Classics: Loose Ends – Hangin On A String Classic Club Reprise (10 Records)
‘Hangin On A String Classic Club Reprise… Or Loose Ends‘s biggest classic as revamped in absolute style, although keepin’ its original Brit-Soul/Funk spirit alive. One of Def Mix’s signature cuts without a single doubt. With Frankie Knuckles just adding what it takes to get this joint to the next level. Therefore parsing it with lush jazzy keys (courtesy of long time collaborator Terry Burrus). But also extra luminar string lines adding much emphasis to it. The whole over a rounded bass-driven midtempoed groove…
This Hangin On A String Classic Club Reprise most definitely counts among Knuckles‘ best reworks ever…
– I guess it will just be payin’ justice to Loose Ends when sayin’ they opened the path for the Brit-Soul to see the light back at the ends of the 80’s. The group emerged by the beginning of the decade. This from the reunion between keyboardist/trumpet player Steve Nichols and singer Jane Eugene. Two long time friends who first met at the London Guidhall School of Music and Drama. With top sesion bass player Carl McIntosh soon after joining them.
The threesome made their debut back in 1981 with ‘In The Sky’. A cut which Chris Amoo and his late brother Eddie of The Real Thing fame wrote for them. Meanwhile George Hardgreaves wrote and produced its follow-up, ‘We’re Arrived’ the year after. Then they released ‘Don’t Hold Back Your Love’ which they wrote by themselves in 1983. Eventually turning their name from Loose End to Loose Ends for the occasion. This before starting a fruitful relationship with Philadelphia-based in-demand producer Nick Martinelli.
Loose Ends dropped their debut-album – ‘A Little Spice’ – in 1984. Establishing themselves in Soul/Dance circles with ‘Tell Me What You Want’, but also ‘Emergency Dial 999’ and ‘Choose Me’. The year after seeing them scoring their biggest classic. This by the likes of ‘Hangin’ On A String (Contemplating)’. One of the highlights from their ‘So Where Are You?’ album along with ‘Magic Touch’. Further gems comin’ up in 1986 as a part of their ‘Zagora’ album. Beginning with ‘Slow Down’ but also ‘Ooh You Make Me Feel’. Meanwhile finding the time to collaborate with other artists. From Juliet Roberts (‘Ain’t You Had Enough Love’). To Five Star, writing the memorable ‘All Fall Down’ and ‘Let Me Be The One’ for them.
‘The Real Chuckeeboo’ would be their last album with their original line-up, as with producer Nick Martinelli. With both Nichols and Eugene soon after leavin’ upon artistic disagreements with McIntosh. It eventually spanned extra goodies such as ‘Watching You’ and ‘Mr Bachelor’. Although the latter was not included on the British pressing of the album for some reason.
McIntosh then on his own recruited new members Linda Carriere and Sunay Suleyman. And together they released ‘Look How Long’ back in 1990. But despite the presence of other delights such as its title track, ‘Love’s Got Me’ and ‘Don’t Be A Fool’, it would be the very last Loose Ends studio album. 10 Records releasing ‘Tighten It Up Vol. 1’ two years after. A Remix package featuring a ‘Hangin On A String Classic Club Reprise’ (as remixed by Frankie Knuckles. But also ‘Slow Down’ by Andrew Komis and ‘Love’s Got Me’ by David Morales among others…
Sadly enough nothing new has ever seen the light from them anymore. This to the exception of a brief reunion of the band on a single by the likes of Pete Rock – ‘Take Your Time’ – back in 1996. And one could eventually hear the rumors of a new album to be released back in 2010. But that remained unheeded at the end.
– A quick typing – ‘Frankie Knuckles’ – in the search box of our site should give you a certain idea of his legacy. And, by that, of the consideration we have for him. Standing among the most prolific but first and foremost talented producers/remixers of his generation. With his name firmly associated to a signature – the Def Mix Sound – and an alter ego – David Morales. Themselves synonyms with some of the most brilliant episodes in the maturation of the contemporary groove.
A native New Yorker, Frankie Knuckles arrived right on time to witness the early stages of the nightclubbing and its music – Disco – in the Big Apple. Eventually hangin’ out with his friend, Larry Levan, before comin’ to play Disco, Soul and R&B jams at The Continental Baths and The Gallery.
Knuckles relocated to Chicago, IL by the second half of the 70’s. This after a friend of his by the likes of Robert Williams had opened a space that was to become The Warehouse. Eventually inviting him to play on a regular basis. There, he came with a blend of everything, from Disco classics to European electronic fueled sounds and Rock. The whole setting up the foundations as what was to become House Music by the middle of the 80’s. This along with the use of drum machines and samplers.
Knuckles made his thing in Chicago, eventually collaborating with Jamie Principle. But he also happened to join forces with David Morales and For The Record DJ Pool founder Judy Weinstein under the Def Mix Productions banner to help manage remix requests and handle artist business affairs.
On his own or along with either David Morales or Eric Kupper, Frankie Knuckles has remixed and produced over 600 releases. With the list of those he happened to rework the music of givin’ a better idea of the impact he generated. And this way above the strict spheres of House Music. Beginning with blasts from the past such as My Mine‘s ‘Hypnotic Tango’ which he came to rework. But also Jago‘s quite sought after ‘I’m Going To Go’. Then Double Exposure‘s ‘My Love Is Free’ and Diana Ross (‘Love Hangover’). Eventually bringin’ fragments of his universe on Swing Out Sister‘s ‘Notgonnachange’. The latter being an example of the demand he generated in the UK. From Tongue’N’Cheek‘s ‘Tomorrow’ to L.A. Mix‘s ‘Live Together’ and D*Note (‘D*Votion 99’). Not to mention Lisa Stansfield‘s ‘Change’ or Loose Ends”Hangin’ On A String Classic Club Reprise’.
Of course, Frankie Knuckles made some noise in the House scene. Responsible for seminal tracks such as ‘Tears’ along with Satoshi Tomiie and Robert Owens. But also ‘And I Loved You’ featuring the same Tomiie and Arnold Jarvis. Both of them on FFRR. And how to not think of the burning ‘One Man’ by the likes of Chanelle back in 1989? Or Lil Louis feat. ChinahBlac‘s ‘Fable’??? With the same applying to Hercules & Love Affair‘s ‘Blind’. Then Sybil‘s ‘Let’s Yourself Go’. With the list to be incomplete without a mention to the Director’s Cut signature which he put together along with long time friend Eric Kupper.
And, just like David Morales, he also created serious bridges with R&B names. Beginning with Michael Jackson (‘Rock With You’). But also Chaka Khan (‘Ain’t Nobody’) and David Peaston (‘We’re All In This Together’). This in addition to The Gap Band (‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’) and Chanté Moore (‘This Time’). Then Toni Braxton (‘Un-Break My Heart’) and Womack & Womack (‘MPB’). Not to mention En Vogue‘s ‘You Don’t Have To Worry’ or Will Downing‘s ‘A Love Supreme’…
Meanwhile, under his own banner, Knuckles also made quite an impression. Delivering his debut-album – ‘Beyond The Mix’ – back in 1991. And in the meantime one of his biggest classics ever by the likes of ‘The Whistle Song’. Eventually sharing the bill four years later with Jersey songstress Adeva on the ‘ Welcome To The Real World’ album. With his final album – ‘A New Reality’ – seeing the light back in 2004.
Frankie Knuckles sadly died on March 31, 2014 in Chicago, IL, of complications from diabetes. He was 59…