Tag Archives: Salsoul

Instant Funk – Got My Mind Made Up (1978)

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Two years after penning the dancefloor classic ‘Touch & Go’ for Ecstasy, Passion & Pain, Philly legend Bunny Sigler produced one of my all time favourite disco tracks. Like many of best disco moments (think ‘Jingo’, ‘Love Break’ and ‘Let’s Start A Dance’), Instant Funk’s ‘I Got My Mind Made Up’ is relentless in its groove. This sultry classic would be immortalised by Public Enemy’s Welcome To The Terrordome’ and De La Soul’s ‘A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays’ in 1990-91.  Bunny Sigler died last month; some of the Sound of Philadelphia went with him. R.I.P.

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Rhythm On The Loose ‎- Break of Dawn (1991)

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Geoff Hibbert had been producing dance music since 1988 under various guises. In 1991, he released this house banger as Rhythm On The Loose. I am tempted to label ‘Break Of Dawn’ as progressive house, but really this was a slice of breakbeat techno that was so prevalent in 1991. What made this track so ubiquitous on dance floors was Hibbert’s sampling of classic Salsoul. The Shep Pettibone mix of First Choice’s ‘Let No Man Put Asunder’ is cleverly blended.

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First Choice ‎- Doctor Love (1977)

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In 1977, First Choice comprised constants Rochelle Fleming and Annette Guest, with Ursula Herring half way through her stint as their number three. But as is the norm with a Salsoul production, the success of ‘Doctor Love’ is about the bigger team. The opening track off their album Delusions was written by the Philly musicians Felder, Tyson and Harris; it was mixed by Tom Moulton; and it was arranged by Norman Harris. That is calibre; at about 3 mins, after the upbeat vocals, just listen to that choppy guitar, drum and orchestral workout. So we start and end the week with disco. Have a great weekend.

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Edwin Birdsong – Rapper Dapper Snapper (1980)

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Edwin Birdsong 1979

Edwin Birdsong was both a creative keyboard player and songwriter. He co-wrote last week’s RAMP post ‘Daylight’ with Roy Ayers.  In 1980, on the Salsoul label, Birdsong would create something really leftfield – the dance groove that was ‘Rapper Dapper Snapper’. The beat would would enter into the public consciousness in the decade that followed when De La Soul used it as the rhythm for ‘Me, Myself & I’.

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Silvetti – Spring Rain (1976)

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Bebu Silvetti

Bebu Silvetti left his home in Argentina to go to Spain to find work as a jazz pianist. In 1970s, after a few years arranging and composing in Mexico, he returned to Spain to record his first album El Mundo Sin Palabras De Bebu Silvetti. It contained the hit single ‘Lluvia de Primavera’. The song would get a full disco mix treatment by Tom Moulton and was released on Salsoul Records as ‘Spring Rain’. Have a great weekend.

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The Salsoul Orchestra – Chicago Bus Stop (Ooh, I Love It) (1976)

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The Salsoul Orchestra

It’s the weekend! Ooh, I Love It. The Salsoul Orchestra’s ‘Chicago Bus Stop’ not only inspired the likes of Silvetti to dabble with the instrumental sound of Philly soul, but also spawned the equally legendary Paradise Garage classic ‘Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)’ (Shep Pettibone mix) and Madonna’s derivative ‘Vogue’. Best in class. Have a great weekend.

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Ecstasy, Passion & Pain – Touch & Go (1976)

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Ecstasy, Passion & Pain

Two years after mixing it with Philadelphia International Records’ legendary house-band M.F.S.B. to create dance floor standard ‘Good Things Don’t Last Forever’, Ecstasy, Passion, and Pain produced this gem. Featuring Barbara Roy on lead vocals, the band had stumbled onto a pivotal disco sound with the help from some influential friends – the song had been penned by Norman Harris, Allan Felder and Bunny Sigler. So despite its release on the struggling Roulette Records, their established place in the disco family meant that the sound would live on. Vince Montana, the founder of the Salsoul Orchestra, had played vibes for EP&P as a member of M.F.S.B.  You can hear ‘Touch & Go’ in some of the great Salsoul numbers (First Choice’s ‘Doctor Love’ and Loleatta Holloway’s ‘Love Sensation’). Good things can last for a while, if the right people are listening.

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Candido – Dancin’ and Prancin’ (1979)

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Candido

The Cuban bongo player Cándido de Guerra Camero is better known as as Candido. He was well into his fifties when disco struck, but he was in he right place (NYC) armed with the right rhythm. Making it a trinity of sounds from 1979 this week, I feature the title track off his Dancin’ and Prancin’ long player for Salsoul Records. The album became a great influence on the Chicago and Detroit house music scenes that would follow a few years later – the tracks ‘Dancin’ and Prancin” and ‘Jingo’ would be sampled and remixed countless times.

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Loleatta Holloway (feat. The Salsoul Orchestra) – Runaway (1977)

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It’s the Salsoul Orchestra and this time they’re getting down with Loleatta’s vocals. She’s not the only player on the floor with this boogie – check out Vince Montana’s solo on the vibraphone. The spiritual father of Salsoul feels it in this classic from 1977. The song would get a facelift 20 years later when Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez and ‘Little’ Louie Vega would combine with India as part of the Nuyorican Soul project – it wasn’t quite the same.

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The Salsoul Orchestra – Ooh I Love It (1983)

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‘Ooh I Love It’ is more commonly known as ‘Love Break’. And it provided one of the finest breakbeats to be sampled by the early NYC block party scene. But for me, it was Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Paid In Full’ that helped immortalise this classic track. The ‘Orchestra was the backing band for many of the stellar acts on Salsoul Records, but with this track and ‘Runaway’ (featuring Loleatta Holloway), they more than made their own impact.

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Gladys Knight & The Pips – No One Could Love You More (1971)

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The world needs to hear this song. This is one of those soul tracks that was before its years, driven by the type of backbeat pioneered by James Brown in the mid 60s. The celebratory sound of disco a full three years before Salsoul saw the light of day – the Empress’s groove just repeats gloriously over and over. A standing ovation indeed.

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