Classics: Ten City – My Piece Of Heaven (International Mix) (EastWest)
Among the few House bands who enjoyed some mainstream success, Ten City got most of their recognition from their collaboration with Marshall Jefferson. The latter producing their debut-LP – ‘Foundation’ – and its follow-up – ‘State Of Mind’ – respectively in 1988 and 1990. And subsequently gems such as ‘Devotion’, ‘Right Back To You’ and ‘Whatever Makes You Happy’ among others.
It is to say how – ‘No House Big Enough’ – their third album marked quite a change, and was eventually a challenge for them.
Lead singer Byron Stingily came up with the idea of collaborating with David Morales. Therefore, he went to NYC at Morales‘s place and both of them put together ‘My Piece Of Heaven’. They did it within a few hours, as the latter had to spin abroad the day after. And the result is just as its title says. A vibrant piece of deep & soulful House standing among the highlights of the album along with ‘Only Time Will Tell’.
More than 23 years have gone since the group has been disbanding. And one has hardly done any better since, don’t you think?
Ten City saw the light in the second half ot the 80’s in Chicago, IL. Formed by vocalist Byron Stingily, guitarist Herb Lawson, and keyboard player Byron Burke, the group originally started as Ragtyme.
Stingily met Marshall Jefferson at Trax Records after he’d heard him singing on the obscure ‘Funny Love’ by Dezz 7. Both of them layered a few unreleased songs before coming up with ‘Devotion’. The latter came to the attention of Atlantic Records who offered to sign Stingily as a solo artist. He nevertheless refused and finally brought his collegues as a part of the deal.
Ten City released their debut-album – ‘Foundation’ – back in 1989. A solid collection which featured the classic ‘Devotion’ and ‘Right Back To You’. This in addition to ‘That’s The Way Love Is’ and ‘Where Do We Go?’. Meanwhile ‘State Of Mind’ followed the year after, including gems such as ‘Whatever Makes You Happy’, ‘Superficial People’ and ‘Nothing’s Changed’.
By 1992, the trio had parted way with Marshall Jefferson and released ‘No House Big Enough’. This would be their final album with EastWest/Atlantic. An album which saw them working with David Morales on the memorable ‘My Piece Of Heaven’. One of its highlights along with ‘Only Time Will Tell’.
A last album – ‘That Was Then, This Is Now’ – followed back in 1994 on Columbia Records. But despite the presence of the outstanding ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Say Something’ (co-written with Kerri Chandler), Ten City disappeared from the radars soon after. Not because the buzz had gone, according to Discogs. But most likely because the major companies had already started getting rid of the House artists.
Stingily pursued a successful career from then. Meanwhile Byron Burke had sporadical releases soon after. The group eventually reunited on stage for Stingily‘s Bday Bash back in 2015. This givin’ space for rumors of a possible return to recording activities, although nothing’s been confirmed as of yet…
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