Thu. Dec. 14, 2017

10 essential Prelude Records gems

10 essential Prelude Records gems10 essential Prelude Records gems… The establishment of an identity happened to be the ultimate key word by the end of the 70’s, be it musically with the arrival of producers settin’ us a distinctive sound, as visually with trends applying to social if not political categories. With the same applying for many independent structures which came to symbolize what a label is supposed to be: an entity synonymous with a certain standard of quality!

Among them and without an oz. of a doubt, Prelude Records which, during its decade of activities, has pretty much contributed to the evolution of music with the establishment of the remix, as opposed to edited extended versions, as to the one of the DJ’s as post-producers. With big ups to its creator, Marvin Schlachter, as interestingly captured in an interview on Disco-disco.com

No need to say how this selection is way from being exhaustive, due to be given a Pt. 2 any day now. Nevertheless, you should find thereafter a pretty much illustrative sample of jams which have contributed making Prelude Records one of the most brilliant and enlightening ventures in the establishment of music as we’ve known since then…

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 Prelude Records gems / D-Train – You’re The One For Me (Shep Pettibone Mix) (Prelude Records)
Among the biggest sellers for the label, by the association between singer James Williams and producer Hubert Eaves III (The Strangers, Miles Davis). A duet speaking of which label head Marvin Schlachter said they managed to capture the sound of the period, from a blend of R&B, Jazz and Funk vibes on the heels of what he championed during his days at Chess Records. Williams and Eaves developping a signature sound that would give birth to countless classics such as the aforementioned, ‘Keep On’, Keep Givin’ Me Love’, ‘Music’ and their cover versions of both ‘Walk On By’ and ‘The Shadow Of Your Smile’…
10 essential Prelude Records gems / Jocelyn Brown – Somebody Else’s Guy (Vinyl Dreams Records)
The exception to the rule as not released on Prelude Records, but on a label manufactured and distributed by the latter. The title cut from her 1984 released album of the likes stands as her biggest success ever as an artist on her own, with production work by the likes of Fred Mcfarlane and Allen George. One of the most powerful singers of her generation, Jocelyn has survived the test of time, from her early collaborations with Patrick Adams (under the Musique and Inner City guises) to her memorable cover version of ‘Always There’ with Incognito and her contribution to the 1996 released ‘Nuyorican Soul’ album concept by Louie Vega and Kenny Dope Gonzalez (‘I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun’, ‘It’s Alright (I Feel It)’) among many others…
10 essential Prelude Records gems / Secret Weapon – Must Be The Music (Prelude Records)
A nine-piece band comprizing ‘The’ Roy Skip Snider, Darius Mitchell, Dave Brown, Djuana ‘DJ’ Thomas, Kevin Walker, Michele Blackmon, Rickey Paige, Russell Thomas and Jerome Prister, Secret Weapon released only one album (self-titled) back in 1983, out of which the jazzy/funk ‘Must be The Music’ would stand as their biggest classic with bassist Jerome Prister in full effect. The latter, also remembered as Jerome ‘Secret Weapon’ Prister would also add his name to the list of the one-hit wonder with the mellow ‘Say You’ll Be’ on indie label Tuff City 2 years after…
10 essential Prelude Records gems / Inner Life – I’m Caught Up (In a One Night Love Affair) (Prelude Records)
Inner Life saw the light back in 1979, from the reunion between singers Leroy Burgess (formerly of Black Ivory) and Jocelyn Brown, and close friends and producers, Stan Lucas, Greg Carmichael and Patrick Adams. The title cut from their debut-album of the name, although more of a mini-album if not an EP (featuring 5 tracks), this gem stands among their biggest classics, along with their cover version of the Ashford & Simpson penned ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ which they released 2 years after on Salsoul Records as a part of their self-titled album
10 essential Prelude Records gems / Unlimited Touch – I Hear Music In The Street (Prelude Records)
Put together by Crown Heights Affair producers Raymond Reid and William Anderson, although they didn’t manage to be members of the band, Unlimited Touch released two albums on Prelude Records which scored the rights from Epic-UK. With its strings arranged by Bert DeCoteaux and mixing work courtesy of François Kevorkian, the aforementioned, taken from their 1981 released self-titled debut-album stands as their biggest classic ever along with ‘Searchin’ To Find The One’ taken from the same LP.
10 essential Prelude Records gems / Musique – Keep On Jumpin’ (Prelude Records)
Speaking of Musique on Disco-disco.com, label head Marvin Schlatcher remembers: “There was no artist named Musique when Patrick Adams produced that for us. It was only after the recrod started doing well that we created a group.” A group made of sessions singers Christine Wiltshire, Denise Edwards, Gina Taylor, Jocelyn Brown, Marissa DeJan and Mary Seymour together with Adams. The title cut of their self-titled debut-LP (here as well more of an EP than an album), the ultra Disco ‘Keep On Jumpin’ is their signature jam along with ‘In The Bush’ from the same collection…
10 essential Prelude Records gems / Hi-Gloss – You’ll Never Know (Prelude Records)
Giuliano Salerni added his name to a consistent list of Italian Disco producers back in the day, putting together this transcient studio band featuring luminaries such as Luther Vandross and Ullanda McCullough (among others) on backing vocals, producer Timmy Allen on bass, Jimmy Young on drums and Kae Williams (Change, BB&Q Band) on keyboards. Altogether they released their self-titled debut-album which would be their only one, out of which the mellow ‘You’ll Never Know’ is remembered as their signature cut….
10 essential Prelude Records gems / Starshine – All I Need Is You (Prelude Records)
Released back in 1983, ‘All I Need’ would be a one-off for this studio project put together by the mysterious M-Traxxx with rhythm arrangements by the likes of Bernadette Alston (Touché – ‘Wrap It Up’) and Darrell Alston, synth programming by the likes of Skip Anderson (Twennynine, Lew Kirton, Luther Vandross) and mixing work courtesy of François Kevorkian. Its 12″ promo copy happened to be the subject of heavy bids on eBay back in the mid-2000’s…
10 essential Prelude Records gems / Empress – Dyin’ To Be Dancin’ (Prelude Records)
Empress released only one album (self-titled) back in 1981, but what a stand out one!!! Featuring no one else but the Crown Heights Affair line-up (Arnold ‘Muki’ Wilson, Bert Reid, James Baynard, Ray Rock, and Skip Boardley with producers Raymond Reid and William Anderson) around singer Gail Smith. The rumblin’ bass-driven ‘Dyin’ To Be Dancin’ with mixing work courtesy of François Kevorkian remaining their most famous jam ever, although their album happened to be full of other goodies such as ‘Take A Risk’, ‘Take Me Along’ or ‘Control It’….
10 essential Prelude Records gems / Sharon Redd – Can You Handle It (Prelude Records)
The half-sister of Penny Ford, the late Sharon Redd has left a consistent legacy in the history of contemporary music. Be it from her early days in the late 60’s as from her memorable appearence on famous musical comedy ‘Hair’ or her work alongside Bette Middler and Norman Connors prior to become the most successful female artist on Prelude where she released 3 albums between 1980 and 1983. Taken from self-titled debut-album, the Willie Lester & Rodney Brown produced ‘Can You Handle It’, featuring Bobby Thurston on backing vocals, was the start of an impressive series of sought after gems for the team, with other goodies such as ‘You Got My Love’, ‘Never Give You Up’, ‘Beat The Street’ and ‘Love How You Feel’…

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10 essential Salsoul records gems…
10 essential Salsoul Records gems… (Pt. 2)

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