My sister blog, Lost Pop Treasures, is back in action! Check it out!!

If you wish to download an album off of this blog and the link is dead, please request it either in the comments or the Chat Box and I will reupload it as soon as possible. :)

And don't forget to follow the Isle on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, October 3, 2014

David Morales & The Bad Yard Club - The Program (1993)

After I posted the Arthur Baker & The Backbeat Disciples post, I was reminded of another album from around the same era that was fronted by a legendary producer and featured several vocalists.  It was David Morales & The Bad Yard Club, but I only had it on cassette and hadn't listened to it in decades.  I immediately found the CD online, and here it is! David Morales was born and bred in a rough section of Brooklyn and frequented the New York club scene as a teen, becoming a DJ in the late 70s, most notably at Paradise Garage. His success as a DJ led to his being asked to remix several singles, his first being married synth-pop duo The Zummos' "An Obsession (Over You)" in 1985.  From there he was in demand as a remixer, remixing an endless stream of pop and R&B singles (including remixes for several Isle postees like Pam Russo, Sequel, Adventures Of Stevie V, Nerissa, Nayobe, Alison Limerick, Jamie J. Morgan, Slam Slam, Ana, Blue Pearl, Temper Temper, Ya Kid K, Malaika, Eve Gallagher, India, and, yes, even Arthur Baker & The Backbeat Disciples), with his first remix for a major artist being Whitney Houston's "Love Will Save The Day" in 1988. In 1987 he also began making his own music, joining up with other future remix and production legends Chep Nunez, Robert Clivilles and David Cole to form 2 Puerto Ricans, A Black Man And A Dominican, whose single "Do It Properly" was a huge underground club hit. But it wasn't until 1993 that he decided to use his own name to release original music.  Like Arthur Baker, he chose to add a group name after his name, branding his supporting players, producers and vocalists The Bad Yard Club. He signed to Mercury and released the single "Gimme Luv (Eenie Meenie Miny Mo)" featuring Jamaican ragga vocalist Papa San.  The song became a huge club hit, eventually hitting #1 on the Billboard Dance chart.  The album soon followed, and it maintained the ragga house sound introduced in the first single.  The title track, also featuring Papa San, was released next and hit the #1 spot on the Billboard Dance chart as well.  While the next single, "Sunshine", failed to chart, its follow-up, "In De Ghetto", hit #3 on the Billboard Dance chart in 1994 and is probably the best remembered single from the album.  (It was re-released in 1996 featuring the original vocalist, Delta Bennett, as well as house diva Crystal Waters.) It would be the last single from the album and from David Morales & The Bad Yard Club.  (Of particular interest to pop fans, the track "Forever Luv" is the first song to feature the vocals of future pop superstar (in Europe, at least) Anastacia.) Morales went on to even huger, superstar success in the following years as a producer, remixer and artist.  He was nominated for Grammys three years in a row - as a producer on Mariah Carey's Daydream in 1996, and for Remixer Of The Year in 1997 and 1998, the latter year for which he won.  This was helped by the success that same year of "Needin' U", a mostly instrumental house track that he released as David Morales Presents The Face, which hit #1 on the Billboard Dance chart and #8 on the UK Pop chart. He released it again in 2001, as "Needin' U II", this time featuring vocals by Isle postee Juliet Roberts, and it again hit #1 on the Billboard Dance chart and #11 on the UK Pop chart.  He has since released many successful singles using his own name and as part of various groups, the biggest being "Higher" by Moca in 2000, and also released two albums using just his own name, 2 Worlds Collide in 2004 and Changes in 2012.  He has produced, remixed and released a lot less since then, as he dedicates most of his time touring the world as a highly sought after DJ, thus returning to his first love.

Video for Gimme Luv (Eenie Meenie Miny Mo)

Download The Program

1 The Program (Reprise)
2 The Program (Featuring Papa San)
3 Sunshine (Featuring Stanryck)
4 In De Ghetto (Featuring Delta)
5 Games (Featuring Ce Ce Rogers)
6 Jazzy Mo
7 Gimme Luv (Eenie Meenie Miny Mo) (Featuring Papa San)
8 Beautiful Thing (Featuring Stanryck)
9 Forever Luv (Featuring Anastacia)
10 Work That Body (Featuring Natural E)
11 Gimme Luv (Eenie Meenie Miny Mo) (The Jackie 60 LP Experience) (Featuring Papa San)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rainy Davis - Sweetheart (1987) & Ouch (1988) DOUBLE POST!!

When I began this blog, you would be hard-pressed to find one iota of info about Rainy Davis.  Luckily the internet has grown over the years and lesser known and under-appreciated artists have gotten their due (I'd like to think this blog had something to do with that in some small way. ;) )  So, finding info now on Rainy is much easier, and makes this post easier to put together as well.  Born Denise Lorraine Davis in Brooklyn, Rainy's first major singing gig was as part of a band called Jamilah, which also included her sister Charisse and R&B crooner Keith Sweat. Soon after she joined disco trio Musique for their live shows, and her association with its founder Patrick Adams led to writing and arranging for other acts.  Her first major success was in 1979 as co-writer of disco group Inner Life's "I Want To Give You Me".  During this time she also connected with singer/songwriter/producer Pete Warner, who was also working with Adams. Together they wrote for and produced a few artists over the next few years, most notably Canadian disco singer Chatelaine's second album in 1980. They also wrote the song "Sweetheart" together in 1986.  According to Rainy, her Nana overheard them playing the song and told her she would give them her next social security cheque to record it.  Once the demo was recorded, they were planning on submitting it to Janet Jackson for her career altering Control album, but luckily they missed the deadline.  So Rainy released her version on a local indie label and it got immediate attention on urban radio, which led to rotation on pop radio.  The song hit both the Dance and Black Singles charts on Billboard, reaching #24 on the latter.  Columbia Records then noticed her potential and signed Rainy to an album deal. Her debut album, which was produced by Rainy and Warner, hit the R&B album chart and included similar sexy electro-funk tracks. The next single, "Lowdown So & So", reached #9 on Billboard's Dance chart and #14 on the Black Singles chart.  Her third single was a remake of Prince's 1980 release "Still Waiting", and it almost made the top 40 on the Black Singles chart. The final single, "4-Ever", failed to chart. Rainy and Warner quickly went to work on her next album, Ouch, which was released the following year. Unfortunately it did not have the same success.  The first single, "Indian Giver" (which was the first track I ever heard by Rainy, and I fell in love instantly), hit #16 on the Billboard Dance chart and, like "Still Waiting", #41 on the Black Singles chart. The song, as well as much of the album, used more straight-forward freestyle elements that were only hinted at on Sweetheart, and maybe that threw fans off.  I, for one, loved it!  The next single was the title track, and after it didn't chart, Rainy was no longer with Columbia Records.  She and Warner kept busy writing and producing others, with their biggest success likely being The Cover Girls' "Spring Love".  Rainy also released the single "Storybook Romance", a sort of reworking of "Sweetheart", in 1993 (and again in 2008). Then, in 1998, Jermaine Dupri remade "Sweetheart" for his Life in 1472 album, thanks to a suggestion by Mariah Carey, who loved the track as a girl and sang the chorus. Though Mariah and Jermaine's "Sweetheart" wasn't a huge hit (thanks to the label pulling the commercial single right before its release, and the Billboard chart eligibility rules changing), Mariah included it on her hugely successful hits album #1's the same year, and the song was introduced to a whole new generation and was even nominated for a Grammy award. Mariah also included the song on her Greatest Hits in 2001, The Remixes in 2003, and The Essential Mariah Carey in 2011, further rejuvenating Rainy's career (and bank account!). In 2005 Rainy ended up founding her own full service digital distribution company, Rainysongs Entertainment, for which she is president, and it has continued to successfully support new music artists.  

Live performance of Sweetheart

Download Sweetheart

1 Sweetheart
2 4-Ever
3 Love-At-Last
4 Still Waiting
5 Lowdown So & So
6 Kiss & Make Up
7 Come Back
8 Do-U-Remember?
9 Sweetheart (Reprise)
 
Download Ouch

1 Indian Giver
2 Ouch
3 Be My Man
4 Choosey Beggar
5 Save It
6 Lets Make Up
7 Tell Me
8 Danger

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Arthur Baker And The Backbeat Disciples - Merge (1989) & Give In To The Rhythm (1991) DOUBLE POST!!

Arthur Baker is a legendary producer and remixer.  He was born in Boston and began his career in music as a DJ, but soon tired of it and chose to pursue music production.  He produced several unsuccessful soul and electro tracks in the late 70s and early 80s, and thought a move to New York might help to elevate his career, which happened when he got a job with Tommy Boy Records.  As part of Northend, he had his first major success in 1981 with their second disco single "Happy Days". (The song would be heavily sampled in P.J. aka Paul Jacob's "Happy Days", which was a dance hit in both 1997 and 1999.) The following year he had even bigger success with the number one dance hit "Walkin' On Sunshine" by Rockers Revenge, which also featured his future wife and Isle postee Tina B..  That same year he became a hip hop and freestyle pioneer by producing Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force's seminal "Planet Rock".  From there his career exploded, and he was in demand as a producer and remixer, working on future hits with huge and diverse acts like New Edition, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Holliday, Carly Simon, Bob Dylan, Suzanne Vega, New Order, Hall & Oates (with whom he'd have a close production relationship), and even Billy Crystal, as well as several Isle postees. He was also part of acts like Wally Jump Jr & The Criminal Element and Criminal Element Orchestra. But aside from the 1984 club hit "Breaker's Revenge", he didn't release anything under his own name. Until 1989, that is, when A&M Records gave him an album deal.  He recruited a band and dubbed them "The Backbeat Disciples", which consisted of John Warren, Tiny Valentine, Mac Quayle, Bobby Khozouri, Philip Damien and Cevin Fisher (Quayle, Fisher and Damien would go on to become huge producers and remixers themselves). The album consisted mostly of dance pop, with some more adult contemporary and hi-NRG tracks thrown in. Along with Warren and Valentine, he recruited several other vocalists, including legendary soul singer Al Green, ABC frontman Martin Fry, half of OMD, Andy McClusky, Jimmy Sommerville of Bronski Beat and The Communards, popular French singer Etienne Daho, future house legend Robert Owens, and Isle postee Shirley Lewis.  He released seven singles from the album, the biggest hit being "The Message Is Love" featuring Green, which made the UK top 40 and top 10 in several other countries.  "It's Your Time", featuring Lewis, made the UK top 100, but "Talk It Over," "2 x 1," "Mythical Girl," "Silly Games," and "Last Thing On My Mind" were far less successful, and his deal with A&M ended.  But he was soon snapped up by RCA, and his second album appeared two years later.  Though he kept the name, the Backbeat Disciples were no longer with him, and some releases of the album appeared under his name only.  Again he recruited a bevy of amazing singers, including Leee John of Imagination, diva Tata Vega, newcomers Nikeeta and Wanda Nash, Kate Ceberano, lead singer of Isle postees I'm Talking, fellow Isle postee Adele Bertei, and Green once again.  This time Baker explored the more club-ready genres of house and trance.  He also had greater success in the US, with "Let There Be Love" reaching the top 20 on the Billboard dance chart, "Kiss The Ground (You Walk On)" also hitting that chart, "Leave The Guns At Home" a minor Billboard R&B hit, and "I O U", a remake of the dance smash he wrote and produced for pop group Freeez in 1983, just squeaking into the Billboard Hot 100.  Since then, Baker has continued to release singles under his own name and also continues to produce and remix, and he is deservedly considered a legend by most of the new breed of producers and remixers, his influence obvious in their work.

Video for The Message Is Love

Video for It's Your Time

Download Merge

1 Talk It Over (Featuring John Warren)
2 Willin' To Be Chillin' (Featuring Tiny Valentine)
3 Last Thing On My Mind (Featuring John Warren)
4 Mythical Girl (Featuring Martin Fry)
5 I Believe In Love (Featuring Jimmy Sommerville)
6 The Message Is Love (Featuring Al Green)
7 Walk Away (Featuring Andy McCluskey)
8 It's Your Time (Featuring Shirley Lewis)
9 Count To Ten (Featuring John Warren)
10 2 x 1 (Featuring Tiny Valentine)
11 All I Ever Wanted (Featuring Mac Quayle)
12 Silly Games (Featuring Robert Owens)
13 Paris Sens Interdit (Featuring Ettienne Daho)


Video for Let There Be Love

Video for Leave The Guns At Home

Download Give In To The Rhythm

1 Let There Be Love (Featuring Leee John & Tata Vega)
2 Leave The Guns At Home (Featuring Al Green)
3 I.O.U. (Featuring Nikeeta)
4 (Rock Me) In The House Of Love (Featuring Wanda Nash)
5 Feels Like The First Time (Featuring Nikeeta)
6 Inspiration (Featuring Leee John & Tata Vega)
7 C'mon C'mon (Featuring Leee John)
8 If Love Had A Heart (Featuring Leee John)
9 2 Can Play This Game (Featuring Wanda Nash)
10 Let's Start From Scratch (Featuring Nikeeta)
11 Surrender (Trance Like Us) (Featuring Adele Bertei)
12 Kiss The Ground (You Walk On) (Featuring Adele Bertei)
13 Meaning Of Life (Featuring Kate Ceberano)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Alison Limerick - And Still I Rise (1992), With A Twist (1994) & Spirit Rising (1998) TRIPLE POST!!!

As it's been awhile since my last post, I'm hitting you with yet another triple post!  This time I'm featuring house diva Alison Limerick.  Alison was born in London and at first set out to be a dancer, even attending the London Contemporary School of Dance.  But her strong, soulful voice couldn't be denied and soon she was an in demand backing singer.  Her first major gig was backing vocals on Style Council's "Shout To The Top" in 1984.  Through the rest of the 80s and early 90s she made vocal appearances on songs by an eclectic array of alternative artists such as Peter Murphy, The Icicle Works, Ultravox and This Mortal Coil, on whose albums she took lead on several tracks like "Nature's Way" and "Drugs".  During this time she also began working with producer and songwriter Lati Kronlund.  Kronlund had written a house song that he thought Alison's voice would be perfect for, and "Where Love Lives" was born.  Released in 1990 on Arista, the song became a huge club hit, thanks in large part to the remix by Frankie Knuckles and David Morales.  In 1991, it reached #3 on the Billboard dance chart and #27 on the UK singles chart.  This led to an album deal with Arista, but the second single, "Come Back (For Real Love)", was less successful, only reaching #53 on the UK pop chart. She did almost make the top 40 again that year with a collaboration with Malcolm McLaren, "Magic's Back". And the next single from her album, "Make It On My Own", was another chart hit, reaching #6 on the Billboard dance chart and #16 on the UK chart.  But the album was not released in the US, and the follow-up singles "Hear My Call" and "Gettin' It Right" were only minor chart hits in the UK. Undaunted, Alison began to work on new music.  While her next single, "Time Of Our Lives", failed to chart, her remake of Evelyn "Champagne" King's "Love Come Down" managed to hit the UK top 40 at #36, and her second album was released in 1994, with Frankie Knuckles behind the production of most of it.  It wasn't successful enough for the label to keep her, alas. She kept busy over the following few years by contributing vocals and lyrics to acid jazz group Vibraphonic, and had another minor UK hit with the James Taylor Quartet, "Love Will Keep Us Together". Then, in 1996, "Where Love Lives" was re-released with new mixes, and became an even bigger hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard dance chart and #9 on the UK pop chart.  Then "Make It On My Own" was re-released and reached #30 on the UK chart.  This led to another album with an indie label in 1998, and the preceding single. "Put Your Faith In Me", just missed the top 40 in the UK.  None of the follow up singles - "Never Knew", "Let's Hold On (To Love)" and "Spirit Rising", managed to chart, however.  And though she has not released a proper album since, Alison has kept very busy with music, collaborating on singles with, among others, X-Press 2, And If, Ringleader and Ikon, as well as extensive touring.  And in 2003, "Where Love Lives" appeared on the charts yet again thanks to new remixes, reaching #16 on the Billboard dance charts and #44 on the UK pop chart, proving you can't keep a good song down.  Expect it to 'live' again on the charts in the near future.  You can keep up with Alison via her Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Video for Where Love Lives

Video for Make It On My Own

Video for Gettin' It Right

Video for Come Back (For Real Love)

Download And Still I Rise

1 Make It On My Own
2 Gettin' It Right
3 Where Love Lives (Come On In)
4 Hear My Call
5 Trouble
6 Come Back (For Real Love)
7 Tell Me What You Mean
8 Let's Make A Memory
9 You And I
10 The Difference Is You

Video for Time Of Our Lives

Video for Love Come Down

Download With A Twist

1 Time Of Our Lives
2 Love Come Down
3 Twisted
4 No Way Out
5 Crime To Be That Cool
6 So Long
7 Sentimental
8 Buck The System
9 Take It Back
10 Let's Just Pretend
11 Build Your Love
12 Unique
13 Come Home

Video for Put Your Faith In Me

Video for Let's Hold On (To Love)

Download Spirit Rising

1 Spirit Rising
2 Never Knew
3 Let's Hold On (To Love)
4 Put Your Faith In Me
5 How Happy
6 Stronger Love
7 So Far So Good
8 Dangerous Game
9 Take It Easy
10 It's Getting Better (This Could Be Good)

Bonus Tracks
11 Never Knew (Joe T. Vanelli Classic Mix)
12 Put Your Faith In Me (Peppermint Jam Faith Club Mix)
13 Let's Hold On To Love (Metro Mix)
14 Where Love Lives (Ruff Driverz Full Vocal Mix)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Taja Sevelle - Taja Sevelle (1987), Fountains Free (1991) & Toys Of Vanity (1997) TRIPLE POST!!!

I have loved Taja Sevelle from the very start of her career and have enjoyed all of her musical explorations.  I've wanted to feature her here for years, but at one time Taja was offering her albums on her website so I resisted out of respect.  However, someone recently requested her work, and I checked her website and the albums are no longer available there, and they don't seem to be available digitally either, so I thought it was time to share her amazing music.  As her biography is available on her website, I'll give the condensed version.  She was born Nancy Richardson in Minneapolis.  While working in the health food industry and farming, she also pursued music, fronting several local jazz and R&B bands and also working as a radio producer and DJ.  She was accepted at the Berklee College Of Music, but passed when Minneapolis' most famous citizen, Prince, offered her a record deal with his vanity label, Paisley Park, which was distributed through Reprise Records. She had previously done background vocals on his track "The Ladder" in 1985, and obviously this impressed him enough to sign her to a solo deal.  Hooking up with Minneapolis musician Chico Bennett (aka George Bennette), she created an album that incorporated the red hot Minneapolis sound, but with her own folksy, hippiesque vibe. Her first single, the self-penned ballad "Love Is Contagious," became a huge hit in Europe, reaching #7 on the UK charts, and a modest hit in the US, reaching #62 on the Billboard Hot 100. It remains one of my favourite ballads ever.  She followed it up with the funky Prince-penned "Wouldn't You Love To Love Me," but it only managed to reach the middle of the UK Pop and Billboard R&B charts.  Follow-up singles "Popular" and "Take Me For A Ride" failed to chart.  Paisley Park's run would soon end, but Taja stuck with Reprise, and four years later released her second album, Fountains Free.  While Bennett still produced a few tracks (and would go on to work with superstars like Lady GaGa, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake), she also worked with various other R&B and pop producers, most prominently pop producer du jour Ian Prince and the legendary Burt Bacharach.  As a result, the album was much more pop-oriented, but the direction didn't seem to work, as the only single, "Trouble Having You Near," did not chart.  For awhile it seemed that was the end of Taja's musical career, but six years later she surprised her fans by signing with 550 Music and releasing the album Toys Of Vanity.  This time she worked with producer R.J. Rice (of R.J.'s Latest Arrival fame) and she delved deeply into the trip hop sound that was hot at the time.  No doubt she didn't expect the album to become a huge pop hit, but she released the singles "I & I" and "A Lot Like You" to critical acclaim. Personally I was thrilled to discover the album a couple years later, as I was a huge trip hop fan.  During the recording of the album in Detroit, Taja was struck by all of the poverty there.  This led to her greatest passion, the founding of Urban Farming, which encourages people in cities to grow their own food on unused land, and the group helped to plant vegetable gardens around the world for those in need.  Though she has also written books, acted, and even patented her own invention, Urban Farming has remained her passion, and she has made more of a name for herself in this respect than from her music, having appeared on numerous television shows, including Ellen.  But she has still managed to release new music, including the underground house music hits "Never Givin' Up" in 2000 and a remake of The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil" in 2003.  She also independently released the Good Times EP in 2004 and continues to occasionally independently release various singles on her e-store.  I have had the pleasure of corresponding with her on her blog and Facebook page, and I can tell you that her personality is as sweet as her voice and her conscience.
Urban Farming
Berklee College of Music
Berklee College of Music
Berklee College of Musi

Video for Love Is Contagious

Video for Wouldn't You Love To Love Me

Video for Popular

Download Taja Sevelle

1 Love Is Contagious
2 Wouldn't You Love To Love Me?
3 Popular
4 How Could You Do Me So Bad?
5 Take Me For A Ride
6 If I Could Get Your Attention
7 Infatuation
8 Baby's Got A Lover
9 Mama 16
10 Fly For Your Painted Rainbow

Download Fountains Free

1 Trouble Having You Near
2 Chase Temptation
3 I'm Givin' In
4 Even Odd You
5 Fountains Free
6 The Power Of Your Love (You And I)
7 Perpetual Motion
8 What A State Of Love
9 Fierce Desire
10 Forever In Love
11 Died Alive
12 Trouble Having You Near (Radio Mix)
   
Video for I & I

Download Toys Of Vanity

1 I & I
2 Us
3 Wake Before I Die
4 A Lot Like You
5 I Feel
6 Killing Time
7 Making Love To The Air
8 Fleet Of Angels
9 Toys Of Vanity
10 Sub-Conscious Me
11 Why?
12 Fleet Of Angels (No Drums)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

PAL - Truth For The Moment (1986)

Four years ago I posted the one and only single. "Talk We Don't", from 1980s funk/synth pop trio PAL on Lost Pop Treasures.  I have had their album on my wantlist ever since, and finally I have it to share, thanks to longtime Isle friend Robert G! :)  And it is every bit as good as I'd hoped, definitely something different from the "R&B" girl groups of the time.  PAL was Rebecca A. Sweet (aka Rebekha Sweet) and sisters Lanetta and Laretta Collier (aka Sinden and Rhett Cellier).  Luckily two thirds of PAL themselves saw my post on Lost Pop Treasures and filled us in on their past (which I've since also shared on Discogs), so I'll simply just repost that here.  Enjoy!

PAL's musical influences included Eurythmics, Sting, Joni Mitchell, Steve Winwood, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac... Most notably, it was Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) who telephoned Motown and inquired about the group after meeting them at an Eurythmics concert. He had assumed that PAL was already signed to Motown and upon being told they were not, asked "Why."  The group's name was inspired by "Pal" Shazar of Slow Children as it aptly represented the relationship of the members of the group.  PAL's music was only released in Europe as it was welcomed by the European licensees who had been anxiously awaiting a new fresh sound from Motown.  PAL's CD was somewhat altered from their original sound and true musical instincts, but they were lucky enough to maintain some elements true to their musical integrity as was showcased in "Talk We Don't." Simply told, PAL was not an" R&B" group but the record company enlisted the services of a Motown producer attempting to infuse R&B into their music in hopes of serving the American R&B base. This approach was again exercised in Motown's 12 inch remixes of "Talk We Don't" down-playing the breathing drums that were an integral part of the song's original music.  In January 1986, PAL embarked upon a promotional tour at the request of Motown's European licensees. The official video for the single "Talk We Don't" was produced in London utilizing the original track. PAL was told that their single at that time was the highest debuting single by any new group in Holland. PAL toured England, France, Spain, Germany, Holland and Belgium. They loved it!
Upon returning to the U.S., Motown was still at a loss as what to do with PAL. Even though the music had been so positively accepted abroad, America was not Europe. Motown never released PAL's music in America and this freed the group from any further recording obligations to Motown.  Around 1988, PAL disbanded and went on to lead very successful lives in other creative genres.

Here is a live performance of Talk We Don't

Download Truth For The Moment

1 Man About Town
2 Like It
3 Her Husband
4 On The Edge
5 Everybody's Nasty
6 Panic
7 Talk We Don't
8 Spellbound
9 Strange Dreams
10 Checkin' You Out

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

E Gee - E Gee (1996)

Thanks to a request, I recently became aware of E Gee.  I had never heard of her and was intrigued.  Unfortunately, after MUCH internet searching, I still know nothing about her. I did manage to find her album online, however, and just received it and had to share, as always.  The most that I can tell you is that she released one single, "Butterfly Me", the video for which was produced by actor Blair Underwood and got some play on BET.  And the album was produced and co-written by Motown creator Berry Gordy's son Kerry.  Despite video play, "Butterfly Me", a mid-tempo R&B number, did not become a hit.  There are a few other mid-tempo R&B tracks on the album, as well as a few upbeat dance songs like "I've Gotta Dance" and a remake of The Supremes classic "You Keep Me Hangin' On". And the remix of "Butterfly Me" is also an upbeat hip-house tune, which includes male rappers and, oddly, not even a hint of E Gee's vocals.  Unfortunately the CD I ordered did not come with the booklet, which I failed to notice until after I placed my order.  If it had, I'm sure I would have discovered some useful information in it in order to find out more about E Gee.  But since it didn't, we are all left in the dark regarding E Gee's story, unless someone else, perhaps E Gee herself, come across this post and kindly fills us in.  Until then, enjoy!

Download E Gee

1 Butterfly Me
2 I Can't Turn You Down
3 Warm And Wet
4 Butterfly Me (Belizian Interlude)
5 Up And Down
6 Up And Down (Interlude)
7 You Keep Me Hangin' On
8 Down And Dirty
9 I've Gotta Dance
10 Butterfly Me (Da Lo Rex Remex)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Precious - Soft But Hard (1990)

In case you haven't guessed, I'm a huge fan of female rappers.  And it just so happens that someone requested the only album by Precious, so here it is.  As with many of the other 90s female rappers featured on the Isle, little is available on Precious' history.  Her real name is Monica Burton, and it would appear that she's from New Jersey.  At some point she connected in New Jersey with the trio of producers collectively known as Backroom Productions, who wrote and produced most of Isle postee Jomanda's music.  In 1988 Backroom Productions had released a compilation of house tracks that included vocals by the ladies of Jomanda before they were a group, as well as the instrumental song "The Definition Of A Track (The Backroom)".  Evidently, they asked Precious to put a rap vocal on the instrumental, making it a hip-house track, and also made a new instrumental using the same rap and called it "In Motion", which is one of my fave house songs of all time, incidentally.  The double A-side of Precious' "Definition Of A Track / In Motion" was released on Big Beat in 1989 and was a dancefloor smash (the album version begins with "Definition Of A Track" and leads into "In Motion").  It's success led to a one album deal on Big Beat.  Backroom Productions produced the whole thing, and the hip-house song "Let's Get It Started" was the only other single released, backed with "Competition" (which samples M's "Pop Muzik") in the US, and released by itself on MCA Records in the UK.  The album contained a much more traditional rap sound, with only a few hip-house moments, which was perhaps not the best idea.  "Let's Get It Started" failed to make the same impact, and that was the last that was heard from Precious.  Monica, now known as Dr. Burton, appears to have left her music career behind, as she is now a principle at the Patrick F. Healy Middle School in East Orange, New Jersey.  She is also on the board of managers for the East Orange YMCA.  Given the comments in reviews of her school and on the video for "In Motion" on Youtube, she doesn't appear to be beloved by her students or their parents, though to be fair, being a principle of any school isn't exactly a beloved role.  And at least we can all show her love by enjoying and appreciating her one and only musical masterpiece.

Video for In Motion

Download Soft But Hard

1 The Beats The Rhyme (The Bassline)
2 Soft But Hard
3 Competition
4 Protect The Jewel
5 27 Hawthorne
6 Lets Get It Started
7 Definition Of A Track (In Motion)
8 Power Of A Woman
9 Spenizm
10 Who Are You
11 Yesterday's Gone
12 Big Beat
13 A Better Way
14 Yesterday's Gone (Sax Version)
15 Big Beat (Vocal)