Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Chaka Khan - Love You All My Lifetime 1992

Warner Brothers 9362-40412-2

Yvette Marie Stevens was born on a Naval Training Station, Illinois. She adopted the African name Chaka Khan while working for the Black Panthers circa '69-70-ish. A few years later she teamed up with Kevin Murphy and Andre Fisher to form Rufus, debuting in 1973 the group earned a few gold & platinum albums before she went solo in 1978.

Chaka kicked off her own career with I’m Every Woman (written by Ashford & Simpson) and has never looked back. 1984 was such a great year for her that following it successfully was virtually impossible. In comparison, she could only go downhill. In 1989, after a couple of flakey albums, a concerted effort was made to put Chaka Khan back in the public eye. The excellent Life Is A Dance - Remix Project, was a retrospective of a decade in the hands of 11 acclaimed remix producers of the era. It scored well and her name was back on the front page, just as well really coz....

Chaka Khan returned to form with this 1992 gem. The Woman I Am is one of Chaka's best ever solo albums, her voice crystal clear and the tunes consistently melodic. Khan co-wrote five of the songs and the strong songwriting and vocal performance more than compensate for the early 90's production. This one of Chaka's most cohesive solo albums, despite having eight different production combinations on thirteen tracks, it all goes together well. This album just shows Chaka Khan at her best, Songs like Love You All My Lifetime, the single from the album, puts Khan's voice out in the forefront where it belongs. The album cut is a powerful and stunning R'n'B number with a very infectious hook. On this release, Ben Wolf & Andy Dean have done a great job on The Diva Edit. This 8 minute Boilerhouse opus utilises all the strongest aspects of the song while remaining faithful to its original purpose. Elsewhere, The Love Suite is handled by a backroom team of some repute. The mix is credited to David Shaw & Winston Jones (the only team to contribute a second track on The Remix Project album) but... a young Cevin Fisher (Burnin' Up) is on the keyboards along with Fred McFarlane (Somebody Else's Guy & Show Me Love) and the whole deal is engineered by Dave Darlington (NYC's busiest engineer, has his name on more vinyl than Porky Prime Cut). As you would expect with those names involved, this is a House remix, built for the dancefloor and it does the job well. The Woman I Am won a Grammy Award back around 1993 and is probably Chaka at her finest. If you like the album version I'd reccomend the album.

Three decades and five Grammy Awards down the line she is still going strong. Chaka's latest album, Funk This celebrates 30 years of solo career and it sounds pretty damn good, I guess she's set for a few more years in the public arena.

  • Album Version Edit
  • The Diva Edit
  • Garage Mix With Strings
  • Love Suite 12" Mix Act 1
  • Love Suite 12" Mix Act 2 Dub
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Chaka Khan.rar Filesize: 45.72 MB

Cold endless summer days
Since you went away
Tore my heart in two
And now wandering through the night
I see the city lights
Feelin' so in need
I'll never be at peace

Love you all my lifetime
Lost to you eternally
Everything in my life
Tells me we were meant to be

Strange, something's always wrong
Dreams don't last that long
What part did I play in that game
And now, now you turn away
Excuses are too late
Feelin' so in need, i'll never be at peace

Love you all my lifetime
Lost to you eternally
Everything in my life
Tells me we were meant to be

I hope you can remember
Hopin' for another chance,
I hope that you can see that
We can start a new romance

You make the rain and the night go away
You make the sun rise up in my sky
You make the rain and the night go away
You make the sun rise up in my sky

Monday, 28 July 2008

Carlton - Do You Dream 1990

3 Stripe Music SNMX 1

Another oddity from 1990 was this offering by Carlton. From the album, The Call Is Strong, produced by Smith & Mighty, the Bristol based 3 Stripe Studio production team who's signature style consisted of adding dubby sounds and trippy atmospherics to the very fashionable Soul II Soul beats of the era. Carlton had limited but effective success. Smith & Mighty had far more longevity, pioneering Drum & Bass via Trip Hop.

Not for the purists, I would have preferred to have started with Cool With Nature or even Love and Pain but I can't find them at present so I'm limited to Do You Dream which can be a bit overwhelming. High BPM's here and a frenetic percussion style, Part 2: Can't Pay Won't Pay is a dancefloor marathon with lots of breakdowns. Come On Back gives you a better idea of Carlton's style but if in doubt, listen to the Accapella. Carlton McCarthy has soul!

  • Do You Dream
  • Come On Back
  • Do You Dream Part 2
  • Do You Dream (Accapella)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Carlton - Do You Dream.rar Filesize: 31.5 MB

Maybe we could leave the crowd
Bodies talk, without sound
All alone out on the street
As we breathe, through the rain

When you hold me, do you dream
Does it seem, that you'll stay
Come together's what I dream
Linked together, like a chain

Can't break free, have to play
Can't be dreaming, its too real
How you feel, got to stay

When you hold me do you dream
We're linked together, like a chain
Inside my dreams,
We're linked together
Like a chain

Wop Bop - Something Special 1991

Ten Records TENX 375 DJ

Wop Bop Torledo are Maryanne Morgan and Gary Stoner. Morgan provides Keyboards & Vocals while Stoner plays Bass, Guitar & Drum Programming, Both write, produce and arrange. Other musicians involved on their album include Michael Ruff (Keyboards), Jess Bailey (Keyboards), Gary Barnacle (Saxophone), Chris "Snake" Davies (Saxophone), Ron Asprey (Saxophone), John Thirkell (Trumpet), Louis Jardim (Percussion) and Mick Talbot (Style Council) plays Piano on Kissaway. The self titled album, Wop Bop Torledo, produced and engineered by Curtis Schwartz, was released in 1990 on Atlantic Records as was the original Kissaway 12" and previous releases. Something Special is released under Wop Bop. Still Something Special is included on the album and Kissaway is included on this 12". I suspect the 12" A - part of the remix title refers to the original Kissaway 12" placing. You can see from this here White Label Promo, that my information is zero?

Something Special is remixed by Carl McIntosh of Loose Ends fame and his Bubbler Extended Version is easily the better mix. The Kissaway (Soulamuffin Mix) was crafted by Femi Fem of the Young Disciples and is definitely the track that makes this release worth having. The Accapella Mix of Something Special may come in handy for the mixes though. Enjoy Nitro. ;-)

  • Something Special (Carl McIntosh Bubbler Extended Version)
  • Something Special (Wop Bop Extended Version)
  • Kissaway(12" A-Soulamuffin Mix)
  • Something Special (Accapella Mix)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Wop Bop.rar Filesize: 32.23 MB

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Soul II Soul - Just Right 1992

Ten Records TENDG 410

Jazzie B's voice was a driving force behind the early Soul II Soul sound. With his unique accent and smoky vocals he was able to incorporate a reggae influence reflecting the sound system roots, His unique brand of soft rap was very poetic that meshed well with the dance music but he also looked forward and strived to remain original.
"As soon as people think they have deciphered the entire Soul II Soul vibe, my goal is to add something unexpected,"
Jazzie B
Before the release of Volume III: Just Right in 1992, Nellee Hooper left the group to pursue a career as a producer. The third album reflected some other changes too, SIIS introduced the use of male vocalists for the first time, Kofi, and Richie Stephens share vocal duties with Caron Wheeler. This single features the title track from the album featuring UK soul legend Rick Clarke on vocals. Jazzie B also takes the lead on Intelligence and on this release, works well with Gang Starr's Guru on the Jazzie II Guru Mix remixed by DJ Premier. The 9 am Mix, by the Funki Dreds, is a pretty cool 8 minute plus affair which starts of as a nice vocal bubbler then breaks down into an old school dub plate. Nice!

If It's Teaching That You Need
Then I Hope That You Can See
Time Is Not A Shadow
If You Can Stand The Test Of Time
Then I Hope That You Can Find
The Truth That You've Been Searching For
Make Everything Just Right

There Will Always Be A Fountain
As Big As A Mountain
Where The Flow Of Love Will Grow
Just To Capture All This Pleasure
As Much As You Can Measure
Will Take Something To Know

Make Everything Just Right
Make Everything Alright
Make Everything Just Right

Bridge Is Not A Shadow
Keep It Up
You Got To Keep It On
Keep It On The Ground
Move On Keep On Moving
Jazzie B Groove On

The Vibes Alive On Which We Thrive
Doctor Fish Is Our Favourite Dish
Which Rely On To Be Strong
Just To Carry On Doing What
We Do Best I Guess Just To Keep
Rick In Check And Make Sure You
Watch Every Step You Take
To Make Everything All Right
Like A Peaceful World In The Sunlight

Now If You Put Your Hands In Mine
We'll Stand The Test Of Time
And You Know Our Love Will Grow
Just Like The Hands Of Time
Our Love Will Always Shine
Shine On Through The Night
Just Right

  • Just Right (Club Mix)
  • Just Right (Jinx Mix)
  • Intelligence (9 am)
  • Intelligence (Jazzie II Guru Mix)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: SIIS Just Right.rar Filesize: 35.89 MB

Saturday, 26 July 2008

The James Taylor Quartet - Love Will Keep Us Together 1996

Acid Jazz Records JAZID 112 CD

Featuring Alison Limerick on vocals. Alison is a London girl, who started out as a backing vocalist in the 80s. She is best known for her 90s club anthems, her most successful being Where Love Lives, which was originally a massive club success in 1991. After her appearance on this track, Where Love Lives was remixed and made the top ten smash in 1996.

  • Ian Green Radio Mix
  • Full Length Album Mix
  • Mean Streets Mix
  • Love Ballad
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: JTQ Love.rar Filesize: 28.91 MB

Thursday, 24 July 2008

JTQ with Noel McKoy - Love The Life 1993

Big Life Records BLRD 93

The James Taylor Quartet are a British four-piece jazz funk band that were formed by Hammond organ player James Taylor. The core line-up includes Nigel Price (guitar), Gary Crockett (bass) and Neil Robinson (drums). Their is also a horn section, The Alive & Kicking Horns, comprising John Willmott (tenor sax/flute) and Nick Smart (trumpet) and a vocalist Yvonne Yanney (not featured on this release). Often referred to as simply JTQ, the group are affiliated to a collective of, mainly, London based UK musicians and groups, members of which, guest on each others recordings.

On this release, Noel McKoy of the group McKoy (backing vocals), is the featured guest vocalist on the track Love The Life, a classic uptempo paean to the joys of life originally included on the 1990 Do Your Own Thing album. The 12" Revisited mix is, I believe, the 1993 remix by Chris Jones & James Taylor but the original 12" came out in 1990 with Morales mixes. Alongside are two JTQ instrumental tracks, the quirky but funky Breakout from the 1993 Get Organised album and the excellent soulful jazzy, Higher World which as far as I know is only available here.

  • Love The Life (Revisited Edit)
  • Higher World
  • Love The Life (12" Revisited)
  • Breakout
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: JTQ - Life.rar Filesize: 27.13 MB

McKoy - On The Streets 1993

RighTrack Records CD TUM 7

Following the success of Fight and prior to the re-release of Family, this collaboration with James Taylor was released. Produced in conjunction with Mykaell Riley (Chinablack) it kept McKoy in the public eye. Chris Jones does a fair job of a commercial mix, as far as you can crossover with McKoy and still retain credibility, I guess. Noel's own mix, Soweto Meets Moss Side does a far better job with regard to bringing the best out of the song, in my opinion of course. The Mother Mix is really a dub. Mother (Jools Brettle & Lee Fisher) had some exposure on the dancefloors in 1993, with a tune called All Funked Up (Bosting Records) which worked quite well. This funky mix shows some of that enthusiasm and I can't help but wonder whether there was a full vocal Mother mix.

Noel Mckoy has proved a versatile artist, crossing various musical boundaries. Today, he owns his own label, RightTrack Records, and in 1998 released the album, Please Take This Personal. He has performed duets alongside Juliet Roberts, Mica Paris, Vanessa Simon and Beverley Knight. Today, Noel runs the Dutch Pot nightclub in London, where artists perform acoustic sets. These have included Omar, Lynden David Hall, Tashan and, of course, himself. He is currently working on new material.

  • 7" Version
  • Extended Mix
  • Soweto Meets Moss Side Mix
  • Mother Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: McKoy - Streets.rar Filesize: 30.76 MB

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

McKoy - Family 1994

RighTrack Records CD TUM 8

1990-92 was busy timer for Noel McKoy. At the same time as he fronted the acid jazz cult band The James Taylor Quartet, he also had some success with Snowboy (doing a cover of Leroy Hudson's Lucky Fellow and Leo's Sunship's Give Me The Sunshine) and his family as McKoy. The album 'Full Circle - Within A Spiritual Social Soul' was released in 1993 (If you like this then you need a copy) and that prompted a re-release of the highly rated but underexposed Family.

The Original Version is a beautiful slice of soul but this release called in Ray Hayden of Opaz Studios. Hayden, knowing a good song when he hears one, done the right thing and left it virtually as it was but in true Opaz style, he gives it a great big helping of schmoove. You can't fault this guy, he's a master. Walter Turbitt turns out a short but sweet Live Band Mix which is a joy to hear. Personally, I'm not keen on the Gussie P. Reggae Mix but different strokes and all that?

  • Ray Hayden's Extended Mix
  • Original Version
  • Gussie P. Reggae Mix
  • Live Band Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: McKoy - Family.rar Filesize: 27.18 MB

'For those who know Soul is what you feel not what you hear.'

Noel McKoy

McKoy - Fight 1993

RighTrack Records CD TUM 1

McKoy features Noel McKoy on lead vocals with Junette, Cornelle and Robin McKoy on backing vocals. Noel is one of the unsung heros of British Soulmusic. Not just a singer, not just a songwriter, but also someone striving to promote new artists. He has performed with several U.K. acts including Nu Colours, The Pasadena's, the James Taylor Quartet, Snowboy, Sounds Of Blackness, Steve Williamson and Linton 'Kwesi' Johnson. Noel came to prominence in 1989 when McKoy (the collective) released the songs I'm Lucky and Family.

The next single, Fight, almost broke through. It was successful enough to get a release on a major label. This release, on his own Rightrack Records, features the Original Mix, produced by Noel McKoy and remixed by Henry Holder, the most soulful version by far although it is jazzy. The City Lick Mix by Dodge & IG Culture for City Lick Productions (as opposed to Dodge City Productions), features Steffan Brown on Bass, Henry Holder, this time on Keyboards and it's engineered by Leo Grant and Giles Robinson. It's the version with the most balls and although it's into hip-hop territory it should not be missed. Paul Gotel's Belvedere Mix, I initially ignored thinking it would be some kind of trancey dance job. Big mistake, it's another soulful R&B mix with a good feel. All good people, it's all good.

  • 7" Mix
  • City Lick Mix
  • Paul Gotel Belvedere Mix
  • Original Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: McKoy - Fight.rar Filesize: 31.21 MB

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Smith & Mighty - Walk On By 1988

Three Stripe Records SAM1114

Smith & Mighty's version of Bacharach & David's Walk On By came out amongst a variety of other versions of Walk On By. Due to its ba-a-ad bassline, spasmodic drum patterns and spacious production, this version sounds unique and quite different. So many people copied this simple sound that it is hard now to see Smith & Mighty as the originators, but they were among the first. Back in the day clubbers would happily hit the floor to this. Travelling on the flipside features the manual dexterity of DJ Linx and the vocal talent of Carlton and MC Kelz. A superb follow-up to Anyone, Smith & Mighty helped forge a distinctive UK sound and need to be remembered for that.

  • Walk On By
  • Walk On By (Mellow Mix)
  • Travelling
  • Different Chapter

The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Smith and Mighty.rar Filesize: 27.38 MB

Smith & Mighty - Anyone 1988

Beatmaster Records BEAT M2 12

Smith & Mighty, consisting of Rob Smith, Ray Mighty and Pete Rose, were a production team from Bristol. The ‘Bristol Sound’ did not originate with the likes of Massive Attack and Portishead. While the Wild Bunch (a Bristol based collective) can claim credit for breaking the sound, it was Smith & Mighty that first created it. Back in the day they were on a par with acts such as Soul II Soul. Anyone was a massive smash that brought them to public attention. With Jackie Jackson on the vocals, they managed to push their formula forwards for public appreciation. They were also responsible for Wishing On A Star which was released under the name of the Fresh Four.

  • Original Version
  • Rap Mix
  • Instrumental
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Anyone.rar Filesize: 21.28 MB

Ray Simpson - Crazy Pictures 1991

Circa Records YRT 76

A "Native New Yorker" born and raised in the Bronx, sports fan Simpson is a proud husband and father living in New Jersey. As Valerie Simpson's younger brother, Ray Simpson first started as songwriter in early 70's before embarking on a solo career. He recorded Tiger Love for Warner Brothers in 1978 which was released with little success.

He is frequently employed as a background vocalist and can be found on Ashford & Simpson's Solid as well as albums by Will Downing, Diana Ross & Billy Joel. Simpson made another attempt to break through in 1991, releasing two singles. Crazy Pictures, co-penned by Bluey Maunick and produced by Michael Powell & Sir Gant, enjoyed limited success, Remixed by Frankie Knuckles and featuring additional keyboards by Satoshi Tomiie, the Classic Club Mix makes a fine noise, as does the R'n'B Extended Version. 1992's Out There, produced by Bluey Maunick, sadly disappeared without a trace.

In 1997 he joined Soul II Soul on their Time For Change album, singing lead vocal on four of the ten tracks. Pleasure Dome was released as a single and although Ray's voice has still failed to garner the recognition it deserves, the single scored well on the UK dancefloors in it's remix format.

  • Classic Club Mix
  • Classic Radio Version
  • R n B Extended Version
  • Classic Reprise
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Ray Simpson 91.rar Filesize: 44.07 MB

Monday, 21 July 2008

Caron Wheeler - Livin' In The Light 1990

RCA Records PT 43940

Caron Wheeler came to fame by writing and singing the two biggest hits for Soul II Soul (Keep On Movin' and Back to Life). Prior to SIIS she had sung backing vocals for Elvis Costello in 1983, Howard Jones in 1985, Erasure in 1988 and sang on records by Madness and Dexy's Midnight Runners, among others..

After her success with Soul II Soul, Wheeler embarked on a solo career, and released two albums: UK Blak (1990) and Beach of the War Goddess (1993). Her biggest solo success single is Livin' In The Light from her first solo album, which reached the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart. Other singles include Blue (Is The Colour Of Pain) & I Adore You. Wheeler's only other solo Top 40 hit single was the title track from UK Blak. She also featured with Soul II Soul on the soundtrack to the Angela Bassett movie, How Stella Got Her Groove Back in 1998.

  • Brixton Bass Mix
  • Meewonjammin'
  • The Original Story
  • 7"
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Caron - Light.rar Filesize: 38.63 MB

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Soul II Soul - Pleasure Dome 1997

Island Records CID 669/572 089-2

It also includes a Dream Team Mix but they spelt it differently (red tape apparently). Of course, the UK Crew will probably be well aware that the UK Garage explosion was in full effect by this time. A year earlier, Booker T remixed SIIS's 1988 Keep On Movin' for the Garage dancefloor, to full effect and here they used tried and tested Booker T again, the current favs Karl 'Tuff Enuff' Brown & Matt 'Jam' Lamont and finally the latest talent, DJ Spoony, Mikee B & Timmi Magic of the Dreem Teem.

This number, written by Beresford 'Jazzie B' Romeo and engineered by Lee Hamblin, features the vocal talents of Ray (Crazy Pictures) Simpson and that alone makes it worth a listen. The Album Version is an excellent example of classic Soul II Soul but the dancefloor didn't want slow shuffle anymore so it went to waste.

Time to put on your disco shoes, if your pacemaker's up to the challenge. Booker T revs up the BPM and turns it into a full vocal soulful house stomper. Superbly done considering the pace versus the vocal delivery, I love it. Next up, Tuff Jam. This is typical of the era. Vocal sample repeating over their UVM beat which worked the floors across the country but there ain't no soul. Dreem Teem turn out a similar effort, nothing wrong here as long as your looking for Garage and not Soul. Lastly, the Booker T Dub which absolutely tore up the 4x4 Garage events everywhere. It still does coz ain't nobody making quality UK Garage anymore. This has a serious groove and still retains a bit of that soul too?

  • Album Mix
  • Radio Edit
  • Booker T Mix
  • Tuff Jam's UVM Mix
  • Dream Team Mix II
  • Booker T Dub
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: SIIS Pleasure Dome.rar Filesize: 52.48 MB