Monday, March 27, 2017

Sass – Much Too Much (25 West Records)

Most Wanted! Sass – Much Too Much (25 West Records)

On NYC-based Electro mid-80’s label 25 West Records. A stable made famous with the release of Klein & M.B.O.‘s memorable ‘Dirty Talk’. Mic Murphy of The System fame producing the infectious mellow phonky ‘Much Too Much’. Undoubtedly the most famous track of this band also known as The Jack Sass Band.
A cut which Ian Dewhirst eventually licensed back in the day on his seminal ‘Mastercuts’ series.

Reachin’ peaked such as US$ 500 for a sealed copy. Murphy stated years ago on my Facebook wall that he didn’t even had a copy of it!

Overview
– Not to be missed with Philadelphia Soul band Sasss. Nor with the style sheet language of the name whose abbreviation stands for Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets…

Hailing from NYC, Sass was more of a collective (with various incarnations and line-ups) than a band. And more of a live group than a recording act.
A back up band for The Coasters and Chuck Berry, they integrated the NYC’s ‘No Wave Movement’ featured as a “Punk Funk” element. They eventually shared a 2 month stint with a girl called… Madonna. But also became one of the house bands at The Cellar, the home of Platinum Hook and Kinky Foxx.

Sass‘s approach pretty much found its sources in 70’s Funk and British Punk, in the vein of The System soon after, if not Welsh band Scritti Politti. With a more or less common trunk with Prince or Rick James, while funktifying Rock vibes.
Strangely enough, they only have one album – ‘Sassified’ – to their credit which saw the light back in 2009 on Funky Town Grooves.

– Vocalist / guitarist / songwriter Mic Murphy and keyboardist / songwriter David Frank joined forces to form The System in the early 80’s. Their synth-driven R&B sound is often referred as Electro-Soul. They recorded their first song, ‘It’s Passion’ while touring along with Kleeer back in 1981. Their debut-album – ‘Sweat’ followed the year after. It featured the memorable ‘You Are In My System’, later on covered by Robert Palmer.

Further success occured in 1985 with the release of their third album, ‘The Pleasure Seekers’. Its title track met extra exposure in the season-two premiere episode of famous NBC cop TV show ‘Miami Vice’. Other worth the check gems include the outstanding ‘This Is For You’ and ‘It Takes Two’.
Murphy and Frank also collaborated with Jeff Lorber on his ‘Step By Step’ album the same year.

They scored their biggest hit in 1987 with ‘Don’t Disturb The Groove’, from the album of the same name. They would part ways two years later though, after releasing their ‘Rhythm & Romance’ album which sadly flopped.

– Later known as La La, singer / songwriter LaForrest Cope also happened to be a member of Sass. She eventually co-wrote ‘Much Too Much’ with Mic Murphy.

Gifted with an oustanding voice and an undeniable presence, she’s most likely remembered as an artist for the boiling ‘(If You) Love Me Just A Little’. A cut produced by Full Force, taken from her 1987 released ‘La La’ album on Arista.
Her second and final album – ‘La La Means I Love You’ – saw the light 4 years after on Motown. It featured luminaries such as René Moore, Marcus Miller, Lenny White and Gerald Albright.

As a songwriter, La La has collaborated with Lillo Thomas, Melba Moore, Whitney Houston and Stephanie Mills among others.

Sass drummer Omar Hakim also has quite an interesting CV. The list of celebrities he’s been working with including Sting, Weather Report, Madonna, David Bowie, Miles Davis, and Dire Straits to name but a few.

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