Classics: Lisa Taylor – Did You Pray Today? (Extended R&B Mix) (Giant Records)
Almost 25 years have gone since its release, and I still feel goosebumps all over when havin’ a listen to it.
Imagine a Soul II Soul jam from back in the day with its typical string lines. Then give it for a remix to the Def Mix crew (Frankie Knuckles and/or David Morales) along with Terry Burrus on keyboards. Well, chances are great it would have been on that vein.
I suppose you’ve guessed it… The orchestration is just one of a kind, with Billy Preston on organ and Fred McFarlane on keyboards. Yvonne Turner and Goh Hotoda in charge of the remix duties delivering an absolute masterpiece. And therefore the ideal environment for Lisa Taylor‘s performance to reach the peak, beautifully surrounded in the backing vocals.
As its title suggests, here we have some Gospel vibes brought to some unparalelled level. An ideal song for the Christmas period of course. But also an encouragement to pray, be we religious our not, for the countless of us under suffering in this world…
Try to dig a bit deeper and chances are great you won’t find that much about Lisa Taylor. Apart from bits’n’ bops here or there most oftenly generating confusion. Not to be missed with the Chicago-based Rock artist of the likes. And most likely neither with Lisa Lehua Taylor as Discogs does for instance. Firstly, because the latter doesn’t make any mention to this track in her official biography. But also because she mentions Hawaii as her birthplace, meanwhile Lisa Taylor was born in Brooklyn, NY.
Lisa Taylor made her first foray into music as the lead singer of Rose Royce. This was back in 1989 on their ‘Perfect Lover’ album before they disbanded. She soon after went to background singing, eventually touring with Patti LaBelle. Then she managed to sign a record deal with Giant Records, releasing her debut-album – ‘Secrets Of The Heart’ – back in 1992, with production work by the likes of Sami McKinney and Robert Brookins.
Two singles saw the light from it. ‘Did You Pray Today’ and its title track which went respectively at position #40 and #41 on the Billoard R&B charts. Meanwhile ‘Better Late Than Never’ appeared on the ‘Class Act’ OST that same year. And ‘Don’t Waste My Time’did the same on the ‘Meteor Man’ OST the following year.
Released from her contract, Lisa Taylor went back to session singing. She would eventually join the Isley Brothers on ‘Koolin’ Out’, from their ‘Tracks Of Life’ album. Then Chanté Moore, Janet (Jackson) and Quincy Jones. And finally Colour Club on their ‘In The Flow’ and ‘Sexuality’ albums in 1996 and 1997. She eventually contributed to Elvis Costello‘s ‘My Thief’ the year after before disappearing from the screens from then…