Wednesday, 24 October 2012

D'Angelo - Lady CD1 & CD2 (1996)

Cooltempo Records 7243 8 82914 2


OK Family, major props to the lovely Kymba who has provided not only both parts of this 2 CD release but also, all of the artwork, scanned full size so all the dodgy small print can be read. Great work Honey, looking forward to the YD 12".

The Brown Sugar album finally got some recognition when Lady made the charts a year later in 1996. Although Cruisin' and Brown Sugar were superb releases, Lady was always lauded as a great album track, way before it's single release.

The first CD features a superb Live rendition which proves that D'Angelo is no studio creation. The musicians and backing are all top notch (assuming the band is live too, of course). Track 3 is subtitled Just Tha Beat Mix and features a rap from AZ. It is a straight up street mix. For a short while in the early 90's, this sparse production style was referred to as Drum & Bass, anyone else remember that?

The last track on this CD is what the fuss is about really, Carl McIntosh, no relation to CJ, provides his own remix of Cruisin' and a great job he makes of it. This would have been an essential track had the Wet Mix wasn't already perfect. It doesn't matter though because, what the Wet Mix does in the bedroom, this will do on the dancefloor. Try not to get arrested guys.

  • CJ Mackintosh Radio Edit
  • Live Version
  • Just Tha Beat Mix
  • Cruisin' (Carl McIntosh Mix)
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: D'Angelo - Lady (CD1).rar Filesize: 30,46 MB

Cooltempo Records 7243 8 82913 2 3


The second part of the single release features the full length CJ Mackintosh Mix but also has the Radio Edit which always annoys me. Why put the edit on both releases? For those who are unaware of the UK's ridiculous guidelines, a single release was only allowed to have a certain amount of minutes on it otherwise it would not be counted for chart inclusion. To further complicate matters the release was only allowed to be made in three (I think?) formats. This was a serious problem for awhile (pre-CD ghettoblasters) because, the emergence of CD Single made the format choice awkward. The 7", the 12", the Cassette Single & the CDS were all important for a few years. The missing format could affect sales and kill a release. By the mid 90's though, it was all a marketing ploy to enable the record companies to bleed the record buying public dry.

The Clean Street Version is remixed by DJ Premier and features a rap from AZ. Premier is not credited on the Just Tha Beat Mix which is strange because that's what this is, with a bit of extra production. I think maybe he laid a bit of extra atmosphere over it and they added him to the credits, his name pulled in extra sales. The mix works though, so who cares.

Track 3 is remixed by 2B3 who had a quirky style that was popular for a couple of years. Anybody know what happened to them? The Shake Dat Ass Mix works for me but it takes a bit of getting used to.

  • CJ Mackintosh Radio Edit
  • Clean Street Version
  • 2B3 Shake Dat Ass Mix
  • Album Version
  • CJ Mackintosh Mix
The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: D'Angelo - Lady (CD2).rar Filesize: 37.87 MB


(Wiggins, Rapael, Archer & Michael)

You're my lady
You're my lady
You're my lady
You're my lady

Don't think I don't see them looking at ya
All of them wishing they could have ya
And as a matter of fact, uh
A bunch of them are itchin'for you to scratch'em
I'm tired of hiding what we feel
I'm trying to get with the real
And I'm-a gonna make it known
'Cause I want them to know


You're my little baby, my darling baby
I swear you're the talk of the town
And everybody wants to know what's going down
Babe, I know they've seen us before
Maybe at the liquor store, or maybe at the health food stand
They don't know that I'm your man


I can tell they're looking at us
I pick you up everyday from your job
And every guy in the parking lot wants to rob me of my girl
And my heart and soul, and everybody wants to treat me so cold
But I know I love you and you love me
There's no other lover for you or me
You're my lady


You're my lady
My divine lady
You're my lady
Such a wonderful lady
I can tell they're looking at us.
A great post and maximum respect to Kymba for making it possible.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Joanna Law - First Time Ever (1990)

City Beat Records CBE 1252

Mick uploaded this gem back in 2008. I couldn't believe I'd found it after all this time, so I owe him big time for making it available to those of us who love good music.

Unlike the boss man, it was all about the Mellow Groove version for me, with its very cheeky sampling & reworking of the strangely groovy drums on Paul Simon's 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, although the Bumpy Mix (there's a slight skip five or six minutes in - sorry folks) is quality in its own right.

I should also mention that haunting acapella as used to absolutely devastating effect by Coldcut on their 70 Minutes of Madness mix, a CD which you really ought to own and marvel at.

Anyway, Here's what The Man had to say about it in his original post :
"Another gem engineered by Lee Hamblin. This cover of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, written by British folk singer, songwriter Ewan MacColl (Kirsty's Dad) and originally sung by Roberta Flack back in 1972. Produced and mixed by Simon 'The Funky Ginger' Law down at The Fallout Shelter in February 1990.

This song is all about the beautiful voice of Ms. Joanna Law, the voice behind many a hit. Simon A. Law, her brother I believe but cannot confirm, is also playing piano with the mighty James 'JTQ' Taylor on Hammond Organ and Ross Anderson on Bass. It includes the Acappella used on the legendary Coldcut - Journeys By DJ mix back in '95. My money goes on the superb Bumpy Mix, lay back, kick it and enjoy the ride. Just under 8 minutes of gently rolling groove with an angel singing on it."
  • First Time Ever (Mellow Groove)
  • First Time Ever (Bumpy Mix)
  • First Time Ever (Acapella)
The Download Link is here: Download

Filename: First Time 26.08MB

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

JT and the Big Family - Moments In Soul (1990)

Champion Records CHAMP12 237


As I recall, they were an Italian studio production team, Christian Hornbostel & Paul Bisiach, who put together this smooth little number. They were better known as Don Pablos Animals but not to me. That stuff was cheesey Pop house in 88-89, I think?

The beats are from Back To Life by Soul II Soul with the break from Funky President by James Brown. The refrain samples Moments In Love (hence, the title) by Art of Noise and For The Love Of Money by The O'Jays supplying that big bass line leader. Also in there you have the obligatory 1990 "Ah Yeah!" and a bit of dialogue which, it has been claimed, comes from a Milli Vanilli song but hey, they didn't perform anything themselves so its probably from somewhere else anyway?

Kym says: Great track! Brings back a lot of memories for me, this one. You're spot on with the Milli Vanilli sample, Mick - It was from the intro of the 12" version of Girl You Know It's True. Anyway, I've replaced the dead link with a freshly re-ripped CD version for your listening pleasure, folks. I have some remixes of this, too, if anybody is interested?

  • Moments In Soul
  • Moments In Soul ('AA' Mix)
  • Eden 90
The Download Link is here: Download (new CD rip)
Filename: Moments.ZIP.rar Filesize: 26 MB


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

En Vogue - Hold On (1990)

Atlantic – A 7908 CD, WEA International – 7567-86178-2-LO

I throw the word 'classic' around a lot in my write-ups, but I'm sure you will agree that this track is the very definition of the word.

I'm also quite sure you know all about En vogue already, but, if not, here's a bitesize guide: They're a Grammy-nominated R&B girl-band Assembled in Oakland, California, USA in July 1989 by  producers Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy, formerly of Club Nouveau (Mick has already given us the lowdown on Foster & McElroy and Club Nouveau here.). En Vogue launched with original members Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson (who left in 1997 & went on to form Lucy Pearl with Raphael Saadiq & ATCQ's Ali Shaheed Muhammed) and Terry Ellis. They sold over 28 million albums and singles worldwide, and have won more MTV Video Music Awards than any other all female group in MTV history, a total of 7 VMAs. The group was named the second most successful girl group of the 90's and the 18th most successful act overall of the 90's according to Billboard magazine.

Hold On starts strong with the girls giving us a wicked rendition of The Jackson 5's Who's Lovin' You, showcasing each girls soaring vocals and the beautiful harmonising of the group as a whole. It gets better when the beat drops and suddenly we have an absolutely banging tune built on a loop from James Brown's beyond dope The Payback, over which the girls can strut their stuff and dispense beautifully sung knowledge and advice on keeping your man.

You know this tune, and you sure don't need me to tell you about it. There are three mixes on the CDS, not really a lot to pick from between them, but the extended version is worth the entry fee alone, as, unlike the other two versions, it hasn't featured on a million and one R&B compilation albums.

Last bit of trivia about this particular release: The inlay card was mis-printed with details about some German (I think) act called Tony Baez (see below). Weird.

  • Hold On (7" Edit)
  • Hold On (Extended Version)
  • Hold On (Radio Version With Intro)

The Download Link is here: Hold Filesize: 32.46MB

Monday, 25 June 2012

The Brand New Heavies - Sometimes 1997

FFRR Records BNHCD 8

That sticker alone would have made this CD single essential to me. Anything sporting a Masters At Work remix was a 'must have' in my book but, let's step back a little and look at the list of accolades on this release.

The Brand New Heavies hit the scene via the UK's Acid Jazz movement. In the late 80's they were an instrumental funk outfit playing new retro music to Soul music's 'Rare Groove' crowd. For their first album the group featured the incredible vocals of Jay Ella Ruth on a few tracks. For various reasons, the group then hired the services of the very competent N'Dea Davenport who became a member and brought much polish to the bands veneer. The down side of this was the decision to re-record the debut album which resulted in the Jay Ella Ruth recordings being virtually forgotten. For their third album Shelter, from which this single was taken (fifth if you include the re-recording of the debut and sideline rap release Heavy Rhyme Experience) N'Dea Davenport had split for a solo career and the band brought in Siedah Garrett, a much lauded vocalist who had sung with Dennis Edwards, Michael Jackson & Maysa Leak (Incognito).

As an album track, Sometimes was one of the stronger tracks and it was therefore a logical choice for single release. The remix treatment by 'Little' Louie Vega & Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez on the MAW Smooth Mix created a nice vocal dancefloor track. Much of the House music fodder was void of vocals and this is why Masters At Work have always been considered a cut (or six) above the rest. I don't consider this mix to be one of their better examples but in 1997 I thought it was great. There were quite a few MAW remixes of this track on vinyl.

Finally, the unique feature on this release for me is Q Tip. The acclaimed rapper/producer from A Tribe Called Quest, who came to the attention of the public via De La Soul and the Native Tongues Posse. Q Tip has since appeared on many releases and remixes but this was a new thing at the time. The Ummah (Arabic for "brotherhood") was a production team consisting of members of A Tribe Called Quest and Jay Dee. Their work on this release is what keeps it fresh. Enjoy!

  • Radio Edit
  • MAW Smooth Mix
  • Ummah Remix
  • Nuyoricans Meet The Heavies

The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Sometimes (BNHCD 8).zip Filesize: 36.27 MB


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Brand New Heavies - Stay This Way (1992)

Acid Jazz Records BNHCD2

Mick has already written about the Brand New Heavies, so I'll skip all that and get straight into this particular release.

In short, I love this track. It's right up there as one of the best tracks the BNH's ever recorded in my opinion. It's effortlessly cool, and a beautiful summertime jam. N'Dea Davenport absolutely kills it with her relaxed and restrained vocal performance, and the boys provide a classy sunshine type jam for her to flow over.

The single version(s) has some extra instrumentation compared to the album version, including some nice bongos, with the Extended version getting a sexy sax solo thrown into the mix as well. All good stuff.

The backup tracks, Bang, and O-Fa-Fu, are good too. O-Fa-Fu especially sounds for all the world like an extended version of a theme tune to a 70s Cop Show with throwback vibes and wahwah guitars - a wholly good thing in my book.

All in all I think Stay This Way is one of BNH's all time classic joints, and an essential item in your summer playlists.

  • Stay This Way
  • Stay This Way (Extended)
  • Bang
  • O-Fa-Fu

The Download Link is here: BNH - Stay This | Filesize: 39.51MB