First Listen: Michael Watford – Love Change Over (Salt City Orchestra Vocal Changeover) (Hard Times)
‘Love Change Over’… A First Listen for the newest generations. Although a classic for the older ones. Hard to forget about UK label Hard Times’ releases. But also the incredible nights they started running during the nineties.
Well, you’ve guessed it, Michael Watford‘s ‘Love Change over’ is not a new release. It saw the light back in 1995 as a matter of fact with mixes courtesy of Terry Farley and Peter Heller. Another package followed soon after with remixes by the likes of DJ Pierre and Salt City Orchestra. This being the one we’re talking about today…
More than 20 years have gone since, but the impression is still the same. The one of a powerful jam, in the caliber of those we used to be surrounded with back at the time. The one of soulfulness at its deepest, speaking of which US singer Michael Watford stood as an ambassador. Elliot Eastwick, Miles Hollway and Simon Bradshaw aka Salt City Orchestra delivering a syncopated rework over a one of a kind bassline.
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Born in Virginia and raised in New Jersey, Michael Watford has established himself as one of the ambassadors of soulful House Music in the 90’s. That thing some used to call Garage at the time. Hard to make abstraction of his undeniable Gospel influences as a matter of fact. In a vein or vibe if not energy to be compared to the ones of the late Darryl Pandy.
Watford counts among the very rare House artists who signed a record deal with a major company. This was back in 1994 with EastWest / Atlantic. There he delivered an eponymous album which would be his first and last though. An album featuring the memorable ‘So Into You’ which got him to #1 position in the Dance Hits Stateside. A cut produced by the late John Robinson, a former radio jock and a member of Smack Productions. Other tracks pretty much worth the listen from this package including the Roger S and Smack Productions crafted ‘Holdin’ On’. But also ‘Love To The World’ and ‘Happy Man’
Released from his contract, Watford soon after collaborated with countless producers. He worked among others with Marshall Jefferson, sharing the vocal duties with Robert Owens on ‘Come Together’ (Hard Times). For the same label, he also collaborated with Farley & Heller on the outstanding ‘Love Change Over’ with additional remixes courtesy of DJ Pierre, Fire Island and Salt City Orchestra. And how now to mention the seminal ‘My Love’ along with People Underground produced by Masters At Work? This in addition to GTS, Deep Bros., Jamie Lewis and Jon Cutler among others.
The recent years seeing him sharing the bill with Jerzee-based producer DJ Shaheer Williams on ‘Faith’.
Lesser known is the fact that he also contributed to Gate Decor‘s anthemic ‘Passion’ as BMW.