Thursday, 31 May 2012

Special request / New for 2012

This will probably be pointless, but here goes...

If you want to download any of this amazing music, please take a moment to post a comment on why you like that song, what it means to you, some trivia about it... whatever. And don't be anonymous either. If you haven't got a Google ID then use the Name/URL option and put in your facebook or just a dummy URL. Help us keep this music alive and don't just download and take without giving back.

Show the artists some love and get involved, good people! 

Oh, and d'ya like the new look?

Peace & Luvizm.

Mickey & Kymba

A big THANK YOU to all who do take the time to join in. It really does mean a lot to us. Shout outs to active members such as Nitro, Mark S, Sasha, Frank Black aka Windowlicker, Tosh, DJ Bounce, the one Jaybilla, Seth J, BadBoySoul, and our boys from Brasil José Manuel aka Alifunk & DJ Larry (are you two still out there? We miss you guys!) and others. Your contributions to the site make all our  time & effort ripping the CDs & vinyl, scanning all the artwork and writing the reviews worthwhile.

PS - Got LOTS of really nice releases coming on here over the next few weeks. I think you're gonna love it. I can also make lossless rips of any of my posts if you ask nicely.

PPS - Have you got CD Singles or 12"s that belong on here, and can you scan the artwork? Don't be shy of posting a link for us.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mantronix (Featuring Wondress) - Got To Have Your Love (1989)

EMI / Electrola Records CDP560-20 3654 2

"Top hit in UK!!" LOL

I pestered poor Mickey to post a rip of his vinyl copy of this a couple of years back when I couldn't find my CD. I've since dug out my Mantronix records though, so this then is a new post for the CD single. Mick has already done a wicked write up as usual, but I'll add my thoughts on this one.

To be perfectly honest with you, this is a massive song for me. The album version, not included on this single, was great, but the extra Funky Drummer break (Kurtis Mantronik really liked his funky drummer breakbeats), funky raps and club breakdown on the Club With Bonus Beats took it to another level.

The Hard to Get Rap version is the rap verses on their own, without Wondress doing her thang, and the Luv Dub strips out the melodic instrumentation to let the sista flow over the more hip-hop style club beats.

Head straight to track 1 (Club with Bonus Beats), however, for eight and a half minutes of musical brilliance, and one of my all time favourite songs.

  • Got To Have Your Love (Club With Bonus Beats)
  • Got To Have Your Love (Hard To Get Rap)
  • Got To Have Your Love (Luv Dub)

The Download Link is here:  Got To Have Your | Filesize: 36.32MB

Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam - Let The Beat Hit 'Em (1991)

Columbia Records 656950 9

Another massive tune from my youth. Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam had already ensured I would always love them with the infectious I Wonder If I Take You Home, but this was the killer track for me.

Much like Main Source's Looking At The Front Door, released around the same time, this was built around a gorgeous Fender Rhodes sample taken from "Think Twice" by Donald Byrd (thanks for the spot, Simon!). It's such a testament to the original that this one little rhodes part can be isolated, looped and a whole new, fabulous, track span out of it.

Included is the bitesize Radio Mix, which is fantastic, but if you have a spare seven and a half minutes then why not spoil yourself, put your feet up, and dive into the almost Coldcut-esque sample fest and chopped up breakbeat madness that is The Brand New Super Pumped-Up C&C Vocal Club Mix. It's a thing of magnificence.

There's also an aptly named 5 Minute House Version, which I make 5:03 minutes long, which is a classic in its own right, but I can't get past the above.

Really though, this was Clivillés & Cole at their super-producer best, and a great testament to their talent.

  • Let The Beat Hit `Em (The Brand New Super Pumped-Up C&C Vocal Club Mix)
  • Let The Beat Hit `Em (Radio Mix)
  • Let The Beat Hit `Em (5 Minute House Version)

The Download Link is here:  Let The Beat Hit ' | Filesize: 36.39MB

Young Disciples - Apparently Nothin' (1991)

Talkin' Loud, TLKCD 5

I originally posted Apparently Nothin’ in February 2009, but since we're on a program of re-upping all the releases that were saved to (and lost by) Megaupload, I figured I'd rip it again at a higher quality.

Apparently Nothin' is such an undeniable, bona-fide, classic, and it’s the sort of track that should have been on this blog first, before any other tracks are added, kinda thing - it really is that big a tune.

You all know this song. It was the gem in the crown of the UK urban music scene in the 90s. A modern day funk masterpiece, no less. I’d even go so far as to say it is arguably one of the finest slices of music to ever come out of the UK (then again, the YD’s are one of my all-time fave bands, so I’m kinda biased). It was covered by the Brand New Heavies (I have their version laying around somewhere if anyone is curious), but it plain wasn't as good as this original release. There really isn't much to say about this song that you won't already know, I guess.

Its flawless retro funk production, coupled with a killer vocal performance from Carleen Anderson (True funk royalty; her mother was one of James Brown's go-to funky divas, recording the classic Message From The Soul Sisters among others), make it a killer release.

This CD single contains no real surprises - there's the version we all know and love, as well as a shortened Radio Edit, and an Instrumental version (yay!). There's also the Soul River version, which appears on the album, but isn't quite as good (in my opinion anyway), but does have a lovely wah-wah guitar opening.

Ladies and gentlemen, Soul Vendor is proud to present the mighty Young Disciples, Apparently Nothin’.

I've re-ripped it in 192kbps for your listening pleasure, so you may want to re-download. Oh, I also bought the US limited edition remixes recently; I'll get those ripped and upped ASAP for you.


- Kymba

  • Apparently Nothin’ (Edit)
  • Apparently Nothin’
  • Apparently Nothin’ (Soul River Mix)
  • Apparently Nothin’ (Instrumental)
The Download Link is here: Apparently Nothin'.zip | Filesize: 26.33MB @ 192kbps

Omar - Outside/Saturday (1994)

RCA Records 74321213972

Omar is quite often overlooked in the history of soul, he's certainly one of the UK's most underrated artists. He virtually invented Street Soul and is an all-round writer/producer/musician/artist and yet he is remembered (just) as a one hit wonder for There's Nothing Like This. Time's are changing, after six albums (yes, six albums. The last one Sing released in 2006) and awards for 'Best Neo-Soul Act' and 'Outstanding Achievement Award' at the Urban Music Awards 2006, Omar is getting the recognition he deserves.

Back in 1994 he released the superb For Pleasure album and this single was lifted from it. Strange release, this one. The title track is Outside and it was specially remixed by the legendary Ray Hayden at Opaz Studios. Unfortunately, only the Radio Edit is on the CD?

Saturday is another track from the album and this has been remixed by Frankie Foncett. Foncett is not always good but the Gangster Club Ride is an interesting take on that urban ghetto vibe. For me though, this release is all about the Absolute Remix. Sublime, as always.

  • Outside (Opaz Radio Edit)
  • Saturday (Frankie Foncett's Gangster Club Ride)
  • Saturday (Frankie Foncett's Club Part 1)
  • Saturday (The Absolute Remix)
The Download Link is here: Omar - Saturday (CD Single).zip | Filesize: 30.1 MB

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Omar - Keep Steppin' (1994)

RCA Records 74321233672

A collection of mixes on this '94 CD Single from RCA. The original release is backed up by the Uptight Remix by Rodney Hunter (Moreaus) & Demon Flowers (Werner Geier of Kruder & Dorfmeister). It features additional vocals from Leena Conquest (Boundaries). Next up comes from Gang Starr's DJ Premier and features Uptown (Dope On Plastic). Last but not least, we have two mixes from London's Ghetto Lab featuring Darkman with his own inimitable rap style. The last mix is an Acapella featuring Darkman. No unreleased tracks though, which is a shame but then what do you want for £3.

Kymba says: As a big fan of DJ Premier, it's no secret that I love his mix... however, the Uptight Remix is the version that does it for me. The Ghettapella will be of use to you mixologists, though.

Incidentally, I've re-ripped the whole CD Single, fixed a volume issue (some tracks had a quieter mixdown than others) and a CD cueing problem (meaning the start of the Uptight Mix was at the end of track one).

This one's a killer track, so get it while it's fresh!

  • Keep Steppin'
  • Keep Steppin' (Uptight Remix featuring Leena Conquest)
  • Keep Steppin' (DJ Premier Mix featuring Uptown)
  • Keep Steppin' (Ghetto Lab Mix featuring Darkman)
  • Keep Steppin' (Ghettapella featuring Darkman)
The Download Link is here: Omar - Keep Steppin'.zip | Filesize: 27.85 MB

Omar - Say Nothin' (1997) - CD1 & CD2

RCA/BMG 74321 50286 2

Back in 1997 our friend Omar came back in fine style with a track, Say Nothin', that plain blew me away, despite the album not really being his best work.

Sure, we could probably debate all night what this guy's finest hour was (for some, it would obviously be There's Nothing Like This, for me, it could well be Saturday or Keep Steppin' (Uptight Remix), and our boy Nitro argues there's too damn many finest moments to pick from - I'm inclined to agree), but whatever, this song surely has to be up there with the best of them.
Featuring another hero of mine: Russell Tyrone Jones aka Ol' Dirty Bastard aka ODB aka Dirt Dog aka Osiris aka Big Baby Jesus(!) aka Ason aka Dirt McGirt, this tune had a funky '80s throwback feel to it which appealed to me hugely.

For me, it's all about the Original Mix, which still sounds every bit as fresh as it did 12 years ago, although the Structure Rize Remix has re-recorded vocals and a cheeky interpolation of Gwen McCrae's "All This Love That I'm Giving" to make it a remix of note. I bet you can't listen to that chorus without a big grin spreading across your face. Probably my second favourite version after the Original.

The Rae & Christian Remix is pretty groovy, too - as are the Nightmares on Wax, Opaz and Scratch Professor Mixes. All in all, there's not a bad version of the track. Odd really, on most CD singles there's usually at least one remix that makes you think "why on Earth did they bother?" - Or is that just me?

So, here it is, in all its dual CD Single glory. CD2 link after the jump.

  • Say Nothin' (Original Mix)
  • Say Nothin' (Structure Rize Remix)
  • Say Nothin' (Rae & Christian Remix)
  • Say Nothin' (Opax Remix)
  • Say Nothin' (Nightmares On Wax Remix)
  • Say Nothin' (Scratch Professor and Omar's Dark Mix)
The Download Link is here: Say Nothin' (Disc 1).zip | Filesize: 45.56MB

RCA/BMG 74321 50287 2

CD2 contains the Original Mix again, as well as a Radio Edit which has no ODB!! Booohoooo! However, this ODB-less version does show off the lovely bridge section our perenially inebriated hiphoppa otherwise drowns out.

Sip N' Taste is fairly standard Omar fare, meaning by anyone else's standards it's excellent. Typical Omar type keyboards on this one. Give it a listen and you'll hear what I mean. Good tune.

Oh Baby is a very sexy track featuring some really well sung backing vocals from an uncredited female singer, possibly Sylvia Bennett Smith, as she's listed as a co-writer. I really like this track, it's slinky and sexy, and sounds way too good to be a backup track/B-side. In fact, for me, it's the pick of the tracks on Disc 2. Whadda you think?

  • Say Nothin' (original mix)
  • Say Nothin' (Radio Edit)
  • Sip N' Taste
  • Oh Baby
The Download Link is here: Say Nothin' (Disc 2).zip | Filesize: 26.02MB


- Kymba

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Tom Browne - Funkin' For Jamaica (1991)

BMG/Arista Records 664 998

Funkin' For Jamaica by jazz trumpeteer Tom Browne is a legendary track from 1980 that really needs no introduction, so I'll dispense with the usual description on this one. You know it, and, if you have a pair of ears that work properly, you probably love it. It was a top ten hit in the UK, and spent four weeks at numero uno on the US R&B chart.

Now Funkin' For Jamaica did not need a remix, as it still sounds fantastic to this day, but eleven years after it first came out, in 1991 that's exactly what it got. Thankfully, the remix was quality. None other than Drizabone on the lick, and, oh my god, I do actually prefer it. It's not a heavy handed hatchet job, it's a sophisticated update that keeps close to the original vibe.

There's a 7", a 12" (Clearly the best one) and a slightly more stripped down Jam Dub Mix. However, if you should find it heresy like I perhaps should, you can find the original version on this CD, too.

What a wicked release this was/is, and it is still incredibly hard to beat as a Summer vibe party song.

Despite the colours used for the front cover of this single, I'd always assumed the track was dedicated to Jamaica, Queens in New York, seeing as Tom is American, and this ain't no reggae track!

  • Funkin' For Jamaica (1991 7" Remix)
  • Funkin' For Jamaica (1991 12" Remix)
  • Funkin' For Jamaica (Original)
  • Funkin' For Jamaica (1991 Jam Dub Mix)

The Download Link is here: Funkin For Jamica | Filesize: 46.63MB

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Beatmasters - Boulevard of Broken Dreams (1990)

Rhythm King/Epic Records 657361 2


I know what you're thinking; "Beatmasters. Betty Boo. Is this what a quality site like The Soul Vendor has descended to?"

Hold on, though. This track is a perfect candidate for TSV. Okay, it's not so much soul as it is hip-hop, really, but this classy little number samples the hell out of Marlena Shaw, one of my soul icons, and her brilliant Woman of the Ghetto track (I think it was actually the live version of Woman Of The Ghetto), alongside 24-Carat Black's Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth. Oh, there are also a slew of other samples in there. Try and spot them all.

It features Brit rapper JC 001, who, at one time I seem to recall, held a record for being the fastest rapper around. Fortunately, he exhibits restraint on this and offers up some contemplative rhymes and paints an interesting picture with his lyrics. Check it and hear for yourself.

It's the 7" you'll want, which is wicked, but the jazz-tastic Freebop mix is also really nice if you fancy a switch.  The Chips Mix is another nice variation on the track, but not quite as good as the other two in my opinion. Night in Action is a really good secondary track. Heavy on the reggae samples, and good for it. Give it a breakbeat and it would almost be old skool hardcore. Very much in the spirit of their previous release Ska Train.

All in all, this package goes to show what an underrated bunch of producers the Beatmasters were if you look past their novelty misadventures with Betty Boo.

  • Boulevard of Broken Dreams (7")
  • Night In Action
  • Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Freebop Mix)
  • Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Chips Mix)
The Download Link is here: Boulevard Of Broken | Filesize: 38.18MB

James Ingram - It's Real 1989

WEA Records W2975CD

James Ingram is from Akron, Ohio. Like the family group Ingram, he is also a self-taught musician who plays piano, guitar, bass, drums and keyboards, as well as having an excellent voice. Additionally, he is a producer and songwriter. He began his career in the '70s as part of the band Revelation Funk and gained his reputation in the Los Angeles area as a session vocalist. His surname and six degrees of seperation seem to be the only connection with Ingram the group?

Having made the grade with his performance on Quincey Jones album and his duet with Michael McDonald on Yah Mo B There, Ingram put his voice on all the best recordings but his own solo work didn't seem to get the same recognition. In 1989, for his third album, the production skills of Gene Griffin were used, with remixes by Teddy Riley, It's Real, the album title track was very much the sound of now. Despite the Swingbeat label, it still sounds pretty fresh. I like the comments from the producers.... (Teddy Riley & Gene Griffin, I guess?)
"Who we working with?"

"It's James man"


"Nah man, James Ingram."
Yeah, New Jack Swing, some of it was damn good!

The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: James Ingram - Its Real CDS.rar
Size: 20.86 MB

Azizi - Trouble 1991

Arista Records 211 685
Azizi are Nanci Williams and Eileen McKoy, about whom I know little but they seem to be a project. The names that crop up on the vinyl are production by Alun (with a 'U') Lane & Ted Hayton and additional production or remix by Phil Bodger.
For my part, in 1991 Midnight Lover (Young Girl) got played on Essex FM and I thought it was good. I heard no more about them but found the album 'Trouble' purely by chance, some time later.

Thanks Saleiz for pointing out the obvious reference (when you know) to Minnie Ripperton's 1975 'Adventures In Paradise' album.

I also found that my favourite track from the album, the Slam Jam Phil Bodger tweaked 'Don't Say That It's Over' was released with Frankie Knuckles remixes.

Thanks to Finest Def Mix for making it available. ;-)

  • Midnight Lover (Young Girl)
  • Don't Say That It's Over
  • Sweet Thing
  • Evermore
  • Don't Make Me Wait
  • Trouble
  • Free
  • Things Are Not The Way
  • I Betcha
  • (They Long To Be) Close To You
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Azizi - Trouble.rar
Filesize: 73.09 MB

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Azizi - Midnight Lover (Young Girl) 1991

Arista Records 614 092
Another band I know nothing about except that they appeared in 1991 and disappeared shortly thereafter?
This was their first release which I heard on Essex FM, played by John Leech. He was a pretty cool local DJ who managed to break the new without upsetting the mainstream listeners.
  • Club Mix
  • Instrumental
  • Full Moon Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Midnight Lover.rar
 Filesize: 25.99 MB

Friday, 11 May 2012

Teddy Riley Featuring Tammy Lucas – Is It Good To You (1992)

SOUL Records, MCA Records – MCSTD 1611

This is another one that should have been on here years ago!

The soundtrack album for seminal Hip-Hop movie Juice was overflowing with dope tracks from various artists like EPMD, Naughty By Nature, Big Daddy Kane and others. It really is up there with the best soundtrack albums ever put together. Leading the way in terms of single releases were Aaron Hall's superb Don't Be Afraid, and this little monster. Check the Don't Be Afraid link for a little more info.

Is It Good To You is a reworking of a tune of the same name that Teddy had already produced for  the late great Heavy D a year before. That song featured the bassline from Junior Giscombe's 'Mamma Used To Say', and, coupled with Heav's quality rhymes, made it a song of some note. Forward on a year and Teddy hooked up with long term collaborator, the honey voiced Tammy Lucas to rework the song from just a chorus on a rap song into a fully fledged R&B masterpiece.

It's a real shame Tammy Lucas never blew up in her own right. I always loved her voice; she  sounded damn near angelic, sung with real style, and stole the show whether guesting on the brilliant 1nce Again by A Tribe Called Quest, or Blackstreet's Tonight's The Night (both of which I will be adding to this site in the coming weeks). Frank/Windowlicker mentions in the comments section reading an interview with her where she mentions that, as a larger sized woman, the record company didn't know how to market her, and so she went into writing rather than being an artist herself. What a superficial world we live in; hypocritical, too, with Heavy D being perfectly acceptable.

This release, then, is a nice reminder of a wonderful soul singer who never quite got her due.

There are six tracks on this single, most of them sound almost identical barring one or two slight differences in the arrangement, so I will let you judge which is the best. However, the Acapella might be of interest for you mixologists. For me, much like Don't Be Afraid, it's the album version, conspicuous by its absence, which is best, so I've included it as a bonus track. I've also included the Percapella and Bonus Beats versions found on the US release of this for sake of completion, which leads me to this question; Is Kymba good to you? :)

  • Is It Good To You (On The Radio Mix)
  • Is It Good To You (Acapella)
  • Is It Good To You (Hip Hop Mix)
  • Is It Good To You (In The Clubs Mix)
  • Is It Good To You (Lucasade Mix)
  • Is It Good To You (Instrumental)
  • Bonus:  Is It Good To You (Album Version)
  • Bonus:  Is It Good To You (Percapella)
  • Bonus:  Is It Good To You (Bonus Beats)
The Download Link is here: Download 
Filename: Is It Good To
Filesize: 87.12MB

Aaron Hall featuring Redman - Curiosity - (1995)

MCA Records, MCADM-55143

Aaron Hall was the silky-voiced lead singer of uber-producer Teddy Riley's New Jack Swing trailblazers Guy. He also sounded more than a little like Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band - no bad thing at all.

Post Guy break-up, Aaron had a few solo hits like the superb Don't Be Afraid from the excellent Juice OST, and this track, Curiosity, taken from the Dangerous Minds OST - yes, that's the film that *THAT* Coolio song came from.

It's a nice, funky slice of street-soul, produced and written by Mr. Dalvin of Jodeci and one Missy Elliott, but the Marley Marl Remix is the one you'll want to go straight into. It's much, MUCH funkier, and features Redman, one of my favourite emcees, spitting a couple of verses that again help lift it above the original.

There's also a nice instrumental for you mixologists out there - something I always look for in a release, although there is no acapella.

- Kymba :)
  • Curiosity (Marley Marl Remix - Radio Version)
  • Curiosity (Misdemeanor)
  • Curiosity (LP Version)
  • Curiosity (Marley Marl Remix - Instrumental)

The Download Link is here: Download
File size: 24.48 MB @ 192kbps