Wed. Dec. 19, 2018

10 essential Salsoul Records gems

10 essential Salsoul Records gems10 essential Salsoul Records gems… Like always, a selection is per definition limited, and God knows how there is plenty to find on the repertoire of this label. An imprint responsible for standards (still in use nowadays) that have changed the history of both music, DJing. And, as a result, clubbing!

From the commercialization of the first 12″ to the establishment of the remix. And, therefore, the one of the DJ’s as potential post-producers which was far from being an evidence back then. With the best of it being that nothing got planned in advance. As a matter of fact, it happened to be more of an accumulation of things. The latter getting its creators – Ken, Joe and Stan Cayre – as the initiators of a brand new episode in the maturation of music. This, with the launch of their Salsoul Records label back in 1974. As beautifully narrated on Disco-disco.com.

No need to say how this selection is way from being exhaustive. With a Part 2 also available for your appreciation. Nevertheless, you should find thereafter a pretty much illustrative sample of jams. As many pieces which have contributed turning Salsoul Records into one of the most significant and exciting 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.

In lovin’ memory of MFSB and The Salsoul Orchestra guitarist TJ Tindall who sadly passed last Tuesday at the age of 65…

10 essential Salsoul Records gems / Skyy – Here’s To You (Salsoul Records)
Taken from their 1980 ‘Skyyport’ album. A WBLS classic back then (as heavily programmed by the late Frankie Crocker). With production work by the likes of Solomon Burke, Jr. and Randy Muller of the Brass Construction fame. It eventually saw the light in the UK on Excaliber Records, although under the New York Skyy guise for legal reasons [More…]
10 essential Salsoul Records gems / Instant Funk – I Got My Mind Made Up (Salsoul Records)
Philadelphia-based 9 piece-band Instant Funk got their name from their ability to catch a groove. As a matter of fact, They started as the backing musicians of Bunny Sigler before turning into an act on their own. Their debut on the TSOP label, back in 1976, didn’t get much of an echo. And, after a lot of difficulties to find a new home, they finally got a deal with Salsoul Records. The label releasing their self-titled album 3 years after. Co-arranged and produced by Sigler, it’s the remix that made the song though. A rework speaking of which Larry Levan got credited by the label, although this has been the subject of disputes back at the time…
10 essential Salsoul Records gems / Double Exposure – My Love Is Free (Salsoul Records)
Formerly known as United Image… Philadelphia-based fortet James Williams, Joseph Harris, Charles Whittington and Leonard ‘Butch’ Davis paved the history of the record industry. As a matter of fact, they’re responsible for the first ever commercial 12 inch release back in 1976. In other words, the title track from their ‘Ten Percent’ debut-album with remix courtesy of the late Walter Gibbons. Meanwhile, from the same package came the Allan Felder and Bunny Sigler co-penned ‘My Love Is Free’. This with production work by the likes of Ron Baker, Norman Harris and Earl Young. It stands along the definitive highlights of the Philly Sound, later on remastered courtesy of Tom Moulton.
A song that would (also) be the subject of a top class remix years after by the late Frankie Knuckles
10 essential Salsoul Records gems / First Choice – Doctor Love (Gold Mind Records)
Put together by Rochelle Fleming and Annette Guest with various members along with time, Philadelphia-based female trio First Choice first came to fame back in 1973 with ‘Armed And Extremely Dangerous’. A cut written by Allan Felder and Norman Harris. Naturally, they would follow the latter on his Gold Mind label 4 years after. Opening their new account with the ‘Delusions’ album, along with luminaries such as Earl Young and Ron Kersey. But also Bruce Hawes and Vincent Montana, Jr. among others. An album which spawned the classic ‘Love Put Asunder’ and its opening track – ‘Dr Love’ – which, according to Bill Brewster, gave Tom Moulton one of his hardest times ever in terms of remixing work…
10 essential Salsoul Records gems / Loleatta Holloway – Hit And Run (Gold Mind Records)
Loleatta Holloway rose to fame though in the mid-70’s when top Philadelphia arranger and producer Norman Harris came to sign her on his newly formed Gold Mind Records label, in partnership with Salsoul Records. The opening cut to her 1976 ‘Loleatta’ album which marked her debut for the label, ‘Hit And Run’ stands as one of her signature cuts. As of the late Walter Gibbons‘s who completely restructured it. Other highlights following such ‘Love Sensation’, ‘Run Away’ which she recorded with The Salsoul Orchestra. And, last but not least, ‘Relight My Fire’ with the late Dan Hartman
10 essential Salsoul Records gems / Candido – Jingo (Salsoul Records)
The most recorded conga drummer in the history of Jazz, Cuban-born percussionist Cándido de Guerra Camero, better known as Candido, made a notorious foray into Disco back in 1979. This, with the release of his ‘Dancin’ And Prancin’ album on Salsoul Records. A package that featured the classic ‘Thousand Fingered Man’ (which Louie Vega eventually covered years after). But also a brilliant rendition of the aforementioned. A cut written by Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji. From his 1960 ‘Drum Of Passion’ album, itself considered as the first recording to popularize African music in the West…
10 essential Salsoul Records gems / Inner Life – Ain’t No Mountain Enough (Salsoul Records)
Inner Life was the brainchild of producers Greg Carmichael and Patrick Adams along with Jocelyn Brown, Leroy Burgess and Stan Lucas. They made their debut on Prelude Records back in 1979 before switching to Salsoul 2 years later. Taken from their eponymous album, this outstanding version of the Ashford & Simpson penned ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ is their biggest classic. As remixed by Larry Levan. Called ‘The Garage Version’, it is also the first cut ever paying a so to say tribute to The Paradise Garage, speaking of which Levan was the resident DJ [More…]
10 essential Salsoul Records gems / The Salsoul Orchestra – Ooh I Love It (Love Break) (Salsoul Records)
Originally titled ‘Chicago Bus Stop (Ooh I Love It)’ The Salsoul Orchestra‘s 1975 self-titled debut-album. Under the direction of the late Vincent Montana, Jr soon after he left Gamble & Huff‘s Philadelphia International Records label along with MFSB‘s main musicians. One of the band’s signature cuts. Comin’ up with remix work by the likes of Shep Pettibone on its 12″ release. A cut which the latter sampled a few years after on his memorable remix of ‘Vogue’ for Madonna
10 essential Salsoul Records gems / Carol Williams – Love Is You (Salsoul Records)
Although she’s also remembered for early 80’s gems such as ‘Can’t Get Away From Your Love’ and ‘You’ve Reached The Bottom Line’ on Vanguard, Carol Williams, who also happened to be a member of Komiko, got her name into history as the first female artist signed on the Salsoul Records label. There, she would score her biggest classics… From ‘More’ to ‘Love Is You’ (her signature song) along with The Salsoul Orchestra. This under the direction of the late Vincent Montana, Jr.. With both of them taken from her 1977 ‘Lectric Lady’ album…
10 essential Salsoul Records gems / Logg – You’ve Got That Something (Salsoul Records)
Soon after leaving Black Ivory and before joining the Fantastic Aleems, Leroy Burgess made like a brief halt on Salsoul Records back in 1981. There, he did a one shot – an eponymous album – under the Logg guise. As a matter of fact, it stands as one of the most sought after offerings on the label. Featuring ‘I Know You Will’ a Larry Levan‘s favorite, which the latter happened to mix. But also ‘Dancing Into The Stars’ and the aforementioned…
The subject of regular battles between bidders, be it on a regular 12″ pressing and even more as a promo… This infectious slapped funk-bass driven midtempo. Co-produced by Greg Carmichael and featuring Fred McFarlane on synths, it just stands as a timeless must have. This with mixing work courtesy of John Morales

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