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Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Collection of Zhané

Given a high-profile spot on the all-star compilation Roll Wit tha Flava as their first recording opportunity, Zhané lived up to the pressure and came away with one of the hip-hop party anthems of all time, "Hey, Mr. DJ." Jean Norris and Renee Neufville initially met while both were studying music at Philadelphia's Temple University (Norris is originally from Rhode Island, Neufville from Jamaica). After meeting Naughty by Nature Kay Gee, Zhané impressed the producer enough to go right into the studio to record for Roll Wit tha Flava. When "Hey, Mr. DJ" was released as a separate single as well, it hit number six on the pop charts and earned the group a contract with Motown in 1994. Their debut album, Pronounced Jah-Nay, produced two further Top 40 hits ("Groove Thang," "Sending My Love") and went gold by the end of the year. Zhané kept busy during 1995-1996 with spots on tracks by Busta Rhymes and De La Soul as well as new songs of their own on the NFL Jams and NBA 50th Anniversary compilations and the soundtracks to Higher Learning and A Low Down Dirty Shame -- the latter, "Shame," became their fourth Top 40 hit. Norris and Neufville returned with a new LP in 1997, co-produced by Kay Gee, Eddie F., and themselves. It peaked just outside the Top 40. Allmusic by John Bush

Album: Pronounced Jah-Nay (1994)

01. Hey Mr. D.J.
02. Intro (Interlude)
03. Vibe
04. Sending My Love
05. Sweet Taste Of Love
06. Changes
07. You're Sorry Now
08. Love Me Today
09. Off My Mind
10. La, La, La
11. Groove Thang
12. For A Reason
13. Hey Mr. D.J. [Remix]

Album: Saturday Night (1997)

01. Request Line
02. Saturday Night
03. So Badd
04. Crush
05. This Song Is For You
06. Just Like That
07. Last Dance
08. Good Times
09. For The Longest Time
10. Rendez-Vous
11. My Word Is Bond
12. Kindness For Granted
13. Temporary Thing
14. Confusion
15. Color
16. Piece It Together


Monday, October 29, 2012


Collection of LSG

LSG is Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill, a trio of urban R&B stars who have collected thirty number one R&B hits and album sales of more than thirty million between themselves. The superstar side project began when Sweat called Levert and told him about his idea of recording an album with old friend Johnny Gill. Enlisting a roster of producers and co-stars worthy of their own lofty status, LSG worked with Sean "Puffy" Combs and Jermaine Dupri plus rappers LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes and MC Lyte for their debut album, 1997's Levert.Sweat.Gill. Led by the Top Five single "My Body," the album easily went platinum.

Album: Levert. Sweat. Gill (1997)

01. Door #1
02. Round & Round
03. You Got Me
04. Where Did I Go Wrong
05. My Body
06. All The Times
07. My Side Of The Bed
08. Curious
09. Let A Playa Get His Freak On
10. Love Hurts
11. Drove Me To Tears
12. Where Did I Go Wrong

Album: LSG 2 (2003)

01. Just Friends
02. Wide Open
03. Shake Down
04. Fa-Free
05. Yesterday
06. Play With Fire
07. What About Me
08. All I Know
09. Lessons Learned
10. Can't Get Over You
11. Cry & Make Love


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Earth, Wind And Fire

Collection of Earth, Wind & Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire were one of the most musically accomplished, critically acclaimed, and commercially popular funk bands of the '70s. Conceived by drummer, bandleader, songwriter, kalimba player, and occasional vocalist Maurice White, EWF's all-encompassing musical vision used funk as its foundation, but also incorporated jazz, smooth soul, gospel, pop, rock & roll, psychedelia, blues, folk, African music, and, later on, disco. Lead singer Philip Bailey gave EWF an extra dimension with his talent for crooning sentimental ballads in addition to funk workouts; behind him, the band could harmonize like a smooth Motown group, work a simmering groove like the J.B.'s, or improvise like a jazz fusion outfit. Plus, their stage shows were often just as elaborate and dynamic as George Clinton's P-Funk empire. More than just versatility for its own sake, EWF's eclecticism was part of a broader concept informed by a cosmic, mystical spirituality and an uplifting positivity the likes of which hadn't been seen since the early days of Sly & the Family Stone. Tying it all together was the accomplished songwriting of Maurice White, whose intricate, unpredictable arrangements and firm grasp of hooks and structure made EWF one of the tightest bands in funk when they wanted to be. Not everything they tried worked, but at their best, Earth, Wind & Fire seemingly took all that came before them and wrapped it up into one dizzying, spectacular package.
White founded Earth, Wind & Fire in Chicago in 1969. He had previously honed his chops as a session drummer for Chess Records, where he played on songs by the likes of Fontella Bass, Billy Stewart, and Etta James, among others. In 1967, he'd replaced Redd Holt in the popular jazz group the Ramsey Lewis Trio, where he was introduced to the kalimba, an African thumb piano he would use extensively in future projects. In 1969, he left Lewis' group to form a songwriting partnership with keyboardist Don Whitehead and singer Wade Flemons. This quickly evolved into a band dubbed the Salty Peppers, which signed with Capitol and scored a regional hit with "La La Time." When a follow-up flopped, White decided to move to Los Angeles, and took most of the band with him; he also renamed them Earth, Wind & Fire, after the three elements in his astrological charts. By the time White convinced his brother, bassist Verdine White, to join him on the West Coast in 1970, the lineup also consisted of Whitehead, Flemons, female singer Sherry Scott, guitarist Michael Beal, tenor saxophonist Chet Washington, trombonist Alex Thomas, and percussionist Yackov Ben Israel. This aggregate signed a new deal with Warner Bros. and issued its self-titled debut album in late 1970. Many critics found it intriguing and ambitious, much like the 1971 follow-up, The Need of Love, but neither attracted much commercial attention, despite a growing following on college campuses and a high-profile gig performing the soundtrack to Melvin Van Peebles' groundbreaking black independent film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.
Dissatisfied with the results, White dismantled the first version of EWF in 1972, retaining only brother Verdine. He built a new lineup with female vocalist Jessica Cleaves, flute/sax player Ronnie Laws, guitarist Roland Bautista, keyboardist Larry Dunn, and percussionist Ralph Johnson; the most important new addition, however, was singer Philip Bailey, recruited from a Denver R&B band called Friends & Love. After seeing the group open for John Sebastian in New York, Clive Davis signed them to CBS, where they debuted in 1972 with Last Days and Time. Further personnel changes ensued; Laws and Bautista were all gone by year's end, replaced by reedman Andrew Woolfolk and guitarists Al McKay and Johnny Graham. It was then that EWF truly began to hit their stride. 1973's Head to the Sky (Cleaves' last album with the group) significantly broadened their cult following, and the 1974 follow-up, Open Our Eyes, was their first genuine hit. It marked their first collaboration with producer, arranger, and sometime songwriting collaborator Charles Stepney, who helped streamline their sound for wider acceptance; it also featured another White brother, Fred, brought in as a second drummer. The single "Mighty Mighty" became EWF's first Top Ten hit on the R&B charts, although pop radio shied away from its black-pride subtext, and the minor hit "Kalimba Story" brought Maurice White's infatuation with African sounds to the airwaves. Open Our Eyes went gold, setting the stage for the band's blockbuster breakthrough.
In 1975, EWF completed work on another movie soundtrack, this time to a music-biz drama called That's the Way of the World. Not optimistic about the film's commercial prospects, the group rushed out their soundtrack album of the same name (unlike Sweet Sweetback, they composed all the music themselves) in advance. The film flopped, but the album took off; its lead single, the love-and-encouragement anthem "Shining Star," shot to the top of both the R&B and pop charts, making Earth, Wind & Fire mainstream stars; it later won a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group. The album also hit number one on both the pop and R&B charts, and went double platinum; its title track went Top Five on the R&B side, and it also contained Bailey's signature ballad in the album cut "Reasons." White used the new income to develop EWF's live show into a lavish, effects-filled extravaganza, which eventually grew to include stunts designed by magician Doug Henning. The band was also augmented by a regular horn section, the Phoenix Horns, headed by saxophonist Don Myrick. Their emerging concert experience was chronicled later that year on the double-LP set Gratitude, which became their second straight number one album and featured one side of new studio tracks. Of those, "Sing a Song" reached the pop Top Ten and the R&B Top Five, and the ballad "Can't Hide Love" and the title track were also successful.
Sadly, during the 1976 sessions for EWF's next studio album, Spirit, Charles Stepney died suddenly of a heart attack. Maurice White took over the arranging chores, but the Stepney-produced "Getaway" managed to top the R&B charts posthumously. Spirit naturally performed well on the charts, topping out at number two. In the meantime, White was taking a hand in producing other acts; in addition to working with his old boss Ramsey Lewis, he helped kick start the careers of the Emotions and Deniece Williams. 1977's All n' All was another strong effort that charted at number three and spawned the R&B smashes "Fantasy" and the chart-topping "Serpentine Fire"; meanwhile, the Emotions topped the pop charts with the White-helmed smash "Best of My Love." The following year, White founded his own label, ARC, and EWF appeared in the mostly disastrous film version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, turning in a fine cover of the Beatles' "Got to Get You Into My Life" that became their first Top Ten pop hit since "Sing a Song." Released before year's end, The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 produced another Top Ten hit (and R&B number one) in the newly recorded "September."
1979's I Am contained EWF's most explicit nod to disco, a smash collaboration with the Emotions called "Boogie Wonderland" that climbed into the Top Ten. The ballad "After the Love Has Gone" did even better, falling one spot short of the top. Although I Am became EWF's sixth straight multi-platinum album, there were signs that the group's explosion of creativity over the past few years was beginning to wane. 1980's Faces broke that string, after which guitarist McKay departed. While 1981's Raise brought them a Top Five hit and R&B chart-topper in "Let's Groove," an overall decline in consistency was becoming apparent. By the time EWF issued its next album, 1983's Powerlight, ARC had folded, and the Phoenix Horns had been cut loose to save money. After the lackluster Electric Universe appeared at the end of the year, White disbanded the group to simply take a break. In the meantime, Verdine White became a producer and video director, while Philip Bailey embarked on a solo career and scored a pop smash with the Phil Collins duet "Easy Lover." Collins also made frequent use of the Phoenix Horns on his '80s records, both solo and with Genesis.
Bailey reunited with the White brothers, plus Andrew Woolfolk, Ralph Johnson, and new guitarist Sheldon Reynolds, in 1987 for the album Touch the World. It was surprisingly successful, producing two R&B smashes in "Thinking of You" and the number one "System of Survival." Released in 1990, Heritage was a forced attempt to contemporize the group's sound, with guest appearances from Sly Stone and MC Hammer; its failure led to the end of the group's relationship with Columbia. They returned on Reprise with the more traditional-sounding Millennium in 1993, but were dropped when the record failed to recapture their commercial standing despite a Grammy nomination for "Sunday Morning"; tragedy struck that year when onetime horn leader Don Myrick was murdered in Los Angeles. Bailey and the White brothers returned once again in 1997 on the small Pyramid label with In the Name of Love. After 2003's The Promise, the group realigned itself with several top-shelf adult contemporary artists and released 2005's Illumination, which featured a much-publicized collaboration with smooth jazz juggernaut Kenny G. By Steve Huey

Album: Earth, Wind & Fire (1971)

01. Help Somebody
02. Moment of Truth
03. Love Is Life
04. Fan the Fire
05. C'mon Children
06. This World Today
07. Bad Tune

Album: Need Of Love (1971)

01. Energy
02. Beauty
03 I Can Feel It In My Bones
04. I Think About Lovin' You
05. Everything Is Everything

Album: Last Days And Time (1972)

01. Time Is on Your Side
02. Interlude
03. They Don't See
04. Interlude
05. Make It With You
06. Power
07. Remember the Children
08. Interlude
09. Where Have All the Flowers Gone
10. I'd Rather Have You
11. Mom

Album: Head To The Sky (1973)

01. Evil
02. Keep Your Head to the Sky
03. Build Your Nest
04. World's a Masquerade
05. Clover
06. Zanzibar

Album: Open Our Eyes (1974)

01. Mighty Mighty
02. Devotion
03. Fair But So Uncool
04. Feelin' Blue
05. Kalimba Story
06. Drum Song
07. Tee Nine Chee Bit
08. Spasmodic Movements
09. Rabbit Seed
10. Caribou
11. Open Our Eyes
12. Ain't No Harm To Moan (Slave Song)
13. Fair But So Uncool
14. Step's Tune
15. Dreams

Album: Thats The Way Of The Word (1975)

01. Shining Star
02. That's The Way Of The World
03. Happy Feelin'
04. All About Love
05. Yearnin' Learnin'
06. Reasons
07. Africano
08. See The Light
09. Shining Star (Future Star)
10. All About Love (First Impression)
11. Caribou Chaser (Jazzy Jam)
12. That's The Way Of The World (Latin Expedition)

Album: Gratitude (1975)

01. Introduction
02. Medley- Africano - Power
03. Yearnin' Learnin'
04. Devotion
05. Sun Goddess
06. Reasons
07. Sing A Message To You
08. Shining Star
09. New World Symphony
10. Musical Interlude #1
11. Sunshine
12. Singasong
13. Gratitude
14. Celebrate
15. Musical Interlude #2
16. Can't Hide Love

Album: Spirit (1976)

01. Getaway
02. On Your Face
03. Imagination
04. Spirit
05. Saturday Nite
06. Earth, Wind and Fire
07. Departure [Instrumental]
08. Biyo [Instrumental]
09. Burnin' Bush

Album: All N All (1977)

01. Serpentine Fire
02. Fantasy
03. In The Marketplace (Interlude)
04. Jupiter
05. Love's Holiday
06. Brazilian Rhyme (Interlude)
07. I'll Write A Song For You
08. Magic Mind
09. Runnin'
10. Brazilian Rhyme (Interlude)
11. Be Ever Wonderful
12. Would You Mind (Demo Of Love's Holiday)
13. Runnin' (Original Hollywood Mix)
14. Brazilian Rhyme (Live)

Album: The Best Of Vol I (1978)

01. Got to Get You Into My Life
02. Fantasy
03. Can't Hide Love
04. Love Music
05. Getaway
06. That's The Way of The World
07. September
08. Shining Star
09. Reasons
10. Singasong

Album: I Am (1979)

01. In the Stone
02. Can't Let Go
03. After the Love Has Gone
04. Let Your Feelings Show
05. Boogie Wonderland - Earth, Wind & Fire, The Emotions
06. Star
07. Wait
08. Rock That! [Instrumental]
09. You and I

Album: Faces (1980)

01. Let Me Talk
02. Turn It Into Something Good
03. Pride
04. You
05. Sparkle
06. Back On The Road
07. Song In My Heart
08. You Went Away
09. And Love Goes On
10. Sailaway
11. Take It To The Sky
12. Win Or Lose
13. Share Your Love
14. In Time
15. Faces

Album: Raise! (1981)

01. Let's Groove
02. Lady Sun
03. My Love
04. Evolution Orange
05. Kalimba Tree
06. You Are A Winner
07. I've Had Enough
08. Wanna Be With You
09. The Changing Times

Album: Powerlight (1983)

01. Fall In Love With Me
02. Spread Your Love
03. Side By Side
04. Straight From The Heart
05. The Speed Of Love
06. Freedom Of Choice
07. Something Special
08. Hearts To Heart
09. Miracles

Album: Electric Universe (1983)

01. Magnetic
02. Touch
03. Moonwalk
04. Could It Be Right
05. Spirit of a New World
06. Sweet Sassy Lady
07. We're Living in Our Own Time
08. Electric Nation

Album: Touch The World (1987)

01. System Of Survival
02.. Evil Roy
03. Thinking Of You
04. You And I
05. New Horizons (Interlude)
06. Money Tight
07. Every Now And Then
08. Touch The World
09. Here Today And Gone Tomorrow
10. Victim Of The Modern Heart

Album: The Best Of II (1988)

01. Turn on (The Beat Box)
02. Let's Groove
03. After The Love is Gone
04. Fantasy
05. Devotion
06. Serpentine Fire
07. Love's Holiday
08. Boogie Wonder
09. Saturday Nite
10. Mighty Mighty

Album: Heritage (1990)

01. Interlude Soweto
02. Takin' Chances
03. Heritage
04. Good Time
05. Interlude Body Wrap
06. Anything You Want
07. Interlude Bird
08. Wanna Be The Man
09. Interlude Close To Home
10. Daydreamin'
11. King Of Groove
12. I'm In Love
13. For The Love Of You
14. Motor
15. Interlude Faith
16. Welcome
17. Soweto (Reprise)

Album: Very Best Of (1991)

01. Let's Groove
02. Getaway
03. Serpentine Fire
04. Shining Star
05. Spread Your Love
06. Reasons
07. Can't Let Go
08. Boogie Wonderland
09. Star
10. Jupiter
11. Electric Nation
12. Fall In Love With Me
13. And Love Goes On
14. Keep Your Head To The Sky

01. Fantasy
02. Sing A Song
03. Magnetic
04. I've Had Enough
05. Got To Get You Into My Life
06. Could It Be Right
07. After The Love Has Gone
08. September
09. Wait
10. I'll Write A Song For You
11. That's The Way Of The World
12. Something Special
13. Wanna Be With You
14. Saturday Nite

Album: The Eternal Dance (1992)

01. Fan The Fire
02. Love Is Life
03. I Think About Lovin' You
04. Interlude (Previously Unreleased)
05. Time Is On Your Side
06. Where Have All The Flowers Gone
07. Power
08. Keep Your Head Up In The Sky
09. Evil
10. Mighty Mighty
11. Feelin' Blue
12. Hey Girl (Previously Unreleased)
13. Open Our Eyes
14. Shining Star (Previously Unreleased Alternate Version)
15. Happy Feelin'
16. Reasons
17. Shining Star
18. That's The Way Of The World

01. Kalimba Story-Sing A Message To You (Live) (Previously Unreleased)
02. Head To The Sky-Devotion (Live) (Previously Unreleased)
03. Sun Goddess (Live)
04. Mighty Mighty (Live) (Previously Unreleased)
05. Interlude
06. Can't Hide Love
07. Sing A Song
08. Sunshine
09. Getaway
10. Saturday Nite
11. Spirit
12. Ponta De Areia -- -Brazilian Rhyme- (Interlude) (Previously Unreleased)
13. Fantasy
14. Serpentine Fire
15. I'll Write A Song For You
16. Be Ever Wonderful
17. Beijo (Interlude)
18. Got To Get You Into My Life (Previously Unreleased as Single Only)

01. September
02. Boogie Wonderland
03. After The Love Is Gone
04. In The Stone
05. Dirty (Interlude) (Previously Unreleased)
06. Let Me Talk
07. And Love Goes On
08. Pride
09. Demo (Previously Unreleased)
10. Let's Groove
11. Wanna Be With You
12. Little Girl (Interlude) (Previously Unreleased)
13. Night Dreamin' (Previously Unreleased)
14. Fall In Love With Me
15. Magnetic
16. System Of Survival
17. Thinking Of You
18. Gotta Find Out (Previously Unreleased as U.S. Single Only)
19. That's The Way Of The World (Live) (Previously Unreleased on Album)

Album: Millenium (1993)

01. Even If You Wonder
02. Sunday Morning
03. Blood Brothers
04. Kalimba Interlude
05. Spend The Night
06. Divine
07. Two Hearts
08. Honor The Magic
09. Love Is The Greatest Story
10. The L Word
11. Just Another Lonely Night
12. Super Hero
13. Wouldn' Change A Thing About You
14. Love Across The Wire
15. Chicago (Chi-Town) Blues
16. Kalimba Blues

Album: In The Name Of Love (1997)

01. Rock It
02. In The Name Of Love
03. Revolution
04. When Love Goes Wrong
05. Fill You Up
06. Right Time
07. Round And Round
08. Keep It Real
09. Cruising
10. Love Is Life
11. Avatar

Album: The Promise (2003)

01. All in the Way
02. Betcha'
03. Wiggle
04. Why
05. Wonderland
06. Where Do We Go from Here
07. Freedom
08. Hold Me
09. Never
10. Promise
11. All About Love
12. Suppose You Like Me
13. Promise 2
14. She Waits
15. Promise 3
16. Let Me Love You
17. Dirty

Album: Love Songs (2004)

01. Reasons
02. Can't Hide Love
03. Love's Holiday
04. Be Ever Wonderful
05. Beijo (Interlude)
06. I'll Write a Song for You
07. You
08. Fantasy
09. Earth, Wind and Fire
10. Fall in Love With Me
11. Side By Side
12. Wait
13. After the Love Has Gone
14. Wanna Be With You

Album: Illumination (2005)

01. Lovely People
02. Pure Gold
03. A Talking Voice (Interlude)
04. Loves Dance
05. Show Me The Way
06.This Is How I Feel
07. Work It Out
08. Pass You By
09. The One
10. Elevated
11. Liberation
12. To You
13. The Way You Move (Bonus Track)


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Keni Burke

Collection of Keni Burke

Keni Burke has a three-decade career that includes singing with the Five Stairsteps and being a top session musician. Born Kenneth M. Burke on September 28, 1953, in Chicago, he first tasted musical stardom in his teens as a member of the family group the Five Stairsteps, best known for the 1970 million-selling single "O-o-h Child." The Chicago-based group was dubbed "the First Family of Soul" because of their successful five-year chart run; the moniker was later passed on to the Jackson 5. Initially a teenage five-member brothers and sister vocal group made up of the offspring of Betty and Clarence Burke, the Five Stairsteps (named by Mrs. Burke who thought her kids looked like stair steps when lined up according to their age) featured lead singer Clarence Jr., Alohe, James, Dennis, and 13-year-old Kenneth. Most of the members attended Harlan High School. Clarence Sr. was a detective for the Chicago Police Department and a strict and loving father. Like the Jackson 5's father Joe Jackson, "Papa Burke," as he was called, had a passion for music and honed his children into a talented singing and dancing group. He backed the group on bass guitar, managed them, and co-wrote songs with Clarence Jr. and Gregory Fowler. After winning first prize in a talent contest at the legendary Regal Theater, the Five Stairsteps were beset with recording contract offers. A close neighbor and family friend was Fred Cash of the Impressions, who introduced the group to Curtis Mayfield. Signed to Mayfield's Windy City imprint, which was distributed by Philadelphia-based Cameo Parkway Records, their first single was the Burkes-written ballad "You Waited Too Long" b/w the upbeat "Don't Waste Your Time," a Mayfield song. A double-sided hit in Chicago, the A-side, "You Waited Too Long," charted number 16 R&B in spring of 1966, and the hits kept coming. Around the end of 1967, Cameo-Parkway folded and Windy C switched to Art Kass' New York-based Buddah Records through former Cameo-Parkway executive Neil Bogart who joined the new label as co-president. The group's second album, Family Portrait (complete with a montage of Burke family photos), was recorded and produced in Chicago by Clarence Jr. With the addition of their three-year-old brother, the group became the Five Stairsteps & Cubie. Family Portrait yielded two hit singles, "Something's Missing" and a cover of Jimmy Charles and the Revelletts' hit "A Million to One." The group often toured with the Impressions. Signing with Buddah Records, the group was once again known as the Five Stairsteps. In the spring of 1970, the group released their sole certified million-seller and biggest pop hit, "O-o-h Child" (written by Stan Vincent), which hit number 14 R&B and number eight op. The flip side, a cover of Lennon and McCartney' "Dear Prudence," charted number 49 R&B. The following year, the group resurfaced as the Stairsteps with two charting Buddah singles: "Didn't It Look So Easy" and "I Love You-Stop." The group appeared in the 1970 movie Soul to Soul, a documentary of a benefit concert filmed at New York's Yankee Stadium and on the NY-produced, nationally syndicated show Soul. In the early '70s, sister Alohe married and both she and Cubie left the group, which now billed themselves as the Stairsteps. Billy Preston introduced the Stairsteps to the Beatles, and the group signed with George Harrison's Dark Horse label distributed by A&M Records. An album, 2nd Resurrection, was released in February 1976, produced by Billy Preston, Robert Margouleff, and the Stairsteps. "From Us to You," written by Clarence Jr. and Kenneth Burke, was the group's biggest hit since "O-o-h Child," peaking at number ten R&B in early 1976. The follow-up single, "Passado," received airplay in Chicago, New York, and other markets. Kenneth sang, played bass, and wrote both songs on the third single, "Tell Me Why" b/w "Salaam." After the Stairsteps disbanded, Kenneth remained with Dark Horse as a solo artist. His self-produced debut solo LP, Keni Burke, was released in August 1977. The singles were "Keep on Singing" and the brassy "Shuffle" b/w "From Me to You," an instrumental remake of "From Us to You." Becoming an in-demand session bass player, he can be heard on everyone from Sly & the Family Stone, Natalie Cole, Billy Preston, Les McCann, the Emotions, Raffi, and the Four Tops to Redman, Terry Callier, Stargard, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, D.J. Rogers, Linda Clifford, Silk, Narada Michael Walden, Ramsey Lewis, Dusty Springfield, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, and Larry John McNally. In 1981, Burke got a new solo album deal with RCA Records. The self-produced LP You're the Best included the singles, the jubilant "Let Somebody Love You" and the title track "You're the Best." Both became post-release 12" collectibles. His next RCA album, 1982's Changes, yielded his biggest solo hit. Though the inspiring "Risin' to the Top" peaked at number 63 R&B in late summer 1982, it was a huge hit in his native Chicago and has been sampled ad nauseam by a myriad of hip-hop/rap and urban artists. First by Doug E. Fresh ("Keep Risin' to the Top"), then by Mary J. Blige ("Love No Limit") and Ali's "Feelin' You." The second Changes single, the pumpin' "Shakin'," has DJs and dance/funk music collectors scouring used record bins. Changes is also notable because it includes one of the last songs by Philly songwriter Linda Creed (co-written with Thom Bell), the mid-tempo ballad "One Minute More." Burke worked as a writer/producer (frequently with keyboardist Dean Gant and former Average White Band drummer Steve Ferrone) with the O'Jays, the Jones Girls, the Whispers, the Whitehead Brothers, Keith Sweat, George Howard, Peabo Bryson, Bill Withers, and Perri, among others. After meeting Expansion Records executive Ralph Tee at a Berwick Soul Weekender, Burke signed with the Sony-distributed U.K. label. Nothin' but Love was his first album for the label and was released March 1998. The first 12" single was "I Need Your Love" with vocals by Burke's son, Osaze Burke, but the flip side, the mellow "Indigenous Love," became a hit with the steppers crowd. Allmusic by Ed Hogan

Album: Keni Burke (1977)

01. Keep On Singing
02. You Are All Mine
03. Day
04. It's The Last Time
05. Shuffle
06. Give All You Can Give
07. Tell Me That You Love Me
08. Something New (Like A Sweet Melody)
09. From Me To You

Album: You're The Best (1981)

01. Let Somebody Love You
02. Gotta Find My Way Back in Your Heart
03. Love Is the Answer
04. You're The Best
05. Paintings of Love
06. Night Riders
07. Never Stop Loving Me

Album: Changes (1982)

01. Shakin'
02. Hang Tight
03. Can't Get Enough
04. Who Do You Love
05. Changes
06. One Minute More
07. Risin' To The Top
08. All Night

Album: Nothin' But Love (1998)

01. I Need Your Love
02. This Dedication
03. Indigenous Love
04. Tell Me You Want My love
05. I Get Off On You
06. I Can Give You Plenty Love
07. It's Alright
08. Nothin' But Love
09. It's You
10. Give Me A Chance
11. Indigenous Love (Reprise)


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Keith Sweat

Collection of Keith Sweat

Keith Sweat, a Harlem-born R&B singer/songwriter known for his distinctive "whining" vocal style, co-produced 1984/1985 singles by GQ and Roberta Gilliam and issued independent singles of his own ("Lucky Seven" and "My Mind Is Made Up"), but he didn't release his debut full-length, Make It Last Forever, until November 1987. The album sold over three million copies, spawning the hits "I Want Her" (number one R&B, number five pop), "Something Just Ain't Right" (number three R&B), "Make It Last Forever" (number two R&B), and "Don't Stop Your Love" (number nine R&B). It was followed in 1990 by I'll Give All My Love to You, another million-seller, which featured the hits "Make You Sweat" (number one R&B, number 14 pop), "Merry Go Round" (number two R&B), "I'll Give All My Love to You" (number one R&B, number seven pop), and "Your Love, Pt. 2" (number four R&B). Sweat's third album was Keep It Comin', an R&B chart-topper at the end of 1991, whose title track was another number one R&B hit. From then on, his profile slowly dipped, but he maintained a devout following while recording the occasional contemporary set, including Get Up on It (1994), Keith Sweat (1996), Still in the Game (1998). Didn't See Me Coming (2000), Rebirth (2002), Just Me (an R&B chart topper in 2008), and Ridin' Solo (2010). Two albums recorded with Gerald LeVert and Johnny Gill, billed as LSG (and released in 1997 and 2003), were considerably successful, and he also produced a handful of '90s acts (Silk, Kut Klose, Ol' Skool, Dru Hill). During the 2000s, he hosted a syndicated radio program called The Sweat Hotel and starred in the Centric channel's reality program Keith Sweat's Platinum House. by William Ruhlmann & Andy Kellman (Allmusic)

Album: Make It Last Forever (1987)

01. Something Just Ain't Right
02. Right And A Wrong Way
03. Tell Me It's Me You Want
04. I Want Her
05. Make It Last Forever (Feat. Jacci McGhee)
06. In The Rain
07. How Deep Is Your Love
08. Don't Stop Your Love

Album: I'll Give All My Love To You (1990)

01. Interlude (I'll Give All My Love To You)
02. Make You Sweat
03. Come Back
04. Merry Go Round
05. Your Love
06. Your Love - Part 2
07. Just One Of Them Thangs
08. I Knew That You Were Cheatin
09. Love To Love You
10. I'll Give All My Love To You

Album: Keep it Comin' (1991)

01. Keep It Comin'
02. Spend a Little Time
03. Why Me Baby
04. I Really Love You
05. Let Me Love You
06. I Want To Love You Down
07. I'm Going For Mine
08. There You Go Tellin' Me No Aga
09. Give Me What I Want
10. The Commandments of Love
11. Keep It Comin' (Remix)

Album: Get Up On It (1994)

01. Interlude (How Do You Like It)
02. How Do You Like It (Part 1)
03. It Gets Better
04. Get Up On It (Featuring Kut Klose)
05. Feels So Good
06. How Do You Like It (Part 2)
07. Intermission Break
08. My Whole World
09. Grind On You
10. When I Give My Love
11. Put Your Lovin' Through The Test
12. Telephone Love
13. Come Into My Bedroom
14. For You (You Got Everything)

Album: Keith Sweat (1996)

01. Twisted
02. Funky Dope Lovin'
03. Yumi
04. Whatever You Want
05. Just A Touch
06. Freak With Me
07. Nature's Rising (Interlude)
08. Come With Me
09. In The Mood
10. Show Me The Way (Interlude)
11. Nobody
12. Chocolate Girl

Album: Just A Touch (1997)

01. I Want Her
02. Something Just Ain't Right
03. Make It Last Forever
04. I'll Give All My Love For You
05. Make You Sweat
06. How Do You Like It
07. Twisted
08. Nobody
09. Put Your Lovin' Throgh The Test
10. Why Me Baby
11. Just A Touch
12. Just A Touch (Stevie J. Bad Boy Remix)
13. Nobody (The Chanz Remix)

Album: Still In The Game (1998)

01. Come And Get With Me
02. Rumors
03. Can We Make Love
04. Let Me Have My Way
05. What Goes Around
06. Love Jones
07. Too Hot
08. I'm Not Ready
09. Show U What Love Is
10. Just Another Day
11. You Know I Like
12. In Your Eyes

Album: Didn't See Me Coming (2000)

01. Intro
02. Things
03. Whatcha Like
04. Satisfy You
05. I Put U On
06. He Say She Say
07. Real Man
08. Kiss You
09. I'll Trade (A Million Bucks) Interlude
10. Don't Have Me
11. Tonite
12. Caught Up
13. Games
14. I'll Trade (A Million Bucks)
15. Only Wanna Please You
16. Why You Treat Me So Cold
17. I'll Trade (A Million Bucks) Remix
18. Dieser Brief

Album: Rebirth (2002)

01. I Want You
02. Gots To Have It
03. Anything Goes
04. Ladies Night
05. 100 Percent All Man
06. The Right Stuff
07. One On One
08. Show Me
09. Trust Me
10. Wonderful Thang
11. In And Out
12. Can I Be
13. What Is It
14. Live Bonus Track
15. Twisted (Live)

Album: Live (2003)

01. Don't Stop Your Love
02. Something Just Aint Right
03. Freak Me (Interlude)
04. Make It Last Forever
05. Right And Wrong Way
06. How Deep Is Your Love
07. Merry Go Round
08. I Want Her
09. Show Me The Way (Revival)
10. I'll Give All My Love To You
11. Interlude
12. My Body
13. Nobody
14. Twisted
15. There You Go Telling Me No

Album: The Best Of Keith Sweat; Make You Sweat (2004)

01. Don't Stop Your Love
02. I Want Her
03. Make It Last Forever
04. Nobody (Radio Edit)
05. How Deep Is Your Love
06. Right And A Wrong Way
07. Something Just Ain't Right
08. Get Up On It
09. (There You Go) Tellin' Me No Again
10. Merry Go Round
11. Twisted
12. My Body
13. Why Me Baby
14. I'll Give All My Love To You
15. Come And Get With Me
16. Make You Sweat
17. Make It Last Forever (Extended Version)

Album: Just Me (2008)

01. Somebody
02. The Floor
03. Girl Of My Dreams
04. Sexiest Girl
05. Butterscotch
06. Me And My Girl
07. Suga Suga Suga
08. Never Had a Lover
09. Love You Better
10. Just Wanna Sex You
11. What's a Man to Do
12. Teach Me

Album: Ridin' Solo (2010)

01. Famous
02. Full Time Lover
03. Test Drive
04. Ridin' Solo
05. Genius Girl
06. Do Wrong Tonight
07. Hood Sex
08. It's All About You
09. I'm the One You Want
10. Live in Person
11. It's a Shame
12. Tropical

Album: Til The Morning (2011)

01. Candy Store
02. Knew It All Along featuring Johnny Gill & Gerald Levert
03. High As The Sun
04. Lady De Jour
05. Make You Say Ooh
06. To The Middle featuring T-Pain
07. Ring Size
08. Til The Morning
09. Open Invitation
10. One On One
11. My Valentine featuring Coko
12. Getaway


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Black Ivory

Collection of Black Ivory

Leroy Burgess, Stuart Bascombe, and Russell Patterson were Black Ivory, an exceptional and occasionally brilliant soul group from Harlem that recorded throughout the '70s and returned sporadically during the decades following. The trio developed out of the late '60s as a group called the Mellow Souls and were eventually taken under the wing of Patrick Adams. Adams had been in a group called the Sparks, but he developed his skills as a songwriter, arranger, and producer with Black Ivory.

Adams scraped together all the money he possibly could in order to have the group record their first single, "Don't Turn Around." Adams took the demo to several unimpressed labels before hitting Today Records. That label had a very different opinion and signed the group on the strength of the recording. "Don't Turn Around," written by Adams, became a Top 40 hit on the R&B chart, hitting number 38 in 1971. Black Ivory had their first taste of success. Not only that, but Today offered Adams -- still a teenager at the time -- an A&R position.

Another batch of singles that charted in the Top 40 supported the trio's first LP, 1972's Don't Turn Around. The album remained on the charts for nearly five months and peaked at number 13, an impressive feat for an album released on a small independent. The group's hot streak was capped off that year with a second album, Baby, Won't You Change Your Mind. That album spawned another series of singles and topped out at number 26. Today went through financial troubles and the group, unhappy about unpaid royalties, ended up riding out the last year of their contract.

Once the contract with Today ran out, Black Ivory joined the Kwanza label for a brief spate. "What Goes Around (Comes Around)," written and produced by the Akines-Bellman-Drayton-Turner team, hit the lower rung of the R&B chart. The group's popularity was on a steady wane when they signed to Buddah, a label with a bigger budget, but further attempts at gaining back that degree of popularity from early on failed. Furthermore, Adams was no longer producing the group and was apparently out of the picture entirely.

Burgess left the group on good terms in 1977 to focus on a number of projects. However, he temporarily returned a year later to give the group its most spectacular song, the disco classic "Mainline." Leonard Adams, the group's manager at the time, called the departed Burgess and asked if he had any songs to give to the group, who were preparing to make another album. It just so happened that Burgess had two songs written that were originally intended for a project that didn't reach fruition. So he provided those two songs, "Mainline" and "Hustlin' (You Gotta Be Dancin')," and wound up returning to the group briefly to provide arrangements and backup vocals for those songs. "Mainline" became the group's best-known song and an extremely beloved one on dancefloors.

By the dawn of the '80s, Black Ivory was no more. The name was resurrected by Patterson in the mid-'80s, who partnered with David Hart and Lenny Adams. As one can guess, the fact that two-thirds of the original group wasn't involved left the new Black Ivory hamstrung. This incarnation did not last long. However, Bascombe, Patterson, and Burgess hooked up again in the early 2000s to play sporadic dates. Burgess had long since become a cult legend as one of the primary instigators of house music. Under a gaggle of pseudonyms, Burgess was behind an even greater number of disco and boogie cuts that fans of melodic dance music continue to enjoy. He continued to collaborate on and off with Patrick Adams, another pioneer -- and a primary influence -- who arranged, produced, wrote, and played instruments on several seminal recordings. Patterson also worked a little with Burgess in the intervening years, contributing vocals to the spectacular Salsoul singles released in 1981 under the name Logg. Allmusic by Andy Kellman

Album: Don't Turn Around (1972)

01. Don't Turn Around
02. Surrender
03. I'll Find A Way
04. I Keep Asking You Questions
05. She Said That She's Leaving
06. If I Could Be A Mirror
07. You And I
08. Our Future
09. Find The One Who Loves You
10. Got To Be There

Album: Baby, Won't You Change Your Mind (1972)

01. Baby, Won't You Change Your Mind
02. Just Leave Me Some
03. Push Come To Shove
04. This Is Love
05. Spinning Around
06. Time To Say Goodbye
07. One Way Ticket To Loveland
08. No If's And Or No Buts
09. Wishful Thinking

Album: Feel It (1975)

01. Will We Ever Come Together
02. Your Eyes Say Goodbye
03. You're Whats Been Missing From My Life
04. Daily News (Vocal)
05. All In A Day's Love
06. Feel It
07. Warm Inside
08. Love, Won't You Stay
09. Daily News (Instrumental)

Album: Black Ivory (1976)

01. Dance
02. White Wind
03. Making Love In My Mind
04. Mandy
05. Walking Downtown (Saturday Night)
06. Longer Ride
07. You Mean Everything To Me
08. Can't You See

Album: Hangin Heavy (1979)

01. Big Apple Rock
02. Get Down (Comin' Down)
03. Peace & Harmony
04. Mainline
05. Rest Inside My Love
06. Hustlin' (You Gotta Be Dancin')
07. You Turned My Whole World Around

Album: Then and Now (1984)

01. You Are My Lover
02. Words
03. All The Right Moves
04. Hold On Tight
05. You And I
06. Don't Turn Around
07. Find The One Who Loves You
08. Mainline

Album: Spinning Around - The Today Sessions (2001)

01. Don't Turn Around
02. Surrender
03. I'll Find a Way
04. I Keep Asking You Questions
05. She Said That She's Leaving
06. If I Could Be a Mirror
07. You and I
08. Our Future
09. Find the One Who Loves You
10. Got to Be There
11. Baby, Won't You Change Your Mind
12. Just Leave Me Some
13. Push Come to Shove
14. Time Is Love
15. Spinning Around
16. (It's) Time to Say Goodbye
17. One-Way Ticket to Loveland
18. No Ifs, Ands or Buts
19. Wishful Thinking
20. We Made It


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