Real Gone Music is moving to the sound of a disco beat! In conjunction with SoulMusic Records, Real Gone has tapped the vaults of RCA Records to present two world-premiere CD reissues, both with rare bonus tracks. Perhaps no other genre has inspired as many songs imploring listeners to suppress their inhibitions and put their dancing shoes on as disco has. “Let’s Go to the Disco/’Cause I feel like dancing tonight/Let’s go to the disco/Where the music is outta sight!” The call to arms “Let’s
Tell Me How You Like It: Harmless Reissues, Expands Philly Disco From John Davis and the Monster Orchestra
What makes for a Monster Orchestra? For Philadelphia composer-arranger-conductor John Davis, it was an array of the best musicians the city had to offer. Between 1976 and 1979, Davis led his Monster Orchestra for four disco LPs on the SAM Records label, plucking its members from the A-Team of Philadelphia International’s MFSB and Salsoul Records’ Salsoul Orchestra. Guitarists Bobby Eli and Roland Chambers, percussionist/conga player Larry Washington, drummer Charles Collins, bassist Michael
Get Up and Boogie: A Big Break Bounty, Part One
With a monthly release slate averaging six titles, Cherry Red’s Big Break Records label is at the vanguard of classic soul, R&B and dance reissues. Each of the label’s deluxe releases is aimed at collectors, with copious liner notes and more often than not, a selection of rare bonus cuts. It’s been a busy summer for the Big Break team, and in this first of a two-part series, we’ll look at some of the label’s latest offerings! Silver Convention, Get Up and Boogie (1976): Earlier this
Morales Preps the (Dance) Sound of Young America on "Club Motown"
Calling all '80s Motown fans! Universal's U.K. arm has issued a double disc set of 20 classic club mixes from the label, curated by noted remixer John Morales. Motown of course crafted the sound of young America throughout the '60s and created some deeply affecting funk and soul in the '70s, but the '80s was still a prolific time, thanks to popular R&B/dance acts including Rick James and DeBarge as well as established acts like The Temptations and Commodores frontman Lionel Richie.
Love Is: Carol Williams, The Salsoul Orchestra Make Sweet Music on "'lectric Lady"
Carol Williams signed to New York’s Salsoul Records label in 1975 for one single, but stuck around for one memorable album. That lone long-player, titled ‘lectric Lady, paired the New Jersey-born vocalist – Salsoul’s first female contract signing – with the label’s premier musical outfit, The Salsoul Orchestra, for an alluring blend of disco and sleek soul. Cherry Red’s Big Break Records imprint is now feeling electric with an expanded and remastered reissue of ‘lectric Lady. Williams came to
Relight Their Fire: BBR Compiles Hits, Rarities For Loleatta Holloway, Skyy and Evelyn "Champagne" King
It’s no secret that Big Break Records, an imprint of Cherry Red Group, has mastered the art of the reissue when it comes to vintage R&B, soul and disco. But the label has expanded its horizons recently with a new series of deluxe 2-CD artist anthologies combining hits, rarities, remixes and key album tracks into one package. Three such titles are available now from the label, dedicated to the sensational Loleatta Holloway, “Shame” diva Evelyn “Champagne” King and the band Skyy. Though
The Salsoul Orchestra Goes "High," "Up the Yellow Brick Road"
Big Break Records' non-chronological series of remastered and expanded reissues for The Salsoul Orchestra has already taken listeners from 1975's eponymous debut to 1982's farewell release Heat It Up. With the recent releases of 1978's Up the Yellow Brick Road and 1979's How High, the label has filled in the gaps of its lavishly produced program of the Orchestra's classic non-holiday studio albums. (No fear, however - there are other collaborative albums and even a collection credited to The
Big Break Has "Street Sense" With Two New Salsoul Reissues
Cherry Red's Big Break Records label continues its deep exploration into the vaults of Salsoul Records with two releases that might seem like business as usual for these artists, but are anything but. Street Sense, from The Salsoul Orchestra, isn't a Vince Montana-led extravaganza but rather a project helmed by Tom Moulton, "the father of the 12-inch remix." And Loleatta Holloway's self-titled 1979 album isn't a Philly-style banquet but rather a feast of southern soul. Street Sense is another
Hot Shots: Big Break Relights Dan Hartman's "Fire," Expands Sheryl Lee Ralph's Solo Debut
Talk about fusion! For "Hands Down," the opening cut of his 1979 album Relight My Fire, Dan Hartman enlisted rock and roll great Edgar Winter to weave his alto saxophone licks throughout the Latin-flavored disco track, and Stevie Wonder to provide his instantly recognizable harmonica. Hartman wasn't just a dilettante, but a regular musical renaissance man. A veteran of the Johnny Winter Band and the Edgar Winter Group, he wrote the latter's smash hit "Free Ride," and successfully completed
Dance a Little Bit Closer with Charo and The Salsoul Orchestra, Loleatta Holloway
Cuchi-cuchi! Charo, or María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza, burst onto the cultural radar with her goofy, slightly suggestive catchphrase during the late-sixties run of the television phenomenon Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Once a frequent passenger on The Love Boat, the comedienne-bombshell still is a familiar face today on television (Dancing with the Stars, RuPaul’s Drag University) and onstage – on land and on sea, even on the good ship Disney Magic. In 1977, Charo
BBR "Heats It Up" with Salsoul Orchestra, Joe Bataan, Herbie Mann, Chris Jasper
As Big Break Records' first releases for 2014 hit stores in the U.K. today (more on those shortly!), the time is right to take a look at more from the label's closing slate of 2013. This eclectic roster - from legendary Latin music artist Joe Bataan, the post-Vince Montana iteration of The Salsoul Orchestra, jazz flautist Herbie Mann and soul man Chris Jasper - is doubtless one of BBR's strongest. So influential was Joe Bataan's 1974 Mericana Records release Salsoul that it literally
BBR Continues Its "Journey" With Salsoul Catalogue
If you're looking for another chance to "dance your ass off," look no further. Big Break Records has returned to the mighty catalogue of Salsoul Records for another three "made in Philadelphia" classics from the soulful disco label. "C'mon, Vince, play your vibes!" Loleatta Holloway exclaimed before the leader of The Salsoul Orchestra, Vince Montana Jr., stepped forward for a solo on "Run Away," the third track on the powerful unit's third non-holiday long-player. 1977's Magic Journey
Hot Stuff: Donna Summer's Legacy Celebrated with New Remix Album
The sudden passing of Donna Summer in 2012 had fans old and new flocking to her music to hear some of the finest disco music imaginable. This fall, Verve Records will bring that legacy into a new era with Love to Love You Donna, a set featuring new remixes of her most enduring tracks. Happily, Love to Love You Donna features more than its share of enduring remixers to give Summer's hits the respect they deserve. Electronic funk duo Chromeo tackles her 1982 hit "Love is in Control (Finger on
She Will Survive: BBR Reissues, Expands Gloria Gaynor's "Love Tracks" and "Park Avenue Sound"
The very first release on Big Break Records, early in 2010, was an expanded reissue of the very first solo album by Gloria Gaynor. Never Can Say Goodbye spun Clifton Davis' title track into disco gold and pioneered the sidelong disco mix with a nearly 19-minute suite from Tom Moulton consisting of "Honey Bee," "Never Can Say Goodbye," and another Motown revival, "Reach Out I'll Be There." Big Break followed that landmark 1974 album with an expansion of Experience Gloria Gaynor, from 1975. It
BBR Unveils Trio of "Winners" From The Jazz Crusaders, Inner Life and Kleeer
Odds and Ends Dept.: In the excitement over Big Break Records' recent quartet of titles from Philadelphia's Baker-Harris-Young production partnership, we temporarily overlooked three no-less-worthy, just-released reissues from the busy Cherry Red imprint: The Jazz Crusaders' Give Peace a Chance, Kleeer's Winners, and Inner Life's self-titled album. Prior to reinventing themselves as The Crusaders in 1971 and emphasizing a funkier electric style, Joe Sample (piano), Wilton Felder (saxophone),
Heart and Salsoul: BBR Reissues First Choice, Loleatta Holloway, Baker-Harris-Young and Love Committee
One could call bassist Ronnie Baker, guitarist Norman Harris and drummer Earl Young unsung heroes, but it’s not quite accurate to describe the triumvirate of musicians, songwriters, producers and arrangers as unsung. Individually or collectively, Baker, Harris and Young helmed productions by Blue Magic, The Trammps, First Choice, Ben E. King, Eddie Kendricks, The Whispers, The Persuaders, and so many more. As part of its ongoing series restoring the Salsoul Records catalogue to R&B
It's Good For The Soul! The Salsoul Orchestra's "Nice 'n' Naasty" Arrives In Expanded Edition
The third song on the first side of The Salsoul Orchestra's second album proclaims "It Don't Have to Be Funky (To Be a Groove)." But under the leadership of vibraphonist Vince Montana, Jr., the grooves were most certainly funky...as well as soulful, jazzy, and above all, danceable. 1976's Nice 'n' Naasty, just reissued in an expanded edition by Big Break Records, is an even more eclectic collection than its predecessor. It continues Big Break's top-flight program celebrating all aspects of
Let's Celebrate: Big Break Goes Deep Into The Salsoul Groove with Candido, Skyy
Following last year's releases from The Salsoul Orchestra, First Choice, Instant Funk and Double Exposure, Big Break Records continues its exploration of the Salsoul Records catalogue with two new reissues from Skyy and Candido. These discs can be said to offer another side of the Salsoul legacy as neither are locked into the Philly grooves of Vince Montana or Baker-Harris-Young. Instead, they show just how far the New York label could push the dance/R&B envelope in the waning days of
Dance A Little Bit Closer: Gold Legion Uncovers "The Salsoul Records Story"
Just in case you didn’t already know, there’s plenty of gold to be found from the Gold Legion label. Since its inception, Gold Legion has reissued and remastered classic disco records from master tape sources, adding copious annotation and bonus tracks to flesh out the stories behind the music. Some of Gold Legion’s previous releases have been dedicated to iconic singer-actress-model Grace Jones, “Turn the Beat Around” diva Vicki Sue Robinson, The Emotions as produced by Maurice White and
Do The (Salsoul) Hustle: Big Break Celebrates Salsoul Records Legacy with Four Reissues
By 1975, Philadelphia soul had become too big even for the City of Brotherly Love. In the first half of the decade, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff had, along with the third member of their Mighty Three, Thom Bell, reinvented the sound of soul music. The Pennsylvania city had become synonymous with sweeping strings, punchy horns and the hi-hat cymbal of drummer Earl Young, offering up music that could be dramatic, sweet and funky, sometimes all within the same three-minute song! Bell had long
Back Tracks, In Memoriam: Robin Gibb
May 20, 2012: We're deeply saddened to report that Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees passed away this morning in England at 10:47 a.m. (5:47 a.m. ET) at the age of 62. Gibb's passing comes following a brave battle with cancer, courageously fought in the public eye. Robin Gibb will always be remembered for his great gift of song, with his angelic voice having provided comfort to so many of us in our saddest times and pure joy in our most upbeat moments. Robin, we will miss you. In honor of this
In Memoriam: Donna Summer (1948-2012)
Who among us hasn't been touched by the music of Donna Summer? One of the defining voices of the disco era, Summer has been silenced today after a brave battle with cancer. Yet the music of LaDonna Adrian Gaines, born on New Year's Eve in 1948, will doubtless continue to transport us back to a time when vivacious music blared "On the Radio." Donna Summer implored us to take that "Last Dance" on the disco floor with some very "Bad Girls" in a nearly unrivalled string of hits. She reminded us
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