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

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