Monday, 9 March 2009

Mary J. Blige - You Remind Me 1993

MCA Records MCSTD 1770

"Mary, Mary, Mary! You Remind Me..."
This is a freekin' gem, I absolutely love this tune. Mary J. Blige dropped the bomb in '92. Know about Mary, then skip the next three paragraphs.

In 1988, Mary J. Blige recorded an impromptu cover of Anita Baker's Caught Up In the Rapture at a recording booth in a local mall (Damn, anybody remember them, they were cool!). Her mother's boyfriend at the time later played the recording to Jeff Redd, a recording artist and A&R runner for Uptown Records. In 1989, she was signed to the label; becoming the company's youngest and first female artist.

After signing to Uptown, Blige did session work as a background singer for her label mates. In 1990, she was introduced as a background singer for Redd, during a performance at the Apollo Theatre. The same year she also sang the hook on I'll Do 4 U by Father MC, also appearing in the video. In 1991, she was spotted on the syndicated show, Showtime at the Apollo, singing back up for Jeff Redd. Mary's first national debut appearance was in the summer of 1992 when she appeared on Yo! MTV Raps performing What's the 411? with Grand Puba.

Production for Blige's debut album began in 1991, with Sean "Puffy" Combs (at the time a fledgling A&R executive at Uptown) largely overseeing the project. Also enlisted were some of the top R&B and hip hop producers of the time, among them Tony Dofat, Mark Morales and Cory Rooney, Dave "Jam" Hall, and DeVante Swing. On July 28, 1992, Uptown Records released What's the 411? her debut album. You Remind Me was the album's lead-off single, peaked at 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on the R&B singles chart that summer.

In the UK, the track was presented to Ray Hayden who gave it the Opaz treatment. It was a fair track to begin with, the Album Version has a long, drawn out, Diva-ish intro before the street beats drop. Mark Morales gave it some serious beats on the Ad's Mix, making the best of that hooky chorus. Quite what Opaz were expected to do I don't know. I guess it was just a case of getting the UK's hottest, up and coming name on the release.

However, Hayden successfully takes the whole deal up another couple of notched to the left. In the Straight From The Heart Mix, we still have all the major hooks but they sound so much classier. It's still Street but... It's Schmoov! Listen to that bass roll, that scream sample, oh my, yes sir, this is where it's at.

The Straight From The Heart Radio Mix is not simply an edit of the Straight From The Heart Mix, it seems to have more going on but sounds even less cluttered. I would probably favour this mix if it didn't have an early fade, Mr. Black? Mr. V? Any other afficiando's out there that can shed some light here. Maybe I'm hearing an illusion or is there an ultimate mix that I'm missing?

  • Straight From The Heart Radio Mix
  • Straight From The Heart Mix
  • Album Version
  • Ad's Radio Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Mary J Blige.rar File size: 27.11 MB


  1. I love this song!! I think What's The 411? is one of the alltime great soul/R&B albums, it's so strong all the way through.

    I've got the CD Single for "Reminisce" at homr, which I'll put on here ASAP - there's a brilliant mix on there that uses the sax break from Pete Rock & CL Smooth's "TROY - They Reminisce Over You".

    Ace post, Mick!

  2. Another cool post. There were three great MJB singles with UK remixes from that first album - this one, the Drizabone remix of "Reminisce", and the Young Disciples/Femi remix of "Real Love"... don't suppose anyone has the latter ("Real Love" UK remix) to upload??
    I have the 12" Drizabone remix of "Reminisce" if anyone needs.

  3. Yes please Sasha, April and Garcia produced some quality music around that period.

  4. Here ya go - "Reminisce" (Drizabone 12" remix) - Mary J. Blige.

    The Femi remix of "Real Love" is bloody great too... I have it on 12" back home (overseas), but alas not here in the UK.... I'm continuing my hunt for CD version of it....

  5. Great post, Mr. Mickey P!
    I have UK Mix of Real Love(A.K.A. Phat Mix).
    This samples "Roy Ayers/Love Will Bring Us Back Together".

  6. My 12" of "You Remind Me" is the US Promo & has the Daddy Hip Hop mix & one called Bentley's Radio Mix (i think) which uses the bassline from Dennis Edwards "Dont Look Any Further"

    Mary tracks always used to get great remixes!

    BadBoy was good back then!


  7. The Real Love CDS/mixes I'm desperately searching for are Tracks 3 + 4 on the following line-up (I mean, look who joined the remix sessions!):

    Mary J Blige* - Real Love
    MCA Records
    MCSTD 1721
    CD, Maxi-Single
    UK / 1992

    1. Real Love (Album Version)
    2. Real Love (Hip Hop Mix)
    3. Real Love (The Fresh 'N Funky Mix)*
    4. Real Love (The Talkin' Love Mix)*

    Guitar - Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick* (tracks: 3,4)
    Keyboards - Omar (tracks: 3,4) , Philip Linton (tracks: 3,4)
    Keyboards, Guitar - Mad Marco* (tracks: 3,4)
    Mixed By, Engineer - Brendan Lynch (tracks: 3,4)
    Producer - Mark C. Rooney , Mark Morales
    Producer [Additional] - Femi Fem (tracks: 3,4)
    Remix - Young Disciples (tracks: 3,4)

  8. Holy Cow! Fancy have a studio session and getting Bluey in as a session musician. Respect!

    They kept these quiet, I had no idea?

  9. Holy crap - YD's, Omar & Bluey on the remix for Real Love?

    How the hell did I ever manage to miss THAT???!?

    I'm off work today, so I'll have a dig around and see if I cant find the Reminisce CD Single to post.

  10. Thank you Mickey, Kimba and Sasha, really i love Mary J's earliest works, in my mind always remember the word "funny".

    Mickey, please check Lynden David Hall - Do I qualify - post. I just got another three CDS from him, UK releases and maybe you would like to share these in the post.

    Kind regards

  11. Thanxxx a lot for this Blog and thanx Mickey, Kymba, for the post.

  12. I was given the bentley mix vinyl by a house DJ on a crazy night in leics. Awesome remix. Peace Delasy®

  13. Hey guys, Thanks for posting all this amazing music!! Much appreciated!

    Does anyone know of a mix of 'You Remind Me' done by Jazzie B of Soul II Soul?? I remember this when the song first came out in '93 here in the US. I love Mary but wasn't a huge fan of this song until I heard the Jazzie B remix. It was similar in tone to the Jazzie B remix of Johnny Gil's "Wrap My Body" -- Anyone remember or have this mix?


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