Classics: Ten City – My Piece Of Heaven (International Mix) (EastWest)
‘My Piece Of Heaven’ is just what it says… 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…
– A quick typing – ‘David Morales’ – 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 – Frankie Knuckles. Themselves synonyms with some of the most brilliant episodes in the maturation of the contemporary groove.
A native New Yorker of Puerto Rican ancestry, David Morales grew up during Dance Music’s most influential era. Thus, unsurprisingly frequenting its legendary clubs such as The Loft and The Paradise Garage.
As a result, it wasn’t long before he started his own nightclub – the Ozone Layer – in Brooklyn, by the beginning of the 80’s. His residency which lasted until 1986 eventually leading him to spin at The Paradise Garage in 1983. The 80’s seeing him DJing later at Newark, NJ’s famous The Zanzibar. With the latter standing as the craddle of the famous Jersey Sound also known as Garage. But also joining forces with Frankie Knuckles 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 Frankie Knuckles, David Morales has remixed and produced over 500 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. Eventually bringin’ fragments of his universe on ‘Mine To Give’ by the likes of British Junglist Photek along with Robert Owens. But also working along Brit-Soul / Acid Jazz activists. From James Taylor Quartet feat. Noel McCoy‘s ‘I Love The Life’. To the Brand New Heavies‘ ‘Never Stop’, Loose Ends‘ ‘Love’s Got Me’ and Imagination‘s ‘Instinctual’. Not to mention Lisa Stansfield‘s ‘8.3.1.’. And how to not think of Alison Limerick‘s ‘Where Love Lives’ or Incognito‘s ‘Always There’ among others?!?
Of course, David Morales made some noise in the House scene. Responsible for seminal tracks such as ‘I’ll Be Your Friend’, ‘Finally’ and ‘My Piece Of Heaven’, respectively for Robert Owens, CeCe Peniston and Ten City. This in addition to Ce Ce Rogers‘ ‘All Join Hands’, Inner City‘s ‘Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin” and Richard Rogers‘ ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’. If not Doug Lazy‘s ‘H.O.U.S.E.’.
But, just like Frankie Knuckles, he also created serious bridges with R&B names. Beginning with Mariah Carey (‘Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)’) with whom he established a long term working relationship. But also Luther Vandross (‘The Rush’) and Alexander O’Neal (‘What Is This Thing Called Love’). This in addition to Miles Jaye (‘Heaven’) and Whitney Houston (‘Love Will Save The Day’).
Meanwhile, under his own banner, Morales also made quite an impression. Beginning with his debut-album and single of the likes – ‘The Program’ – as David Morales & The Bad Yard Club back in 1993. But also ‘Needin’ U’ as The Face, five years later. And how to not remember ‘Golden Era’ along with Róisín Murphy? A cut which stood among the essential tracks of the year 2012… Or, more recently, ‘Lovin” as The Face feat. Kym Mazelle. And ‘There Must Be Love’ as fronted by Janice Robinson. This with remix courtesy of Nigel Lowis, which we welcomed as our Single Of The Week back then…
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