Following its 2012 reissue of R&B songstress Meli’sa Morgan‘s Capitol Records debut Do Me Baby, Cherry Red’s SoulMusic Records imprint has turned its attention to Morgan’s second long-player for the label. Good Love built on the success of Do Me Baby. Besides boasting a No. 1 R&B title track, the album established the Queens-born Morgan as a top R&B talent in her own right. She had previously sung on background vocals for the likes of Whitney Houston and Kashif, and fronted the groups Shades of Love and High Fashion, but her rendition of Prince’s song sealed the deal and proved that she was a viable headliner.
Like Do Me Baby, 1987’s Good Love counted Paul Laurence among its producers. Morgan and her frequent co-writer Lesette Wilson handled production on five tracks themselves, and multi-hyphenate talent Kashif also brought his expertise to a handful of tracks. His magic touch worked. Kashif produced, played and duetted with Morgan on soul man Skip Scarborough’s “Love Changes,” originally a 1978 hit for Mother’s Finest. Whereas the Mother’s Finest recording made it to a not-too-shabby No. 26 R&B, the Morgan/Kashif version reached No. 2 on the chart. It wasn’t the only success from Good Love, though. Paul Laurence’s uptempo dancer “If You Can Do It: I Can Too!!” escalated the R&B chart almost simultaneously with the duet, also hitting the No. 2 spot. “Here Comes the Night,” produced by Kashif with its writers Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, also went Top 20 R&B.
SoulMusic’s reissue returns Good Love to CD, and adds six bonus tracks, all various remixes. These include club and dub mixes of “If You Can Do It: I Can Too!!,” an extended remix and remix edit of the album’s title track, and an 8+-minute Special Club Opus mix of “Here Comes The Night,” along with its edited version. Justin Kantor has written new liner notes drawing on interviews with Morgan and Kashif, and Alan Wilson has remastered.
The expanded edition of Good Love is available now and can be ordered after the jump, where you’ll also find a track listing with discography. Plus: what’s the latest reissue from the legendary Nancy Wilson?
SoulMusic Records is also continuing its ongoing reissue series dedicated to the albums of Miss Nancy Wilson. The longtime Capitol Records artist, reportedly second in the label’s sales only to The Beatles at one point, had seen much of her catalogue languish on vinyl only. SoulMusic has changed all that, though, with its two-for-one CD packages. The most recent such offering paired Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (1970) and Now I’m a Woman (1971), a pop cover-oriented collection and a lost Philadelphia soul masterwork produced by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. Two more rare Wilson titles are finally arriving on CD with Music on My Mind (1978) and Life, Love and Harmony (1979) just issued as one 2-CD set.
Like most of Wilson’s ouevre, these albums deftly blur genre lines; unlike many of her albums, virtually all of the material on both albums was penned specifically for the vocalist. Music on My Mind celebrated 25 years in show business and nearly 20 years at Capitol Records, where Wilson’s first long-player was 1959’s Billy May-arranged Like in Love. For Music on My Mind, she turned to producer-composer Clarence McDonald (The Emotions, Deniece Williams), lyricists Fritz Baskett and Lani Groves, and arranger Wade Marcus. Recorded as per Wilson’s custom live in the studio with musicians and vocalist both present, Music on My Mind is in a sophisticated R&B vein. Deniece Williams co-wrote the title track, a statement of purpose; the great sax man Ernie Watts played on “Let It Flow.” Yet the album’s most recognizable track comes via “I’m in Love,” which was sampled in 2007 by Erykah Badu for her song “Honey.” Unfortunately, the single – “I’m Gonna Let Ya” b/w “Light”- didn’t make much noise on the charts, peaking at No. 94 R&B – and the album got lost in the shuffle.
Wilson turned to Larry Farrow, another producer-composer-arranger, for follow-up LP Life, Love and Harmony. As McDonald, Baskett and Groves had done on the previous album, Farrow and partner (in life and music) Carolyn Johns crafted what amounts to an original song cycle for Wilson. The collaborators flirted with disco on the title track, “You’re the One” and “Heaven,” and also supplied Wilson with ballads and love songs like “This Is Our Song” and “Open Up Your Heart and Take Me In.” One composition from other writers was brought in, the song with the unwieldy title of “You Bring Out the Best of the Woman in Me.” It was the work of English songwriters Roger Greenaway and Les Reed. Greenaway had been responsible for songs like “You’ve Got Your Troubles” and “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” while Reed was a writer of “It’s Not Unusual” and “There’s a Kind of Hush.” The most enduring song on Life, Love and Harmony, though, was Farrow and Johns’ “Sunshine,” one of the album’s jazzier compositions. This funky fusion track especially caught on in the U.K., attracting soul, R&B and acid jazz collectors. John Klemmer’s indelible saxophone stood out on “Sunshine,” as he joined both studio players such as Paulinho DaCosta and touring musicians on the track. Bill Champlin, Ernie Watts and Lee Ritenour all appeared on the album, as well. Alas, the single of “Life, Love and Harmony” only made it to No. 83 R&B, and “Sunshine” didn’t chart at all. In 1980, Wilson would depart Capitol following the album Take My Love.
Music on My Mind/Life, Love and Harmony has been remastered by Alan Wilson and features lengthy and detailed new liner notes from A. Scott Galloway. The single versions of “Life, Love and Harmony” and “Sunshine” have been appended as bonus tracks. It’s available now and can be ordered below. SoulMusic has much more from Wilson on tap, including reissues of The Sound of Nancy Wilson (1968) with Nancy (1969); and Kaleidoscope (1971) and I Know I Love Him (1973) .
Meli’sa Morgan, Good Love: Expanded Edition (Capitol 7 46943 1, 1987 – reissued SoulMusic Records SMCR 5091, 2013)
- If You Can Do It: I Can Too!!
- Here Comes the Night
- Just for Your Touch
- Good Love
- Love Changes (Duet with Kashif)
- Think It Over
- I’ll Love No More
- I Still Think About You
- You’re All I Got
- If You Can Do It: I Can Too!! (Club House Mix – Capitol V-15345 12″ single, 1987)
- If You Can Do It: I Can Too!! (Dub Version – Capitol V-15345 12″ single, 1987)
- Good Love (Extended Remix – Capitol V-15361 12″ single, 1987)
- Good Love (Remix Edit – Capitol V-15361 12″ single, 1987)
- Here Comes the Night (Special Club Opus – Capitol V-15361 12″ single, 1987)
- Here Comes the Night (Special Club Opus – Edit – Capitol V-15356 12″ single, 1987)
Nancy Wilson, Music on My Mind/Life, Love and Harmony: Expanded Edition (SoulMusic Records SMCR 5090D, 2013)
CD 1: Music on My Mind (Capitol SMAS-11786, 1978)
- I’m Gonna Let Ya
- Music on My Mind
- I’m a Balloon
- Let It Flow
- He Makes Me Feel Good ‘Bout Myself
- I’m in Love
- I Really Need Him
- Music on My Mind (Reprise)
CD 2: Life, Love and Harmony (Capitol ST-11943, 1979)
- Life, Love and Harmony
- Here’s to Us
- This is Our Song
- You’re the One
- Open Up Your Heart and Take Me In
- Wrapped Up in the Comfort of Your Love
- You Bring Out the Best of the Woman in Me
- Life, Love and Harmony (Bonus Track) (Single) (Capitol 45-4741-A, 1979)
- Sunshine (Bonus Track) (Single) (Capitol 45-4801-A, 1979)