Classics: Jamiroquai – Little L (Single Edit) (Sony Soho Square)
“You give, you receive. You receive, you give”, said to me one day my long time friend A Guy Called Gerald. Was he ever thinkin’ of Jamiroquai‘s ‘Little L’? To be honest, I doubt it, although here we have pretty much the theme of this song.
“There you were freaking out, trying to get your head around the fact that me and you and love is dead. See how I’m trippin out ’cause you can’t decide what you really want from me. Why does it have to be like this? I can never tell. You make me love you, love you baby With a little L…” Nuff said, with these in yer face lyrics speakin’ for themselves. As for the composition itself, I suppose JK felt like it had to generate the same feeling. Bringin’ it an infectious laidback Disco/Funk feel with firing string lines over a rumblin’ bassline courtesy of Nick Fyffe. The whole in a flow / energy somehow reminding of Patrice Rushen‘s ‘Forget Me Nots’…
Coming up with remixes courtesy of Bob Sinclar, Brian Tappert and Boris Dlugosh would be for much on its success. Makin’ of ‘Little L’, Jamiroquai‘s biggest Dance Hit. Although none of them had the energy of the album version.
Jamiroquai stands as the contraction of “Jam” (from jam session) and “iroquai” from “Iroquois” which is the name of a Native American tribe. The group saw the light in London back in 1992, from the reunion of Jay Kay (vocals), Toby Smith (keyboard) and Stuart Zender (bass). But also Nick Van Gelder (drums), Wallis Buchanan (didgeridoo) and Alec Moran (pipeau). Together, they would give birth to one of the most famous ventures in the then boiling Acid Jazz movement. And this, along with Incognito, Brand New Heavies and James Taylor Quartet.
The band came straight to fame with ‘When You Gonna Learn’. With thanks to Eddie Piller who released it on his Acid Jazz label. They then signed a multi-album deal with Sony and released ‘Emergency On Planet Earth’ in 1993. An album which featured ‘When You Gonna Learn’ and ‘Too Young To Die’. Not to mention its title track which received the remixing treatment of Danny Tenaglia and Masters At Work among others.
‘The Return Of The Space Cowboy’ followed the year after. It would span the classic ‘Space Cowboy’. Meanwhile, their 1996 ‘Travelling Without Moving’ album brought them to the attention of the U.S. audience. This with gems such as ‘Virtual Insanity’ and ‘Cosmic Day’.
By 1999 and the release of the ‘Synkronized’ album, one could feel a growing interest of lead singer Jay Kay in Disco vibes, as illustrated on the memorable ‘Supersonic’. An impression which he confirmed 2 years after on ‘A Funk Odyssey’ with tracks such as ‘Love Foolosophy’ and ‘Feels So Good’. Not to mention ‘Little L’, their biggest Dance hit, with remixes by the likes of Bob Sinclar and Brian Tappert. The 2005 ‘Dynamite’ marking the end of their contract with Sony, featuring extra gems such as ‘Seven Days In Sunny June’ and Tallulah’. The latter receiving the remixing treatment of Quentin Harris and Timmy Regisford in an unoffical release the year after.
By 2010 Jamiroquai released their 7th studio album, ‘Rock Dust Light Star’ which engendered relatively poor sales. Then, no more news from the band until the end of 2016 with rumors then teasers about an extra album due for release by the beginning of 2017. The latter – ‘Automaton’ – seeing the light on March 31, 2017. As preceeded by its title track and soon after ‘Cloud 9’.