Monday, October 15, 2012

The Winstons - Amen, Brother (1969)

Found this on 45 at the Swansea Sally's: Amen, Brother by The Winstons. Featuring what's billed as the "most famous drum break of all time."

For the full story, check out this pretty amazing 18-minute video breakin' it down:

which reveals the track was sampled on 3rd Bass' Wordz Of Wisdom and Straight Outta Compton by NWA, among other classic hip-hop joints.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Patti Jo - Make Me Believe In You (Tom Moulton Mix) (1975)

Today I stopped at the Swansea Sally's and found $20 worth of great records. One of which was Disco Gold, an underground disco compilation from 1975 entirely composed of remixes by legendary 70s producer and remixer Tom Moulton, aka the father of both the remix and the 12" single. And one of the standout tracks on that was Make Me Believe In You, by Patti Jo.

It was originally written and produced by Curtis Mayfield, and released as a single in 1973. The original version is great, but Tom Moulton's mix is off the charts fantastic. This track was specifically mentioned by Andrew Holleran in his classic 1978 novel Dancer from the Dance about queer life in New York City, set amidst a backdrop of the era's gay bars and discos.

Disco Gold is super cool artifact of the 70s disco era because the back cover lists nearly 300 disco DJ's with the dedication, "Thanks, for without your help this album would not be possible." The list includes pioneers like Steve D'Acquisto, George Cucuzzella, Alfie Davison, Francis Grasso, Walter Gibbons, John Hedges, Richie Kaczor, Barry Lederer, Larry Levan, John Luongo, David Mancuso, David Rodriguez, Tom Saverese, Nicky Siano, Roy Thode and David Todd. Additionally, on the inside gatefold cover, there's a list of nearly 200 discos that were operating in 1975, primarily ones in New York City but also discos in 16 other states, plus D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia, and the French West Indies.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Spoonie Gee and The Treacherous Three - The New Rap Language (1980)

I love The Treacherous Three. Their cut At The Party has been one of my fave party rap dancefloor-fillers ever since I discovered it many moons ago, and Feel The Heartbeat is the smooth shit.

So imagine how psyched was I today when I found out their first ever recorded track was pretty freaking incredible, too. And I also never knew Spoonie Gee was originally a member of the crew! The New Rap Language was the B-side to Spoonie Gee's Love Rap, and came about because Spoonie was the nephew of veteran NYC record-store owner and independent record producer Bobby Robinson (no relation to Sylvia Robinson of Sugarhill Records). When Spoonie got signed to his uncle's label Enjoy Records, he convinced Robinson to let Special K, Kool Moe Dee, and L.A. Sunshine (plus DJ Easy Lee) back him up on his first single's B-side.

Bobby Robinson also went on to helm The Treacherous Three's other classic joints. This cat was legendary! His record shop ("Bobby's Record Shop," later "Bobby's Happy House") opened its doors in 1946, and was the first black-owned business on 125th Street in Harlem. Damn! And he founded or co-founded five record labels in all. Back in the day, he produced The Happy Organ for Dave "Baby" Cortez, which went all the way to #1 in 1959, and was the 1st-ever instrumental to top the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the first pop hit to feature the electric organ as the lead instrument.

Anyway, The New Rap Language was groundbreaking. It paved the way for fast-talking rappers everywhere (their style was dubbed speed-rapping), and took lyrical prowess to a new level at the very dawn of the rap era.

-Dyn-O-Mite

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Sequence - Funk You Up (1979)

Listened to some more of the vinyl from this week's thrift store score, and the joint that stood out was Funk You Up, by The Sequence. It was the very next release (SH-543) on Sugarhill Records in '79 after The Sugarhill Gang dropped Rapper's Delight (SH-542), and these ladies were layin' down some powerful rhymes...rappin' in the key of R-A-P. Straight outta' Columbia, South Carolina, where the three of them were high school cheerleaders together.

Apparently, the first rap record released by a female group. Hip hop history! The cut reached #15 on the Black Singles chart, and was co-written by label owner Sylvia Robinson. Later, The Sequence backed up Spoonie Gee on his 1980 hit Monster Jam, and much later, starting in the 90s, lead rapper Angie B (Brown Stone) had a neo-soul career as Angie Stone.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Friday, August 31, 2012

Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby (1990)

Besides the rare grooves in this latest thrift sto' stash, I also snagged a copy of Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice. The first ever hip-hop track to top the Billboard charts (continuing the time-honored tradition of white American artists profiting from black music), and a massively over-played video that still draws attention today with many, many millions of views on YouTube, this track is the very antithesis of a rare groove.

I never owned the track before (and apparently the 12" is rarer than you would think, since it was pulled from stores after the song hit #1, becuz the record company wanted folks to buy the whole album). But had to get it. I remember watching Ice (aka Rob Van Winkle) on the best reality show of all time, The Surreal Life, on its second (and best ever) season, which aired over the winter of 2004, also featuring Ron Jeremy, Erik Estrada, Tammy Faye Messner (Bakker), and a memorable cameo by Gary Coleman.

Before this show, the last time Ice had made headlines was in 1999, during the taping of an MTV special called 25 Lame. He was invited on camera to destroy the master tape of the video for Ice Ice Baby, and instead took a baseball bat to the show's set. The Surreal Life revealed a very vulnerable Vanilla Ice. (Note from 9/10/13 - and also relaunched his career, leading directly to his current stint as a star of reality TV home improvement shows, the latest being Vanilla Ice Goes Amish, which premieres on October 12, 2013.) It was because Ice told Ron J. how much he admired Rick James that Ron called the guy up and got him to stop by the set one night, and it was very sweet, Ice was totally awestruck. Erik Estrada chimed in and told the camera, "I knew Rick from the Studio 54 days...I used to like to trip to New York City, Friday night, I'd head right to Studio 54, until Sunday morning, just jamming all night and getting crazy." When Ice asked Rick, "How did you two guys meet?", meaning him and Ron J., Rick said to Ron, "You'd come to my house, man, every night, and there'd be like, 30 girls." Classic.

By August of that year, Rick James was dead.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tina B - Honey To A Bee (1984)

This morning, for the second day in a row, I was back at the same thrift sto', picking up a few more tracks from the dolla bin, all part of the same stash of vintage 80s electro/freestyle/house rekkids I discovered the day before. But I didn't add this one to my pile b/c it was pretty scratched up. Think I already own a copy, anyway. Definitely a stellar Arthur Baker electro production. I don't know if he was married to Tina B at the time this track dropped or if they tied the knot at a later date.

Even tho' I left it for the next lucky digger, it was still joint-worthy, because previewing it on YouTube reminded me how fresh it sounds. Plus turned me on to a dope fan-made video compilation of classic breakdancing footage, including scenes from Graffiti Rock, a series that was intended to be a hip hop Soul Train, but instead only aired as a pilot episode on June 29, 1984 on WPIX in New York City. Unfortunately, that particular video has since disappeared from sight.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cybotron - Clear (1983)

Today I unearthed a nice stack of choice records at a thrift store spot I seldom swing through, and clearly, it was a good thing I stopped there. The first joint I spotted, the one that made me realize there were goodies lurking, was Clear, by Cybotron.

A legendary electro release, and one of the records that heralded the dawn of techno. Cybotron (Juan Atkins, Richard "3070" Davis, and John "Jon 5" Housley) got signed to Fantasy Records after their two earliest tracks, self-released out of Detroit as 7" slices of wax in 1981 and '82, sold a combined 15,000 copies. Clear was the most successful single off their 1983 debut LP, Enter, and shipped 50,000 nationwide.

There's debate over whether this can be considered the first-ever pure "techno" track, an argument that's a little silly in light of the fact that Cybotron was building on the foundation already laid down by Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra. And a lot of people consider Clear too electro to be techno, pointing to Cybotron's 3rd single, Techno City, as the real techno holy grail, or No UFO's, the first track that Atkins released (as Model 500) on Metroplex, the record label he founded after leaving Cybotron over creative differences with Davis. But however you want to classify it, Clear is still a classic track.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Banana Splits - Doin' The Banana Split (1968)

If you've got little kids or know any, take some words of Soul'ed Out wisdom to heart and DO NOT let them watch this video right before bedtime.

They'll be jumpin' around the crib for hours thinking they've joined the Sour Grapes Bunch.

I remember totally digging this show back in the day, mostly for the live action segments, especially Danger Island, and animated shorts like Arabian Knights. But re-watching it now, I can more fully appreciate how groovy it was to have an anthropomorphic, psychedelic rock group entertaining the youth of America on Saturday mornings at the height of the hippie era.

This slice of funky banana was written by Mr. Love Unlimited himself, Barry White, and originally aired September 14, 1968 in the show's second episode.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kurtis Blow - America (1985)

Today's history lesson comes courtesy of Professor Kurtis Blow:

Kurtis was totally breaking it down with this powerful pro-peace, pro-unity, anti-war statement. Little wonder I never saw this video on MTV back in the day, circa when it dropped in 1985. (Editor's note: Another entry in the coincidence or cosmic convergence category - this is the 85th post to appear on Soul'ed Out, UnLtd. The universal funk elders must be lookin' out for the SOUL train!)

Pretty sure I found this 12" at the recent clearance sale that the former Stock Exchange owners were holding in the old American Tourister factory in Warren, along with a fat stack of other classic hip hop joints that had somehow escaped crate-digging notice.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Apollo Cobra - All My Friends (2012)

Right on schedule for first day of Summer '12, we got the newest and freshest JOTD yet pimped here...from an album that's not even officially released for another three days. I heard this track tonite on WUMD (big ups to DJ Elio, regular host of Nightly Jams), which broadcasts at 89.3 FM in the Southern New England area, the same frequency as WXYC. But it's crankin' at 9600 watts, or nearly 10 times XYC's power (1100 watts). And since you can pick up XYC to Raleigh and back, it's no wonder WUMD comes in loud and clear all across Rhode Island.

So, Apollo Cobra. Self-proclaimed providers of "HUGE beats and MASSIVE dance parties across a small part of the globe." Legendary among at least the couple of thousand folks who have so far seen the fun video for their dancefloor anthem from last fall, Let's Dance To This:


Panda disco, baby! Straight outta St. Paul, MN. New album Motherland about to drop. And this track is not even on YouTube. So we're embedding it from Bandcamp.


All My Friends reminded me of Depeche Mode when I heard it, or maybe that was just b/c I saw a CD copy of Violater at the Newport Sally's today. Which I didn't buy. Becuz I premonitioned that a close encounter with Apollo Cobra was just around the corner. Or maybe I wuz just picking up mental vibrations from this afternoon when my friend Kennae told me about the mermaids she's hoping to catch sight of on some show about river dwelling creatures she likes on Animal Planet.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, June 18, 2012

Les Rita Mitsouko - Andy (1985)

Visiting Rhode Island, I've been jonesing for fresh music and overlooked dusty grooves. Which has led me to haunt every thrift store within a three-state radius, and become pals again with every college and low-power station on the FM dial. So I was especially psyched when out of the blue, dance party aficionado and musicologist Hannah13 turned me on to some amazing sounds today.



Totally rad. At first I thought this track was brand new, then realized it's from the 80s. Which is really shocking, Les Rita Mitsouko were ahead of their time for sure. These funky French cats were too cool. Now I've gotta find their LP's. Andy was the first single from their second album, The No Comprendo, produced by longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti. One half of the duo, guitarist and keyboardist Fred Chichin died of cancer in 2007, RIP.

- Dyn-O-Mite

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From 2000-2008, Ringside in Durham, NC was the South's coolest nightspot, a decadent refuge for queers and straights alike. Ringside may be gone, but memories of the best damn party in town live on!