Review: Peak time dancefloor action with this 45 with the familiar classic b-boy sampling fodder coupled with an infectious r & b vocal club monster. It's never had a physical release till now. On the flip it's instrumental breaks galore for B-Boy/B-Girl back flips action from a sought after uk trio release now in handy 45 form with tuff breakbeats and smattering of electro vibe...Only 200 copies..
Review: For a classic 7" that makes you wish you could have experienced the rock and roll and blues heyday, these two dusty gems by Lavern Baker and Jackie Wilson are a great start. Taken from 1960, "Bumble Bees" by Baker is a chiming, doo-wop sing-a-long love song with a tastefully disgruntled character, while Baker & Wilson provide the excellent and X-rated "Think Twice", which sings about taboo topics like cocaine, pussy and reefa. It also boasts lyrics like 'son of a bitch', 'I aint gonna kiss your ass no more' and 'I've had enough of your shit' - not to mention the other out-there obscenities for the time which include references to oral sex. Lil Kim and Khia - eat your heart out!
Review: Outta Sight's latest limited-edition, red vinyl reissue brings together two rare, sought-after soul classics. Up first on side A is sometime Sensations member Yvonne Baker's 'You Didn't Say a Word', a stomping and soaring 1967 cut that sounds like it was a little influenced by the soundtracks to British spy movies of the swinging sixties. Original copies of the single regularly change hands for four-figure sums, so its appearance on this seven-inch is certainly welcome. Hattie Winston's 'Pictures Don't Lie' is arguably even rarer, with the Ronettes' style number - the production apes Phil Spector's 'wall of sound' approach - originally appearing on a promo-only "45" in the mid-1960s.
I Know You Care (Arranged & Produced By Roy Ayers) (5:18)
It's Your Love (Arranged & Produced By Roy Ayers) (4:01)
Review: In soul connoisseur circles, Ethel Beatty will forever be remembered for her sole single on Roy Ayers' Uno Melodic label, which first slipped out in 1981. This Expansion Records reissue - pressed on white vinyl in a Juno exclusive - proves why it is still so well thought of. A-side "I Know You Care" is super-sweet, with Roy Ayers' immaculate production wisely focusing on Beatty's lovelorn vocal, and a disco era deep soul groove that's effortlessly warm and tactile. Also impressive is flipside "It's Your Love", Beatty's sugary but emotive rendition of a Dee Dee Bridgwater and Ayers composition that features some skittish, jazz-dance friendly drums and all-round soothing and seductive vibe.
Review: You may have noticed a fair few limited-edition white vinyl releases popping up on Juno in recent times. Here's another, this time from Expansion Records. What's on offer is certainly tempting: two much-sampled gems from 1980s electrofunk and jazz-funk maestro Don Blackman. On the A-side you'll find "Heart's Desire", a jaunty slab of jazz-funk-soul rich in multi-tracked scat style vocalizations, rubbery slap-bass, deep chords and jazzy solos. It's a stone-cold classic all told and really deserves to be in every soul head's collection. Turn to the flip for "Holding You, Loving You", a sumptuous slow jam that's as languid, loved-up and subtly summery as they come.
Review: Jazzman's Juke Box Jams series continues unabated to offer up those one-shot killers from the tangled history of jazz, R&B and soul - essential nuggets worth repeatedly popping dimes in the slot for. Here, it's the turn of Bobby Bland's "36-22-36", a heavy swinging and insanely catchy blast straight from 1962. Bland's voice is a perfect balance - cool as ice, but cracked around the edges - while the chorus line chants don't need a minute to get under your skin until you're singing along. "St James Infirmary" on the flip is a more downcast affair - one to drown your sorrows to, but certainly not the bottom of the bottle, as those hard stepping horns attest.
Sweet Daddy Floyd - "I Just Can't Help Myself" (4:17)
Review: The popular Breaks & Beats series of light-touch, DJ-friendly re-edits of soul and funk classics has decided to reissue some of its most sought-after seven-inch singles on clear vinyl pressings. Fittingly, the first to get the reissue treatment is the label's first ever release from 2017. On the A-side you'll find a tasty extension of Melvin Bliss's warm, heartfelt, piano-heavy 1983 cut "Synthetic Substitution". While Bliss's brilliant original is largely kept in-tact, the mystery re-editor naturally makes more of the opening breakbeat. Flip for a similarly tasty rearrangement of Sweet Daddy Floyd's 1978 Blaxploitation style disco-funk shuffler "I Just Can't Help Myself", a cut rich in rolling breaks, densely layered percussion, punchy orchestration and "Shaft"-style guitar licks.
Review: Canadian Jorun Bombay is a long time remix master who now lands on Soundweight Records with his latest cut up and reworking efforts. The A-side finds him take on Blondie's legendary 'Rapture', which mixed slick raps with post-punk guitars. Here it becomes sweet rolling funk gem with molten chords and plenty of soul. The flip-side is a tropical rework of 'Don't Pay Any Fuller' that ups the bass and beefs out the drums, while layering in steamy chords and percussion that brim with character. These are two more classics in the spotless catalogue of Jorun Bombay.
Review: Originally pressed (on a limited run) in 2013, LA Latin funk troupe Boogaloo Assassins have reissued these two spellbinding cover versions again due to public demand. Still on a highly limited run, both cuts need to be in your collection: Dawn Penn's "No No No" gets a strict samba switch with lavish percussion and consistent vocal harmonies throughout while Sonny Henry's "Evil Ways" (best known from its Santana cover) gets the dreamy instrumental treatment where the horns and glocks do the narrating over a tight bed of wood blocks, shakers and liquid Rhodes. Killer stuff and Juno is one of the few stores outside of USA which is carrying the 45. Don't Sleep !
Review: Seminal Manchester street soul from 96; Bovel's "Check 4 U" had anthem status in clubs and on pirates throughout the city at the time but suffered limited pressing and an OG copy has been known to be priced at 2000 quid. Revitalised by Ruf Dug and Bovel herself, it now comes complete with a superb UKG update from Metrodome which maintains the feel of the era but with the pace and punch of the times. Limited to 1000 copies.
Review: As he does on the regular, Athens Of The North chief Euan Fryer has unearthed, licensed and reissued another obscure, impossible-to-find gem. Chuck Brimley's cover of Michael Frank classic "St Elmo's Fire" originally appeared on a tiny Milwaukee-based label in 1981, but pretty much sank without trace (according to Fryer, even local record-diggers didn't know of it's existence). It's something of a seductive, early AM radio gem - a deliciously warm, woozy and dewy-eyed mixture of AOR, soul, soft rock and the kind of glistening jazz-funk that would once accompany 'pages from Ceefax' on late night BBC TV. The track's jazzier elements - think trumpet and sax solos, twinkling electric piano riffs and so on -come to the fore on the accompanying flipside instrumental version.
The Group - "I Don't Like To Lose" (feat Cecil Washington) (3:02)
Review: Here's a treat for Northern Soul enthusiasts, as two sought-after classics that once made the Wigan Casino move are brought together on one must-have "45". On the A-side you'll find Mel Britt's 1969 gem "She'll Come Running Back", a heavy Detroit soul stomper (think bittersweet vocals, sweet orchestration and bold bass) that's long been unaffordable to all but the richest Northern Soul collectors. Over on side B you'll find The Group and Cecil Washington's "I Don't Like To Lose", a 1966 Motor City soul jewel that has been a "holy grail" for many soul collectors since leading scene DJ Richard Searling introduced it to the UK in 1979.
Review: Bill Brown and Al Hall jr met in 1971 in south central LA and shared the same flat as jazz man Doug Carn and Brownstone vocalist Billy Wilson. They often played together and some of the sessions gave rise to the two hard to find tracks offered up here. 'Dreamworld Fantasie' is a first release of an unissued 1977 disco and soul gem that muses on how we'd all like our lives to be - and right now such escapist vibes have never been more in need. Flip it over and you'll find a rare though previously released 1971 single 'Stay Off The moon', which delivers a poignant political message that resonates to this day.
Review: Scorching soul from a true vocal legend, Maxine Brown was a formidable force throughout the 60s and remained active throughout the 70s and early 80s too. Both released on the iconic Wand label, these are two great examples of her prowess: "Let Me Give You My Lovin" is a cult jam that fetches a pretty penny on auction sites while "One In A Million" is a Rudy Clark heater with a very familiar backing track that instantly grabs dancefloors by the short and curlies. Incredibly, neither of them have been reissued since their original release!
Maxine Brown - "I Wonder What My Baby's Doing Tonight" (2:25)
Chuck Jackson - "Two Stupid Feet" (2:32)
Review: Maxine Brown and Chuck Jackson are two of Wnad Records's finest singing talents, as well as being firm favourites of the Kent label. For that reason they are paired up on this vital 7", which provides DJs with some high grade weaponry. They tackle popular songs from Van McCoy and Luther Dixon respectively. with Brown serving up the super short but sweet "I Wonder What My Baby's Doing Tonight", a soul gem that will make your heart soar. Chuck Jackson's "Two Stupid Feet" is more slow motion and mellow, but makes just as much of an emotional impact.
Review: Dynamite excel with this rare bit of superb soul from Vernon Burch. "Lovely Lady" is set to be huge on the more heartfelt dance floors out there - the rolling bass loops sweep you off your feet, hip singing claps bring the joy and the vocal is as feel good and heartwarming as you can imagine. It's a tune that just keeps on going before a special dynamite cuts DJ edit on "Joy & Pain" ups the ante with a more driving disco groove. This one is powered by big horns and funk bass riffs, big backing singers and lead guitars that reach for the heavens. Utterly irresistible.
Review: Leroy Burgess has made many terrific records in his time, and his turn-of-the-'80s boogie-era work for Salsoul contains many stone cold classics. Even so, he recorded few songs quite as addictive or impassioned as 1983's "Heartbreaker" - a strutting ode to a new lover featuring squelchy synths aplenty, inspired gospel style backing vox and a stunning lead vocal from the sometime Universal Robot Band maestro. On this reissue, Shep Pettibone's indispensable original 12" mix is backed by a fresh remix from Italian disco king Moplen. His version is a little more stripped back, expertly showcasing the original's immaculately programmed drums, bassline and squelchy synths. In his usual manner, you'll also find a number of sublime vocal breakdowns that really help the track soar. Superb!
Review: Third time around for Keni Burke's 1982 boogie-soul classic "Risin' To The Top", a track that remained such a favourite on the jazz-funk, rare groove and jazz-dance scenes that it was given the remix treatment in 1992. The slick and smooth cut is still capable of sending shivers down the spine, with Burke's impeccable lead vocal rising above rich electric pianos, a killer boogie bassline and the track's famous "give it all you've got" female backing vocals. This time round, the track comes backed by another stone cold classic and DJ favourite, the 1981 12" version of "You're The Best". More up-tempo and synth-heavy, it remains a favourite with both boogie DJs and jazz-funk fans.
Review: Another jewel for all the deep diggers out there produced by Calvin Arnold aka Billy Byrd - soul and funk singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer from Georgia, USA. "Lost In The Crowd" is a solid funk workout, featuring an intense rhythm and a powerful vocal. On the flip, there is a more chilled-out soul jam titled "Silly Kind Of Love" for the connoisseurs out there. Reissued due to public demand here on a nice great-sounding 45" by Vienna's always reliable Record Shack.