Classics: Black Masses – Wonderful Person (MAW Vocal Mix) (MAW Records)
I guess it’s fair to say that Black Masses made themselves a reputation as purveyors of quality vibes. This in the British underground House scene during the 90’s. With the boiling hot ‘Wonderful People’ being for much on this.
No need to dig kinda deep to realize where Cleveland Anderson and Co. got their influences. With ‘Wonderful Person’ sounding like a brilliant response to Linda Clifford‘s ‘You Are You Are’ released back in 1978. A parental link which felt undeniable on the original take of ‘Wonderful Person’ that saw the light 19 years after on Tom Tom Club. Then even more obvious when Masters At Work released it on their own label the year after. Eventually injecting a phatter bassline courtesy of Gene Perez. But also rearranging its vocal part over a more slammin’ ryhthm pattern.
Wonderful person? A formulation we’d rather get to the plural form in front of so much talent. Don’t you think?
Cleveland Anderson gave birth to Black Masses back in 1993. Most likely turning it into a family of musicians, writers and producers. This with regulars such as Pete Hines of the Incognito fame and Curtis Stewart-Paul.
They soon after delivered their debut-single,comin’ up with a cover version of Gil Scott-Heron‘s classic ‘The Bottle’. Then followed it with ‘Put A Smile On My Face/Keep On Smiling’ with Eva Clayton takin’ the lead along with Aleana Adams, Angie Brown and Mary Pearce on backing vocals.
Black Masses‘ third single – ‘Wonderful Person’ – saw them so to say takin’ on where Linda Clifford had left back in 1978. This with their interpolation of her Curtis Mayfield penned classic ‘You Are You Are’. Masters At Work eventually licensing it on their MAW Records label and givin’ it extra remixes of theirs. Meanwhile, ‘My Heavenly Stars’, their fourth single, saw the light as tribute to Al Green. With Angie Brown takin’ the lead this time. Finding a home in their native Britain on Azuli Records with remixing work courtesy of Joey Negro. With Easy Street releasing it Stateside. This getting them to remix both Darryl D’Bonneau‘s ‘Just To Be With You’ and De’ Lacy‘s ‘Love Me’ for the label.
The last trace we have of Black Masses bringin’ us back to 2003 and the release of ‘U Know How To Love Me’. This with remixes courtesy of Lenny Fontana on his Odyssey Records imprint.