Tuesday, 30 June 2009

SWV - Right Here 1993

RCA Records 74321-16048-2

Following on from the Michael Jackson memoriam post, I thought it was a good connection. The breakthrough hit for SWV was the smooth 1992 release, Right Here, this was soon to be followed up with I'm So Into You, establishing the trio as a commercial force early in 1993.

Then came two number one R&B singles in a row: Weak (which I can't find) and Right Here: The Human Nature Mixes. Stating the obvious I know but it's a remix of their first single that features samples of Human Nature from Michael Jackson's 1982 epic album Thriller. It's a simple remix, SIIS style beats with MJ harmonising on the chorus, but it turned the track into an absolute monster and it became an international success.

With eight mixes to choose from and no turkeys to speak of, this is a healthy release! On the downside, the commercial success of the Human Nature Radio Mix was so effective that you probably don't need to hear it again, ever. That of course, is not an option because it will be played on national radio everyday. You're bound to hear it somewhere.

That said, I ask you to listen, at least once, to the Funkyman 12" and dig the ruffness. Great scratching and boombox beats, you know it's good. Other enjoyable mixes for me are the UK Back To Black Mix and my ultimate Quiet Storm Mix.

  • Human Nature Radio Mix
  • Back To Nature Mix
  • UK Back To Black Mix
  • Quiet Storm Mix
  • Funkyman 12"
  • G-Man 12"
  • Smooth Bam Jam Mix
  • Original LP Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: SWV.rar Filesize: 92.44 MB

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Soul Family Sensation - I Don't Even Know... 1990

One Little Indian Records 42 TP 12

In 1989 Johnny Male teamed up with Guy Batson and Jhelisa Anderson to begin the project Soul Family Sensation. Their debut album 'New Wave' was praised by the UK media as was the single, I Don't Even Know If I Should Call You Baby. Despite interest from the style press and radio play for '...Baby', SFS bombed. Too white for the dance kids, too black for the indie kids, SFS were stuck in a sort of no-mans land in-between.

Their second LP, Burger Habit, recorded without Jhelisa under the band name of Sensation, disappeared without a trace and the band split. Male - after reputedly writing songs for Jimmy Nail - turned up next in Republica.

Jhelisa Anderson has become an accomplished solo artist singing, writing & producing under her first name Jhelisa. She has made two albums and struck gold with Friendly Pressure. Her sister is P.Y. or Pamela Anderson (No, not that one.) who sang with D*Note and Incognito and of course, her cousin is Carleen Anderson, daughter of Vicki Anderson & Bobby Byrd.

I Don't Even Know If I Should Call You Baby failed to gain it's deserved acclaim, probably because the artist and title are far too long. It was re-released in 1991 and spent 4 weeks, reaching the dizzy heights of #49 in the UK Charts. I love this song, both versions here are absolutely sublime. Don't be misled by the alternate title, it's another version of ...Baby but the other track, Beat Author, it's probably a good indication of what the album is about?
I've included BadBoy's video so you can hear the song.

  • I Don't Even Know If I Should Call You Baby
  • Beat Author (Howl Mix)
  • I Could Read All The Letters (The Karen Carpenter Late Night Mix)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Soul Family Sensation.rar Filesize: 26.23 MB

Sly & Robbie - The Rhythm Killers E.P. 1987

4th & Broadway Promo BOOPS 1

This was a 'handout' at the annual DMC Convention in London 1987. To promote the Rhythm Killers album which was soon to be released. The notes on the 12" sleeve are rather misleading, suggesting that Fire is edited. Not so, Boops (Here To Go) would be the lead off single from the album. On the album, it's preceded by Fire, a cover of the Ohio Players 70's classic and followed by Let's Rock forming the 'so-called' 18 minute opus. Side A of this release is basically straight of the album.

C.J. (Christopher John) Mackintosh was born in Paris and raised in London. In 1987, he made a name for himself by winning the UK title in the DMC Mix Championship. Later that year he hooked up with Dave Dorrell and created the monster that was Pump Up The Volume but for now, Fourth & Broadway supplied him with the Sly & Robbie instrumentals and "C.J." Scratch was born. This is what it's all about, CJ doing what he does best.

The Boops part of "CJ" Scratch was remade and used as the official B-Side of the Boops (Here To Go) 12" release. This particular recording was never officially released though. Enjoy!

  • Fire
  • Boops (Here To Go)
  • Fire (Instrumental)
  • Boops (Instrumental)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Sly & Robbie.rar Filesize: 41.04 MB

Michael Jackson 1958 - 2009

Epic Records 662695 2

The Soul Vendor site was not considering Michael Jackson releases for inclusion. I'm not a particularly great fan of his work although I do recognise his worth and fully condone his place at the pinnacle of Black Music history. He was at the cutting edge of Soul & Dance music in 1979 and given the events of June 25th, I thought recognition was needed.

There have been moments in Jackson's career, mostly with Quincy Jones, that are unequalled and unparalleled. He took his cue from the Godfather of Soul but I personally believe he equalled James Brown's contribution without plagiarising. The Michael Jackson DMC Megamix on the first release here is a good summation of his work put together by Alan Coulthard of the Disco Mix Club.

Earth Song was Jackson's first song that dealt with the environment and animal welfare. Reviews were generally favourable, but some charged that the song sounded pompous, accompanied by a lavish music video shot on four geographical regions. The song was a top five hit in most European countries. In the UK, it remains Jackson's best-selling single. Earth Song was not released as a single in the United States?

Jackson performed the song at the 1996 BRIT Awards, but was interrupted when Jarvis Cocker stormed the stage, apparently offended with the imagery presented. Jackson went on to receive recognition from various animal and environmental organizations. It went on to receive a Grammy nomination in 1997.

The song was written and composed by Jackson; the task of production was split between Jackson, David Foster and Bill Bottrell.

  • Earth Song
  • Earth Song (Hani's Club Experience)
  • Michael Jackson DMC Megamix
  1. Billie Jean
  2. Rock With You
  3. Bad
  4. Thriller
  5. Don't Stop Till You Get Enough
  6. Black Or White
  7. Scream
  8. Wanna Be Startin' Something

Epic Records 657774 2

Remember the Time was released in March 1992 as the second single off of Dangerous. The song was a successful attempt by Jackson to create a New Jack Swing-flavored R&B jam with producer Teddy Riley, which received the US Soul Train Award for Best Male R&B Single.

Written and composed by Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson and Bernard Belle, the Silky Soul 7" Mix is a house mix by Steve 'Silk' Hurley who was prominent on the dance scene at the time. The New Jack Main Mix is, as the title suggests, the one to go for. Mixed by Riley and Jean-Marie Harvet under the pseudonym of the NJS Future Team, it is clearly how Riley wanted it to be.

Come Together is a cover of The Beatles classic which was performed by Jackson and used as the music for the closing credits of his 1987 Moonwalker movie.

  • Remember The Time
  • Remember The Time (Silky Soul 7")
  • Remember The Time (New Jack Main Mix)
  • Come Together

Epic Records 658018 2

In The Closet: Mixes Behind Door #1

In the Closet was originally conceived as a duet between Jackson and Madonna. According to a 1992 interview with British journalist Jonathan Ross, Madonna claimed she worked on some lyrical ideas for the song but when she presented them to Michael, he decided they were too provocative and she decided not to continue with the project. Despite the song's suggestive title its lyrics do not allude to hidden sexual orientation but rather a concealed relationship.

The song, written and produced by Teddy Riley and Michael Jackson, is typical of Riley's New Jack Swing style. The original song is a duet and the female vocal is credited to Mystery Girl but was later revealed to be Princess Stéphanie of Monaco. Naomi Campbell mimes the lyrics in the music video.

The first three remixes are dance mixes by Tommy Musto and the last is a Def Mix, down tempo house style, by Frankie Knuckles himself entitled The Promise. They are all good quality mixes for various dancefloors but KI's 12" Mix is my personal favourite, mixed by Kiyamma Griffin & Vincent Herbert for 3 Boyz From Newark productions, as it stays true to the original R&B format.

  • 7" Edit
  • Club Mix
  • The Underground Mix
  • Touch Me Dub
  • KI's 12"
  • The Promise

The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Michael Jackson.rar Filesize: 180.12 MB

Friday, 19 June 2009

Alyson Williams - I Need Your Lovin' 1989

Def Jam Records 655143 6

Alyson Williams, daughter of the jazz bandleader and trumpet player Bobby Booker, had sung background vocals for various artists including, Curtis Hairston, Melba Moore, B. B. & Q. Band, Cashflow, Unlimited Touch, Bobby Brown and Barbara Mitchell. She joined High Fashion with Meli'sa Morgan in 1980. The group, which also included Eric McClinton, was put together by Jacques Fred Petrus in New York. They had a couple of albums with some success until Morgan left the band in 1983.

After they disbanded, Williams sang on Please Don't Break My Heart by The Affair in 1985 before moving onto a solo career. Her first single, Yes We Can Can, was first released on Profile Records in 1986 but it was when she joined the Def Jam label in 1987 that she found prominence.

She established herself as an in demand vocalist, duetting with many of her label mates including Chuck Stanley, Make You Mine Tonight (included on this release) and Oran "Juice" Jones on How To Love Again.

She was the first R&B female singer signed to Def Jam, where she released her debut Raw in 1989. The album produced the singles My Love is So Raw, featuring female rapper Nikki D, and Sleep Talk. I Need Your Lovin' was remixed by Soul II Soul's Jazzie B and reached #8 in the UK Top 40.

My Love is So Raw, is remixed here by Dave Dorrell & CJ Mackintosh who were popular at the time as MARRS with their hit Pump Up The Volume. The Baby Love Mix which I expected to be dance fodder is actually well handled and definitely worth a listen.

  • I Need Your Lovin' (Extended Remix)
  • Make You Mine Tonight
  • My Love Is So Raw (Baby Love Mix)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Alyson Williams.rar Filesize: 39.07 MB

Monday, 15 June 2009

Kool & The Gang - Raindrops 1989

Mercury Records MERCD 293

Formed by Robert "Kool" Bell, his brother Ronald Bell in New Jersey, Kool & the Gang played jazz before discovering funk alongside the likes of Sly & the Family Stone and James Brown. They were signed by the De-Lite label in the early 70s and exploded in 1974 with Jungle Boogie. However, as quickly as they rode to fame, Kool & the Gang faded.

In 1979 they brought in J.T. Taylor and pop/jazz producer Eumir Deodato for another try, an album called Ladies Night. The title track and the midtempo Too Hot were the beginning of a string of top 10 pop and soul hits for the group that would make Kool & the Gang the top selling soul group of the 80s. Ladies Night was followed by the even bigger Celebration, the joyous title cut of which became the lynch pin of every wedding and birthday party ever since. The infectiousness of their music often went to the extreme but for every Get Down On It there is a Summer Madness.

Deodato left as producer in 1983 and J.T.Taylor left the group in 1987 to pursue a brief but modestly successful solo career (he had one major hit with All I Want Is Forever, a duet with Regina Belle, and a couple of dancefloor grooves, Long Hot Summer and Feel The Need in 1991).

This single release, Raindrops, came out in 1989. It's written and produced by Chuckii Booker with a 12" Remix created by the mighty Blaze. The extra track is an instrumental mix of Amore, Amore, penned by Denise Rich & Randy Edelman and produced by Bell under his pseudonym of Khalis Bayyan. I've not come across a vocal mix but suspect it would be pretty good.

Along with the uncertainty of the group, who had lost two original members after Taylor left, their finances went into meltdown. If this release had become a hit there would probably have been an album in this style but there are many other talents from this era with K&TG connections.

The group kept going but never had another chart hit. They spent the next decade on the oldies circuit, Taylor rejoined for a 1996 reunion tour and the album State of Affairs, which was ignored by both Pop and Soul radio.

  • Raindrops
  • Raindrops (12" Remix)
  • Amore, Amore (Instrumental)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Kool & The Gang.rar Filesize: 32.51 MB