First Listen: Joey Negro feat. Linda Clifford – Won’t Let Go (Joey Negro Club Mix) (Z Records)
Some people happen to be gifted with like a natural elegance. It’s obviously the case whenever speakin’ of Joey Negro. A man who, for more than 25 years has crafted and impressive series of top notched gems. Along with the Sunburst Band, as under his numerous guises. Somehow establishing himself as the missing link between Disco and House.
‘Won’t Let Go’ sees him jammin’ with Linda Clifford in an unexpected role. Delivering a spoken word performance as opposed to be singing. Her voice nevertheless stands out along with stellar jazzy keys courtesy of Kaidi Tatham. With the whole over a rounded funk driven rhythm pattern…
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– Brooklyn, NY native Linda Clifford is a multi-talented artist. She first came to light as an actress back at the end of the sixties. This in films such as ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, ‘The Boston Strangler’, ‘Coogan’s Bluff’ and ‘Sweet Charity’. Reduced to minor roles though, she gave up to focus on developping her career as a singer.
Recognition would come in 1978 with the release of her second album. Its title track – ‘If My Friends Could See me Now’ – standing as her biggest success ever. An album which also included the memorable ‘Runaway Love’ and ‘You Are You Are’.
With Mayfield’s Curtom Records signing a joint venture with RSO, she would gain extra success with her Disco cover version of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. This as a part of ‘Let Me Be Your Woman’, her second album for this new association back in 1979. Eventually comin’ up with a duet album – ‘The Right Combination’ – with Curtis Mayfield in 1980. That same year seeing her releasing her ‘I’m Yours’ album which spanned the #1 US Dance Club Songs ‘Red Light’ and ‘Shoot Your Best Shot’.
With her contract switching to Capitol, she delivered I’ll Keep on Loving You two years after. It included the memorable ‘All The Man I Need’ with the late Luther Vandross in charge of the vocal arrangements. Sister Sledge covered it the year after. With Whitney Houston and Luther Vandross following respectively in 1990 and 1994. Although the latter retitled it ‘All The Woman I Need’ for the occasion.
‘My Heart’s On Fire’, her last solo album to date, saw the light back in 1985. Seeing her flirting with Swing vibes on the firing ‘The Heat In Me’.
Clifford made a brilliant come back in 2000 with the Ralphi Rosario produced ‘Changin”. And more precisely with its Shelter remixes courtesy of Blaze on West End. The year after, she secured her fourth UK Singles Chart entry with ‘Ride The Storm’, billed as Akabu featuring Linda Clifford on NRK. The latter getting her to collaborate with Joey Negro with whom she released ‘Spinnin” two years later as Prospect Park featuring Linda Clifford. Then, more recently, ‘Won’t Let Go’ as Joey Negro featuring Linda Clifford in 2017.