Tuesday, August 22, 2017

10 essential Brit Soul gems

10 essential Brit Soul gems 10 essential Brit Soul gems… Like always, a selection is per definition limited. And God knows how Soul Music would definitely not have sounded the same without the unvaluable contribution from the Brits. As they not only turned American productions into local hits back in the heyday of Northern Soul, and later on during the so called rare groove era. But also came up with their own interpretations of it. Eventually giving birth to Brit-Soul and Acid Jazz by the end of the 80’s. Therefore developing the most exciting scene one may ever think of in terms of creativity and versatility… As a result, many are the gems we couldn’t talk about here, even though they would have definitely been worth a mention.

No need to say how this selection is way from being exhaustive, most likely due to find an extension later when the right time comes. Nevertheless, you should find thereafter a pretty much illustrative sample of highly emotional pieces of art where the infectiousness of the groove predominates.

Wishing you’ll enjoy the ride as much as we did, while putting this together for you, with your feedback, and a mention of your favorite song more than welcome.

10 essential Brit Soul gems / Soul II Soul – Back To Life (However You Do You Want Me) (10 Records)
In an environment already dominated by the formats inherited from the States, Nellee Hooper and Jazzie B made their reputation while coming up with a much refreshing approach in terms of production. They most likely did it while only keeping the essential alive when their American alter egos had fallen into the syndrome of overproduction. As a comparison, they came up with a minimalistic concept. An approach which left more space for both the harmonies, the vocal parts and the beats. Eventually giving birth to the so called Brit Soul, they released gems such as ‘Back To Life’. But also ‘Keep On Movin’, and ‘A Dream’s A Dream’ to name but a few. This, along with guest singers such as Caron Wheeler, Kym Mazelle and Victoria Wilson-James
10 essential Brit Soul gems / Lisa Stansfield – All Around The World (Arista)
Takin’ on where the late Dusty Springfield left, although on a different style… Lisa Stansfield is the incarnation of UK Blue-Eyed Soul. She first came to recognition though with the (back then) House producers Coldcut. Delivering classics such as ‘This Is The Right Time’ and ‘People Hold On’. The second single from her ‘Affection’ album which marked her debut back in 1989, ‘All Around The World’ is her biggest classic ever. Eventually re-recorded 3 years after as a duet with the late Barry White. Besides, I found it quite weird if not pathetic to see her considered as a R&B/New Jack Swing artist on Wikipedia!!!
10 essential Brit Soul gems / Brand New Heavies – Never Stop (Delicious Vinyl/FFRR)
Formed back in 1985 by Jan Kincaid, Simon Bartholomew and Andrew LevyThe Brand New Heavies are one of the very few British acts that managed to get recognition Stateside. The possible reason being that they also got signed straight at their debut on US label Delicious Vinyl. Re-recorded for its American release back in 1991, their eponymus album would see the presence of N’Dea Davenport on most of the tracks. This resulting in classics such as the aforementioned and ‘Stay This Way’
10 essential Brit Soul gems / Loose Ends – Hanging On A String (Contemplating)(Virgin)
Putting a face to the emerging British R&B in the 80’s (along with Billy Ocean and Five Star)… Loose Ends probably opened the path for what was to become the Brit-Soul back at the end of the decade. From their 1985 ‘So Where Are You?’ album, the mellow and vibrant ‘Hanging On A String (Contemplating)’. It is most likely their most famous in a series of classics including ‘Tell Me What You Want’, ‘Magic Touch’ ‘Slow Down’ and ‘Ooh You Make Me Feel’ among others. It also stands as a signature remix for the late <Frankie Knuckles who reworked it 7 years after on sublabel 10 Records…
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4 Comments on 10 essential Brit Soul gems

  1. The Library of Alexandria , no the Music Archival Library of my inspiration and mentor at Indamixworldwide, Maestro Frédéric . Such a comprehensive overview . Can’t stop, can’t quit is your real name. Directamente desde Hollywood , Ca. Mucho respecto .
    Él Tigré

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