Friday, 31 July 2009

Mica Paris - Stay 1998

Cooltempo Records 12COOLDJ 334
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I have written much of Mica Paris elsewhere on this blog. Seek & ye shall find? Basically, I love her voice and believe her to be one of the worlds finest vocalists. For me, she was the standard by which all others were measured during the early 90's. With regard to her material, she lost her cutting edge during the mid 90's but her voice was still in fine fettle.

Written by Sylvester Stewart, Stay was a Sly & The Family Stone classic from their 1973 album Fresh. Originally entitled If You Want Me To Stay, I recall hearing it opening an episode of ER (sorry, I love it) a few years back and being surprised at how good it still sounds.

Mica covered the song on her 1998 Black Angel album, the Radio Edit of that version is on here. She works the vocals into her own groove, staying with the original song but making it her own and doing a fine job as expected. Of course, The Soul Vendor requires a little more to make the shelves look impressive and on this promo release we have Blacksmith back in the house again. The Brooklyn Funk Mix puts some bounce into the song giving it a whole new lease of life while the Blacksmith Club Rub takes us into head nodding territory but letting Mica's vocal smoulder. Summer Funk for the Bar-B-Que, you just know this is bad!

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  • Brooklyn Funk R'n'B Mix
  • Radio Edit
  • Blacksmith Club Rub
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Mica Paris.rar Filesize: 37.65 MB

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Thursday, 30 July 2009

The System - The Pleasure Seekers 1985

Boiling Point Records POSPA 753
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Vocalist/guitarist Mic Murphy and keyboardist David Frank got together in New York during 1982. As The System, they performed the energetic title track of their 1985 album The Pleasure Seekers on an episode of the hit series Miami Vice. Murphy's soulful vocals & Frank's expertise in recording studio technology gave their material a robotic, synthesizer-driven sound that many felt was ahead of its time. Their music was used in films such as Beat Street, Beverly Hills Cop & Coming to America, while their talents were commisioned for Scritti Politti, Phil Collins, Chaka Khan and Mtume among others.

That said, The Pleasure Seekers is puerile 80's drivel (in my humble opinion of course) and should be listened to once only, just to confirm my opinion. It's a shame there isn't a Radio Edit to make the job a little less painful?

This release is all about the B-Side. The Extended Version of their 1982 dance floor hit, You Are In My System from their d├ębut album Sweat, it was their first success. Nearly eight blissful minutes of top notch 80's Groove. Smooth as a baby's bum with a wonderful bubbling bass line. Listen to that opening cymbal rattling away like a angry rattlesnake and the eerie keyboard chords. I love this song, don't know how I missed the original release but I'm very pleased that I got tipped off and managed to pick up this 12". Essential!

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  • The Pleasure Seekers (Long Version)
  • The Pleasure Seekers (Dub Mix)
  • You Are In My System (Extended Version)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: The System.rar Filesize: 35.12 MB

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Posted By Mickey P. to The Soul Vendor on 7/30/2009 12:00:00 PM

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Samuelle - Living In Black Paradise 1990

Atlantic Records 7567-82130-4
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My apologies for this post, it is ripped from a cassette album. I have no idea why I chose to buy a cassette but then I do not post albums as a rule and the only reason I'm posting this is because it's cassette quality. I'm not sure if it's available on CD but I don't have the vinyl. Having apologised, I must say it's better quality than I expected?

OK, I bought this album for Circle Of Love which is my favourite track on the album. The second single, Black Paradise, is also worth mentioning but the album is not what I would call essential. On the other hand, it isn't lame either and a quick run through the credits reveals the En Vogue girls on backing vocals. It is therefore, worth checking out and has its place in your collection.

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  • Black Paradise (5:29)
  • So You Like What You See (4:41)
  • Greedy Man (5:59)
  • I'm So In Love (4:41)
  • Take My Heart (5:54)
  • Stay (4:34)
  • Struck By Your Love (4:51)
  • When Love Calls (4:47)
  • Circle Of Love (4:33)
  • Wanna Make You Feel Real Good (4:52)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Samuelle - Living In Black Parad..rar Filesize: 56.07 MB

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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Samuelle - So You Like What You See 1990

Atlantic Records A 7864 (T)
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Club Nouveau were formed by record producer/performer Jay King in Sacramento, California, subsequent to the break up of the Timex Social Club. The group included Jay King, Grady Samuelle Prater, Denzil Foster, Thomas McElroy & Valerie Watson. They turned out a 'Go-Go' style (who remembers Go-Go) cover of the Bill Withers classic, Lean On Me in 1986 which was quite successful. It was catchy (and very mainstream) but they didn't manage to repeat that success again. Foster & McElroy soon left to form their own projects and focus on producing other acts. They would, of course, soon score big with The Tonies and En Vogue. Prater also left for a solo attempt.

So the 80's ground to a halt and in the UK we had half the dancefloors shouting "Acieeeed!" while the other half done the bump & grind to SIIS beats or New Jack Swing. Prater released his debut album, Living In Black Paradise as Samuelle in 1990, co-written, produced and arranged by his old friends Foster & McElroy under the umbrella of 2 Tuff-E-Nuff Productions (nothing to do with the UK's Tuff Jam's Matt & Karl).

So You Like What You See was the lead off single from the album. The Extended LP Mix is mixed by Ken Kessie who was on the recent Sinclair post. Teddy Riley got involved in the remixes adding his New Jack Swing Production to the mix and Wrecks N Effect added a rap to the 12" Remix. It slammed the dancefloors and made an impact on the specialist charts in the summer of 1990.

The follow up single, title track Black Paradise, was criminally ignored and no more was heard of Samuelle. In 1996 he released All That Matters To Me which didn't make the charts at all. He resurfaced in 2005 and recorded with his brother as Samuelle & D'Lynn. The release, Don't Worry, There's Love In the Ghetto, is inspired by classic 60's and 70's soul and was released on an independent label.

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  • Extended LP Mix
  • 12" Remix
  • Club Remix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Samuelle.rar Filesize: 39.95 MB

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Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Family Stand - Ghetto Heaven 1990

Atlantic Records A7997T
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Formed by Peter Lord, Vernon Jeffrey Smith and Sandra St. Victor in the early 90s, the band released their debut album, Chain, from which the huge club hit, Ghetto Heaven, was taken. Built around the songwriting and production talents of Smith and Lord and the excellent vocals of St. Victor,

The Family Stand
combined elements of rock, folk, soul, free jazz, hip hop, funk and hardcore gospel. More than the sum of their influences though, the group took on social issues with leftfield classics such as Plantation Radio and The Education Of Jamie.

I think it's fair to say that the production talents of Beresford Romeo and Nellee Hooper on The Remix, definitely made this an essential tune and gave The Family Stand the break they needed. The difference between this and The Original is rather dramatic, losing the rough edges that delivered the message but gaining a smooth dance floor edge. I think it showed admirable restraint by the marketing team, choosing not to use the extremely fashionable Soul II Soul name on the front cover. Jazzie B's name was just as well known, of course. The follow up, In Summer I Fall barely made an impact.

They then made the legendary Moon In Scorpio album and became the production team of the moment, working with Paula Abdul, Daryl Hall, Des'ree and Aftershock to name but a few, before going on hiatus in 1999.

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  • The Remix
  • The Original
  • The Dub
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: The Family Stand.rar Filesize: 31.9 MB

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Monday, 13 July 2009

Princess - Say I'm Your Number 1 1985

Supreme Records SUPE T 101
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When Desiree Heslop decided to take a tilt at the music industry windmill she had the good sense to change her name. She joined Osibisa in the late 1970s before touring as a background vocalist with several artists, among them Evelyn Thomas and Precious Wilson. In the early 80's with her brother Donovan Heslop as her manager, she took a shot at a solo career. Releasing Another World in 1984 she made barely a ripple but the following year she found herself with a new production team.

Adopting the stage name Princess, she was signed as a solo act to PWL, where the production team of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken & Pete Waterman took a vested interest in her. Say I'm Your Number One was written and produced by Stock Aitken & Waterman and released on the new Supreme Records label. It was a UK Top 10 hit in 1985 selling over a million copies worldwide. They produced her first solo album Princess which was released in 1986. The album included three further Top 40 singles.

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  • Say I'm Your Number 1
  • Short Version
  • Senza Voce
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Supreme Records SUPET D 103
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Despite being under the same umbrella as Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan, the launch of Princess was handled well by S.A.W. PWL were using all the latest technology and were heavily involved in the use of the promotional remix. In the capable hands of 'The Mixmaster' Phil Harding, she was digitally mastered (in 1985 people!) and released on Supreme Records who sported the by-line "A Statement In Soul". I'm not sure what the statement was but with Mel & Kim and Lonnie Gordon as her stable mates, 'Popular' springs to mind but 'Soulful' doesn't. Princess rose above this for a while though, keeping it slow and low with a walking bass line she retained a modicum of credibility despite the odds.

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Say I'm Your Number 1 came in a variety of mixes. This 12" came free with (I think?) After The Love Has Gone but I can't find the 12". I always played the Chief Inspector Mix from Street Sounds 15 so I guess my 12" was lost back in the 80's.

The remixes are the work of The Funky Sisters who were responsible for a rework of Windjammer's Tossing & Turning the year before. Pulling heavily from Michael Jackson's Billy Jean, the bass line is worked to the max and the song ends up around the nine minute mark.

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Princess recorded her second 1987 album, All For Love in the United States but it didn't match up to the success of her debut. From 1991 to 2003 she lived in U.S. before returning to England and appearing in ITV's Hit Me Baby One More Time. For an in depth read click here.

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  • REMIX Number 2
  • H.R.H. Mix No. 3
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The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Princess.rar Filesize: 71.29 MB

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Sold Out - Shine On 1991

Columbia Records 656863 6
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1991 introduced those of us fortunate enough to be in the right place, to the wonderful vocals of Sarah Warwick singing Shine On for Sold Out. The collective, a.k.a. Souled Out, comprised of Alessandro Sommella, Domenico "GG" Canu, Ricky Rinaldi and Sergio Della Monica.

The Andalucian Mix on this 12" is remixed by Mark Brydon (Cloud 9). This is soulful music on very classy dance vibe. Brydon's Andalucian Saxola Mix is also a nice bit of work, weaving a jazzy sax through the instrumental and stroking it with some of Warwick's backing vocals. Sold Out also released an album 'Souled - The Magic Of The Language Of Music In Effect' in 1991 which I have never been able to find.

They went on to produce club classics such as Hondy (No Access) and Planetfunk (Chase The Sun) but for a short spell they tried to educate the masses with their wonderful soul based sounds. Shine On was followed by In My Life, also featuring Sarah Warwick (confirmed by the album credits) and remixed by Joey 'Dave Lee' Negro in an attempt to break the song. There's a Joey Negro Dub and an Almerian Remix by John Waddell (Nasty Rox Inc.) that may be interesting but I doubt it?

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  • Andalucian 12" Remix
  • Andalucian Saxola Mix
  • LP Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Souled Out.rar Filesize: 32.64 MB

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Friday, 10 July 2009

JT Taylor - Long Hot Summer Night 1991

MCA Records MCST 1567
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James Warren Taylor was born August 16, 1953, in South Carolina. He got involved in music when he was 13 years old. Before his rise to fame, he was a schoolteacher. He joined Kool & The Gang in 1978 during the rise of disco when they were starting to slump. He became the band's lead singer in 1979 and alongside the bands other new boy, Eumir Deodato, the group re-entered the Top Ten with Ladies Night and topped the charts. The following year, Kool & the Gang had their first number one hit, Celebration.

Taylor's creamy voice helped the singles Too Hot and Ladies' Night reach gold and platinum status before leaving the band for a solo career in 1988. Kool & the Gang recruited three people to replace him, such was his worth. Signing with MCA Records in 1988, Taylor found himself with a hit in the shape of All I Want Is Forever, a duet with Regina Belle but was unable to cross over to the pop charts. He released his debut album Master of the Game in 1989.

Taylor recorded three albums for MCA during the early '90s, failing to trump that success. He completed his second solo album, Feel the Need, in 1991, and two songs from that album, Long Hot Summer Night and his duet with Stephanie Mills, Heart to Heart, were minor hits. This release bears the production stamp of The Funky Ginger himself, the awesome Simon Law, brother of Joanna Law. The title track is also a Funky Ginger production.

Taylor returned to Kool & The Gang in 1995 but is not to be found on Kool and the Gang's latest release, Still Kool (2007). Taylor released his fourth solo album, A Brand New Me, in 2000.

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  • Long Hot Extended Club
  • Single Version
  • Flintstrumental
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: JT Taylor.rar Filesize: 35.47 MB

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Thursday, 9 July 2009

Zushii - There Ain't Enough Love 1989

Red Fly Records FB 3005
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Back in the mid 80's, Jason Halliday & Carol McLeod wanted to do 'something different'. Together they began to create tracks with a mix of soul, funk and jazz and Zushii came into being. They were spotted by producer Nigel Wright of Shakatak fame who signed them to his label and released their first single Surprise Surprise in 1987.

Shortly after, a difference in opinion between Zushii and Wright resulted in them parting company. The group decided to start their own label with long term friend Ricky McKenzie, which gave them another two releases, There Ain't Enough Love & A little Sunshine.

There Ain't Enough Love took the South London dance floors by storm. Its bad bassline and jangly melody instantly recognisable, it was a firm favourite with Soul fans. Both mixes are equally good but the flip side The Like A Child Mix (labelled Sweet Mix on the cover?) has a minute plus lead in before the vocal drops which is good for radio chatter or DJ mixing of course.

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  • Original Version
  • The Like A Child Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Zushii.rar Filesize: 31.81 MB

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Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Cashflow - Can't Let Love Pass Us By 1986

Club Records JABX 33
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Their debut LP, Ca$hflow, yielded the hit, Mine All Mine, in 1986, which did well internationally and in clubs, but oddly they put their other certified dance floor killer tune on the flip. The follow up release contained a handful of good tunes from the album.

Can't Let Love Pass Us By is a good song, a great album track, but it lacked that special something to make it a hit. I Need Your Love is more of the same but the essential tune on this 12" release was (as Frank said) Spending Money. Not as essential as Mine All Mine and Party Freak but it's certainly a keeper. They issued a follow-up LP, Big Money, in 1988 which to my knowledge never made so much as a dent in the UK Soul scene.

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  • Can't Let Love Pass Us By
  • I Need Your Love
  • Spending Money
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Cashflow.rar Filesize: 35.92 MB

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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Lowrell - Mellow Mellow Right On 1979

AVI Records AVISL 108
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This one goes back a few years and I must apologise for the cover coz it's a bit grubby.

Chicago's Lowrell Simon started out in The LaVondells in the 1960's. When the Vondells broke up, he formed The Lost Generation between 1969 and 1974. He went on to write many successful songs including All About the Paper for Loleatta Holloway in 1979.

In the late 1970's, Simon began recording under his first name. He signed to Liberace's label, AVI Records, and released an album in late 1979 entitled Lowrell. The album's second single, Mellow Mellow Right On was a #32 U.S. R&B hit and reached #37 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1979.

There's no great difference for the casual listener but I always played the Alternative Version. Although they are listed as Vocal and Instrumental tracks, the song is continuous on both sides. For this reason I have ripped in both formats, 4 songs and 2 songs, both of which have been added to the rar file. You can choose which to save and delete the other. The song has long since become an anthem and has been sampled by many, including by Massive Attack, Imagination and Common.

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  • Vocal
  • Instrumental
  • Alternative Vocal
  • Alternative Instrumental
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Lowrell.rar Filesize: 94.97MB

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Posted By Mickey P. to The Soul Vendor on 7/07/2009 12:00:00 PM