Monday, 2 March 2009

52nd Street - I Can't Let You Go 1986

Ten Records TEN D 114-12

In 1986 52nd Street released the sublime I Can't Let You Go in it's Extended format. The Nick Martinelli production is first class, as always, and Diane Charlemagne's exquisite voice does the track proud. The Jazz Version on the flip is simply an instrumental but still a great addition because the music on this release is so good on its own. It is slightly marred by an early fade out, I personally would have used the extended instrumental but that is just me being picky. This is a beautiful piece of music people, have no doubt BUT I didn't know that when I purchased this 12"?

52nd Street were initially on Factory records and consisted of Beverly McDonald, Derek Johnson, John Dennison, Tony Henry & Tony Thompson. There was much array and disorganisation and the band fell apart. Diane Charlemagne joined in late '84 and they signed to Virgin Records and were handed over to Martinelli at Watchout for production. Charlemagne, even in 1984, was one of the strongest female soul voices in the UK.
"Diane Charlemagne is one of those rare sparkling talents to stem from the great British Isles. Her voice has been described as a soulful, sensual, swooping energy to flow through an eclectic collection of music. Her songwriting claims an innocent beauty with her use of pseudonyms.

Her roots began in Manchester's Moss Side in the early 80s scene. Starting off in a battle of the bands scenario Diane soon became an associated member of legendary R'n'B group 52nd Street. Picked up by Factory Records (New Order) and later managed by ex wife of legendary Tony Wilson (Hacienda), Diane continued her early successes with the band to include 'Tell Me How It Feels' which went on to tear up the US Billboard Charts reaching number 15."
Diane Charlemagne

In 1985, this awesome bass and beats groove thundered through speakers across the UK and Tell Me (How It Feels) had arrived. The superb Extended version just rumbles and sweeps through your speakers. Sitting here listening while I type, Diane's vocals are sending shivers down my spine, although I guess I could try turning the heating on?

On the flip we find the fantastic M+M Style remix of Tell Me which takes everything that is great about this track and manages to distill it into under four minutes without leaving the listener feeling cheated. It also has a great accapella intro and outro. Two excellent mixes of one of the best tunes to come out of the 80's Groove UK scene.

Yes Sir, this was a great double pack!

The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: 52nd Street.rar File size: 58.4 MB


Diane Charlemagne went on to sing vocals on many projects in the 90's. She is the voice on Nomad Soul's Candy Mountain and Goldie's Inner City Life.

Derek Johnson went on to produce and write on Caron Wheeler's albums.


  1. I was about to comment on hwo she voiced Inner City Life when I noticed the trivia bit at the bottom.

    She also did "Don't Follow" with Cyantific, which is a superb slice of D&B.

    Fantastic voice, and true UK Soul Royalty.

    'Nother great post, Mickey!! :)

  2. Wow, I actually have this 2x12 in my collection, thanks for digitizing!

    Funny how a Philly native like Nick Martinelli became an architect of the UK soul scene in the 80's...

    Diane still does a lot of guest work, I heard her on the Joey Negro Sunburst Band album most recently. Doesn't she also record under the name D'Empress?

  3. It's crazy to think of her working with major D&B acts like London Electricity, doing live performances with Moby and then...

    "Diane was part of The Gospel Choir performance of 'Cry Of Innocence' – the opera in respect of the tragic death of 19 year old Stephen Lawrence"

    Very versatile artist with an open mind. I like that. ;-)

  4. and Diane had her biggest chart success with Urban Cookie Collective... :-P

  5. the magic on production that was nick martinelli;)everything he touched was pure magic.saw these live at the hammersmith supporting alexander oneal & cherelle :)

  6. thanks 4 the memories

  7. Hello, is this blog still alive? I would love to get this file if you still have it? The download link is dead unfortunately. Such a great track!


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