Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Kenny Thomas - Best Of You 1991

Cooltempo Records COOLCD 243
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Kenny Thomas, born in Islington, North London, declares himself a Londoner through and through, although he is actually half Spanish. Word of mouth on the UK soul underground brought Kenny to prominence in the first half of the 1990s. He made a huge impact with 2 Top 10 albums, the Top 10 smash Thinking About Your Love, 3 Top 20 singles, Outstanding, Best of You and Trippin On Your Love. Another four Top 40 UK singles include the superb Tender Love and Piece By Piece.

Best Of You was written by Booker T. Jones, the renowned organist and leader of the unparalleled Stax house band Booker T. & the MG's, who became a solo artist after the breakup of the legendary quartet.

Jones was the first to leave the group in 1968, relocating to Los Angeles and producing Bill Withers 1971 gold record Ain't No Sunshine. This was the title track from his Best Of You album released in 1980.

An inspired choice by an unamed person led to Kenny Thomas recording the track with producer-extraodinaire Ian Green and releasing it as his third single in 1991 and in a masterstroke of unparalelled genius, Simon Dunmore got called in to provide a remix.

Simon Dunmore started as a DJ in 1982 and got involved with A&R in 1989. His soul-boy background in West London led inevitably to his working in a record shop (Soul & Disco Centre, Rayners Lane), promoting his gigs and also getting involved in journalism with Blues & Soul, magazine.

His views were very fresh and modern for the day and his suggestion that Ce Ce Rogers - Someday was a soul record that should get played on the Northern Soul scene earned him a death threat! He laughs about it now,

"Whenever I dip into the modern soul scene these days those guys are still playing exactly the same records. I couldnt ever imagine not being interested in new music."
His first A&R job came at Cooltempo, where he signed Juliet Roberts, working with a varied roster that included the likes of Arrested Development, Gangstarr, Adeva and Shara Nelson. During that time he also remixed tracks for the label, some under the pseudonym of Touchdown.

For Simon, house music was a natural progression from jazz, soul and funk and he embraced the new era with open arms. Its an attitude he retains, looking forward, not back, taking Defected Records from strength to stregth though never forgetting his musical roots.

A good song is a good song and with Booker T writing it, you can't really go wrong. Kenny Thomas is a fair vocalist and his work is of a good standard, even if it is very Pop flavoured. The Touchdown Mix fixes that and more, Dunmore has served up a slice of highly refined, top quality soul. For me personally, Kenny Thomas does not get any better than this!

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  • 7" A
  • 12" A
  • Touchdown Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Kenny Thomas.rar Filesize: 22.79 MB

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Extra Trivia:
Kenny's first album Voices went double platinum in 1991 and led to Brit Award Nominations as Best British Male Vocalist and Best British Newcomer. His second 1993 set entitled Wait for Me hit the Top 10 and gave us 4 chart singles.

Kenny still performs, by public demand, in venues, theatres, clubs and soul weekenders throughout the UK and Europe.

5 comments:

  1. Classic track for me, one of most played in tha clubs in Brazil, "vera Cruz Club" at suburbana avenue.

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  2. Thanks for sharing these mixes and the great bio on Kenny and Simon Dunmore. A lot of it is new to me.

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  3. Confession time. Most of this info is out there somewhere. I just collect it together and put it with what I know was happening at the time? ;-)

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  4. To me the Touchdown mix is one of the best mixes of a UK tune... the mellow sax an strings is straight off the Bladerunner OST ( Bladerunner Blues).
    IMHO the touchdown mix should be played directly after the BRunner blues tune... it just sounds like a natural progression....a mega mellow, extended version....


    Nitro

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  5. Now you mention it Nirish, how well that would work. Soul Chill Out intro, OMG!

    Actually, it's about time somebody covered that joint with real instruments and shit. Imagine The Brandford Marsalis Quartet doing this piece, a real mute horn and no fuzzy section toward the end. Damn!
    ;-)

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