Classics: Swing Out Sister – Notgonnachange (Classic Club Mix) (Fontana)
Notgonnachange… Not so sure at the end! Of course, you’ve surely have heard (of) them. Haven’t you? ‘Breakout’, ‘Surrender’, ‘Am I The same Girl’… As many illustrations of Swing Out Sister‘s unique style. Blending Soul and Jazz vibes with a Pop feel over sophisticated arrangements…
A brilliant example being the vibrant ‘Notgonnachange’. The latter seeing Corinne Drewery and Andy Connell going even further way in a symphonic environment. This along with an orchestra under the direction of Gavyn Wright.
From their 1992 ‘Get In Touch With Yourself’ album… ‘Notgonnachange’ received the characteristic remix treatment that’s been for so much on the recognition of the Def Mix style. With the late Frankie Knuckles at the command along with Satoshi Tomiie on Keys and Terry Burrus on piano. Thus in a lascivious vein somehow reminding of what David Morales did on Loose Ends‘ ‘Love’s Got Me’…
‘Notgonnachange’… But why would they at the end? You let us know…
– As a long time music lover, I suppose I’ve never encountered any problems with artists comin’ up with a Pop feel in their compositions. This, of course, as long as the overall feeling isn’t cheesy or M.O.R. This most likely explaining how I always managed to keep an ear open to groups such as Matt Bianco. But also the transient Paprika Soul (remember their cover version of Cerrone‘s ‘Music Of Life’). If not Swing Out Sister!
Swing Out Sister delivered their debut-album – ‘It’s Better To Travel’ – back in 1987. But their first single – ‘Blue Mood’ – saw the light back in 1985. Meanwhile their first success came up the year after. In other words, the memorable ‘Breakout’!
It would be the beginning of an impressive series for keyboardist Andy Connell and female singer Corinne Drewery. This after the departure of Martin Jackson following the release of SOS‘s first album. An effort that spanned extra gems such as ‘Surrender’ and ‘Twilight World’. Meanwhile Swing Out Sister would enlist the arrivals of extra talents. From trumpeter John Thirkle and saxophonist Gary Barnacle whom you might remember of for their collaborations with Level 42. To trumpet/fluegelhorn master Jerry Hey among others.
‘Kaleidoscope World’, their second album, saw the light back in 1989. Thus confirming their inclination for symphonic arrangements, with the incorporation of an orchestra in their recordings. With the same applying to cinematic vibes such as on their cover version of ‘Windmills Of Your Mind’. Even though it only came to light as a single.
Another 3 years would go before the release of their third effort, ‘Get In Touch With Yourself’. With the latter featuring their cover version of Barbara Acklin‘s 1968 Soul hit ‘Am I The Same Girl?’. This in addition to ‘Notgonnachange’ with remixing work courtesy of the late Frankie Knuckles.
Comin’up in September 1994, ‘Living Return’, their fourth album, marked quite a change. With the replacement of historical producer Paul Staveley O’Duffy by Ray Hayden after a few sessions. The whole resulting in a different sound which the fans of the group obviously didn’t appreciate that much at the end. This despite the presence of the outstanding ‘Making The Right Moves’ which, after all these years, remains an absolute must-have!
The release of their ‘Shapes And Patterns’ back in 1997 definitely established them as key figures in Japan. Marking the return of O’Duffy in the meantime. Strangely enough though, SOS never reached again the level of worldwide popularity they achieved to get so far. Probably because of the drastic changes which occurred in the record industry. Even though they never ceased producing quality material as a matter of fact…
– 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.
All in all, 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’).
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…