A forgotten classic from Simply Red and from their early days, from 1985 and only their second single. Showing how tight and funky the band was and under the controls of Stewart Levine.
A cover of Bill Wither’s classic “Granma’s Hands” shows the bands soul roots and the funk continues on the mid-tempo of “Valentine”, rare but a quality B-side written by Hucknall.
Elektra – EKR 19T
|A||Come To My Aid||6:36|
The debut single from New Wavers King (but with a hint of rock) . From 1985 but not remixed by Youth (as it implies) but produced by Liam Henshall and engineered by Jerry Boys
The B-side is a bit of gem, synth bass, guitar and 12″ effects. A rare track “Endlessly” and proves the group had a lot of songs waiting in the wings.
Old glamourpuss, Paul King, does a live version of piano ballad, “Fish”, from Strathclyde University as the bonus track. Just wished they edited the crowd noise.
CBS – TA 6094
|A||Won’t You Hold My Hand Now (Youth Mix)||5:22|
|B2||Fish (Reprise) (Live)||4:14|
From 1983 and the electro-tastic and youthful New Edition. Yes they had this sort of shit back then. The Jackson 5 on Aciiieeed. It eas actually produced and mixed by Arthur Baker and Maurice Starr with rapper Michael Jonzun.
New Edition was an R&B group formed in Boston in 1978, At the height of their early popularity in 1983, the group consisted of Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown (yes, the notorious B Brown), Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ralph Tresvant.
A fun memory and I love the vocoder and squelchy synth bass but those vocals send a shiver down my spine! Thanks God there is a Singalong version!
London Records – LONX 21
|A||Candy Girl (Young & Strong Edition)||5:45|
|B1||Candy Girl (Long Version)||6:58|
|B2||Candy Girl (Singalong)||6:55|
Canadian New Wavers with a track that is NOT “Echo Beach.” In 1983, lead vocalist Martha Johnson and guitarist Mark Gane pared the band down to a duo and briefly changed the name to M+M. Combining sonic textures and art funk in their dance single “Black Stations/White Stations”, the song reached 2 in Billboard’s Dance Chart in 1984.
Produced by Daniel Lanois it has a sophisticated funk sound and was taken from the M+M album , “Mystery Walk.” The topic stemming from the fact that only certain records would be played on Black or White Radio Stations even in 1984. Mike Jones helps them with the remixes with some nice bass playing from Tinker Barfield and amazing drums from Yogi Horton.
RCA Victor – PW-13802
|A1||Black Stations / White Stations (Remix)||6:23|
|A2||Black Stations / White Stations||3:40|
|B1||Black Stations / White Stations (Instrumental)||4:55|
|B2||Black Stations / White Stations (LP Version)||5:06|
Half spoken word with a touch of “Waiting For The Train” by Flash And The Pan. Robbie was guitarist in the legendary group, The Band. This is given a lush production by Daniel Lanois and mix Bob Clearmountain. There are more gravelly vocals on the Gabriel-esque “Broken Arrow.”
“Tailgate” was a bit of an unexpected synth fix with added guitar by Robertson. Very like Robert Palmer.
Geffen Records – GEF 40T
|A1||Somewhere Down The Crazy River (LP Version)|
|B1||Broken Arrow (LP Version)|
From 1989 and the last single from the well respected Ska and Soul band from the Silver Lake, Los Angeles. Produced by Zappa band member, Arthur Barrow, the main 12″ is a little bit too weak for a House track, although it does have plenty of Bond chords. The album version is far more funkier with the horn section,but not much cop with the vocal performance; not sure the original artist, Edwin Starr would have thought much of it either. The Bonus track, “Stripped To The Bone” is definitively worth a listen, quick and groovy. Love the phased effects on the mix.
Twist Records – 7 72341-0
|A||Agent Double O Soul (Secret Agent Mix)||5:50|
|B1||Agent Double O Soul (Album Version)||4:41|
|B2||Stripped To The Bone (Bare Bones Mix)||7:04|
Another new 80’s band to me. Hanover Fist were a synth pop duo from Minneapolis, founded by Charles Erickson and James Harry and active in years 1985 – 1988. So the track has a bit of Goth edge to it, with some guitar accompanying the synths, and would please people after a bit of Coldwave. “Dubble Stubble” is another good example of the skills of editing by The Latin Rascals. They also do a find job on the 12″, definitely a grower although it does have a bit of Sisters Of Mercy vibe to it.
Capitol Records – V-15268
|A||Razor Garden (12″)||8:06|
|B1||Razor Garden (7″)||3:47|
|B2||Razor Garden (Dubble Stubble) (Instrumental)||3:11|
From 1988 and a new band to me with a cover of a track I’ve never heard! Apparently there is a Madonna connection with this New York band, she was apparently their drummer when they first started. Formed by two brothers, Dan and Ed Gilroy, they only ever released the one album.
This was from that album and the track was originally recorded by Soul Survivors back in 1967. Pettibone gives it a dance edge to the earworm chorus. Some good keyboard work from Patrick Leonard.
There is some more welcome vocoder on the instrumental mix which is just like another Dub mix (both provided by Pettibone)
|A1||Expressway To Your Heart (The Shep Pettibone Mix)||6:40|
|A2||Expressway To Your Heart (Dub Version)||5:35|
|B1||Expressway To Your Heart (7″ Version)||4:19|
|B2||Expressway To Your Heart (Instrumental)||6:05|
|B3||Expressway To Your Heart (A Cappella)||3:49|
More rock synth (so fond of my the Americans). From the film “My Stepmother Was An Alien” this was released by Animotion back in 1988 taking the New Jack Swing beat with a rocky duet between Astrid Plane and Bill Wadhams. Too many tiny sampled horns for me and Climie Fisher co-wrote it! The “Dub” goes somewhere to improve a formulaic track.
|A1||Room To Move (12″ Remix)||6:50|
|A2||Room To Move (Dub Dance)||4:42|
|B1||Room To Move (7″ Club Mix)||4:05|
|B2||Room To Move (7″ Club Instrumental)||4:35|
|B3||Room To Move (Percapella)||4:28|
Jangle country rock from 1987 and the uplifting voice of Maria McKee coupled with the gospel backing vocals on this Jimmy Iovine/Little Steven production. Their last single release and a far removed from the edgy band from two years earlier, big 80’s drum sound and synths remixed and nicely extended by Gordon Fordyce. B-side is the less frantic “If You Don’t Like Rain” melodic and a rare track.
|A||I Found Love (Extended Remix)||5:03|
|B1||I Found Love (LP Version)||4:18|
|B2||If You Don’t Like Rain||4:51|