaid, Simon Bartholomew and Andrew Levy the instrumental group were inspired by James Brown, The Meters and other records its members heard while clubbing the rare groove scene in vogue at the moment.

From the 1994 album Brother, Sister, this is The Brand New Heavies with N'Dea Davenport, who then left to complete her solo album (which she had put on hold to join the group). This great track is turned into an absolute monster by Mr. Ray Hayden on the Opaz Club Version. A stunning remix from the master himself. Baby Don't Use Me is an original track, only available on this release (to my knowledge) and certainly worth having if you like the Heavies.

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  • Back To Love
  • Back To Love (Opaz Radio Version)
  • Back To Love (Opaz Club Version)
  • Baby Don't Use Me
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: BNH - Back To Love CDS.rar Filesize: 28.99 MB

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"It seem to me that we don't always get along
If we are trying now dont seem to try too long
Watching your neighbour seems to fill you with alarm
Just coz hes different now
Dont mean he means you harm
City living has got us all pent up inside
When we have problems it seems we all just run and hide
Time to discover why we are feeling this way
Lets let love have its say

Chorus:
I know you need it, brother said he needs it, sister said she needs it,
were all gonna need it someday
We seem to loose our way, somehow got led astray
Thats why Im here to say, gotta get back get back to love
I know you need it, brother said he needs it, sister said she needs it,
were all gonna need it someday
We seem to loose our way, somehow got led astray
Thats why Im here to say, gotta get back get back to it now

Trouble started when we dont communicate
Well build our future now or we can seal our fate
Wasted energy on promises we break
Weve wasted chance now, but still it aint too late
There is a common goal we must all realize
Its time to make a change, in how we live our lives
Time to discover why, we are feeling this way
Lets let love save the day"

Monday, 15 September 2008

Incognito - Out Of The Storm 1996

Talkin' Loud Records TLCD 14
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A good song by incognito with some great Def Mix remixes by David Morales who uses the full potential of the song on the Sleaze Mix with trademark piano & drums and some nice string arrangements. The Instrumental Mix is a great addition too. Carl Craig's 10 minute epic Planet E Mix however has left no trace of the song whatsoever but it has a great vibe about it with freestyle drums and a cool synth and heavy bassline, this is certainly more than just a remix. Turn on, tune in and chill out. Bluey's Club Mix is another fine jazzy dancer, as expected, that ties this selection up neatly.

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  • Morales Radio Edit
  • Morales Sleaze Mix
  • Morales Instrumental Mix
  • C's Planet E Special Mix
  • Bluey's Club Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Out Of The Storm CDS.rar Filesize: 56.61 MB

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Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Frankie Knuckles - It's Hard Sometimes 1991

Virgin Records VUSCD 52
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Produced by Frankie Knuckles & John Poppo. Written and performed by Frankie along with Danny Madden & Satoshi Tomiie and featuring the wonderful vocal talent of Shelton Becton. It's Hard Sometimes, if I remember correctly, was the introduction to Frankie Knuckles forthcoming album, Beyond The Mix, and boy, did it get a fond welcome. I personally thought it was his best for awhile, until he released Rain Falls.

The beauty of the David Morales Classic Club Mix is in the speed. Slow and soulful with a painfully slow but irresistible House groove. It also features the most gorgeous piano solo, probably played bt Satoshi Tomiie although Eric Kupper, Terry Burrus & Peter 'Ski' Schwartz are also credited but not 'who done what'? The Alternate 12" Mix is more what you would expect, riding on a mid tempo groove but leaving out the piano. I have no idea why it fades with only a minute left. It seems totally pointless but doesn't spoil the listening experience much. If you like to mix with long overlaps then you'll want the 8:02, no fade, version.

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  • D.M. Classic Radio
  • D.M. Classic Club Mix
  • Alternate 12" Mix (Fade)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Hard Sometimes CDS.rar Filesize: 26.56 MB

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