“The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight” has a long and storied history among connoisseurs of ‘80s New York dance music. Combining catchy, deadpan synth-pop and classic ‘80s electro hallmarks with the provocative edge of leather-and-lace sex culture, it remains a worldwide dancefloor staple to this day. Despite its popularity, little has been known about the song’s background. The brainchild of producer Stuart Argabright (nee Arbright, a member of the groups Ike Yard and Death Comet Crew); alongside DJ and remixer Ivan Ivan; Kenneth Lockie (from Cowboys International, and early Death Comet Crew); and vocalist Claudia Summers; the song’s dominating female subject was based on a person whom Arbright had dated. The song – and a banned-by-MTV video that today could be mistaken for a Victoria’s Secret commercial – became a club smash at famed Danceteria and other urban meccas. But, despite some leather-clad live dates in 1984, the group itself was short-lived. This special Get On Down vinyl edition is sure to be coveted by fans and collectors. This configuration has never been available before: beyond four original mixes of the song (12”, Chants, Dominant and Beat Me) that fans know and love – this full-length LP includes the newly unearthed song “Play It Safe” and the rarely heard, hypnotic “City That Never Sleeps,” in addition to the rare 1984 “Scratch Mix” of the original title song, with cuts by the legendary DJ Red Alert. The deluxe vinyl package is accompanied by a 16-page glossy booklet with text by writer Dave Tompkins and input from Argabright and Ivan Ivan. Additionally, fans will be thrilled into submission by visuals and press clips relating to the original release on Arthur Baker’s Street Wise Records; the song’s provocative video; as well as the dominatrix culture in New York City at the time which inspired this unlikely smash hit.
As music fans know, James Brown wasn’t just the greatest funk and soul singer the world has ever seen – he was also a musical visionary and businessman, who surrounded himself with geniuses who made him better and pushed him further. From horn masters Maceo Parker and Pee Wee Ellis to vocalists Lyn Collins and Bobby Byrd, Brown was a musical A & R master, restless and always looking for the next big thing. Most times, that would manifest in the latest James Brown smash under his own name. But not always. His stable of talent was overflowing in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and, thankfully, the tape machine in his studio was always rolling. Originally released in 1988, during the era of hip-hop’s golden age of sampling, it’s no surprise that just about every note heard in this incredible collection has been used on not one but multiple rap classics. Which, at the time, was proof of Brown’s (and his crew’s) staying power. But we’re almost three decades beyond those days now, and it has lost none of its musical potency. Diving deeper into the vaults than the also-incredible Part 1 of the Funky People series, there is not a weak track in the bunch. Moving beyond well-known JBs cuts, things get interesting from the get-go with Bobby Byrd’s monumental groover “I Know You Got Soul.” Hank Ballard and Marva Whitney also enter the fray, leading the way to Myra Barnes’ emotional and powerful “Message From The Soul Sisters (Parts 1 & 2)” and Lyn Collins’ slow, smoldering cover of Isaac Hayes’ “Do Your Thing,” Politics even get the funky soul treatment, with Fred Wesley & The JBs’ “You Can Have Watergate But Gimme Some Bucks And I’ll Be Straight” and “I’m Paying Taxes, But What Am I Buying?” And it should not be overlooked that Maceo & The Macks’ instrumental workout “Soul Power ‘74” even features a proto-sampling snippet from MLK’s “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” speech from 1968. This is another amazing collection of James Brown’s funky friends, without one second of filler, brought to you as a glorious 2-LP gatefold by your friends at Get On Down.
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Future archaeologists will discuss two periods in 1980s: before Run-DMC and after Run-DMC. It’s no exaggeration to say that the group changed the course of music in the ‘80s, bringing the old-school of rap into the new with one simple piece of flat, black plastic. Coming up in the rap world of the early 1980s under the wing of Kurtis Blow (group manager Russell Simmons managed Blow, and Run was, at one time, a DJ known as “Son of Kurtis Blow”) and Blow’s bassist and burgeoning super-producer Larry Smith, the trio – Joseph “Run” Simmons, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell – learned from the best, but created their own path. 1983 was the year that they first broke out. With only an Oberheim DMX drum program and some cuts by Jay, “Sucker M.C.s (Krush-Groove 1)” was a shot across the bow to the slick, post-disco pocket rap had settled into. It was raw, pure swagger and it took both New Yorkers and music aficionados around the world by storm. The song’s lyrics are a mandatory memorization assignment to this day by MCs learning their craft. “Two years ago, a friend of mine…” The group’s sound, which was laid out muscularly on Run-DMC, had a harder approach than their peers, thanks to producer Larry Smith’s use of live musicians who laid down grooves but didn’t soften the edges. Lyrically the group wasn’t just about brags either, with songs like “Hard Times,” “It’s Like That” and “Wake Up” (the first two were singles). Run’s and DMC’s overlapping tag-team approach to lyricism was powerful and immensely influential. “Rock Box,” another single and arguably the centerpiece of the album, was a nod to their hard edge, and a foreshadowing of their first worldwide smash, 1985’s “King Of Rock.” Jam Master Jay’s DJ work was stellar, knowing exactly when to jump in and put listeners’ ears in a headlock. The album was the first rap full-length to achieve Gold status, and as fans know, the group was just getting started – their next two LPs would take them to even higher status in the music world, critically and sales-wise. But this is where it all started, and it’s a classic that still sounds fresh today as it did more than 30 years ago.
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The Jungle Brothers' 1988 debut, Straight Out The Jungle, was important for many reasons. It was sloppy and goofy but had moments of real focus and social consciousness. It was a true "kitchen sink" record, that caught a rap fan-base enraptured by Eric B. & Rakim, Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions a bit off-guard. Also of note, beyond the excellence of the album itself, the Jungle Brothers were the fulcrum for what would become the Native Tongues movement - they came first, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest followed, under their guidance. By 1989, the group had even more confidence, plus a Warner Bros. contract and advance in their back pocket. They used it to great advantage on the self-produced and criminally underrated Done By The Forces Of Nature, expanding their sonic palette and continuing their Afrocentric approach to music and life. Singles like "What 'U' Waitin' 4" and "Doin' Our Own Dang" (with De La and Q-Tip, alongside Monie Love) showed the group's fun side, which has also lead the way in the "hip-house" movement. But things weren't all fun and games, as deeper, more pensive album tracks like "Black Woman," "Beeds On A String," and "Acknowledge Your Own History" show. It was another accomplished mix of fun, frolic and knowledge-of-self, proving that you could be serious in the rap game but still let off steam and fill the dancefloor. Done By The Forces Of Nature stands as one of the most cherished hip-hop documents of the late '80s among true-school heads, and this edition is the perfect way to revisit this classic thinking-man's (and woman's) rap platter. Issued for the first time ever on 2-LP with the original picture sleeve artwork, it also comes with a reproduction of the original insert, with credits and lyrics.
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Limited Texas-shaped vinyl pressing! "Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You)" by U.G.K. is one of the most recognizable Hip Hop songs of the 2000s. This is the kind of record that can be heard anywhere, from car shows in Texas to basement parties in Brooklyn, maybe even at your cousin's wedding. This song is so good that at the 2007 BET Hip Hop Awards Kanye West famously gave his Video Of The Year award to U.G.K. after "Stronger" beat "Int'l Players Anthem". Let's also not forget it's Grammy Nomination. Yes, it's that good. U.G.K.'s celebratory anthem also features Outkast and the groups combine as one over a very hypnotic Three 6 Mafia produced beat. The sample used is Willie Hutch's "I Choose You" from the movie The Mack, which is the perfect backdrop for Andre 3000, Pimp C (R.I.P.), Bun B and Big Boi to spit tales of women, money, and marriage. The song starts off with Andre 3000 rhyming over the elegant doo-wop vocal harmonies until a stuttered drum kick changes the mood for Pimp C to spit fire. This beat change/mood switch happens each verse, fitting each rapper's personality and tone, kudos to DJ Paul and Juicy J for expertly crafting this record. For Black Friday Record Store Day, Get On Down presents "International Players Anthem" as a special collectible vinyl release shaped like U.G.K.'s home state of Texas!
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On vinyl for the first time ever! Get On Down continues its very welcome obsession with James Brown's stable of late '60s and early '70s talent - much of it culled from his People Records label, including various backing bands - by bringing this firsttime- ever-on-vinyl package to the world. The third volume in the groundbreaking Funky People series, originally released on CD in 2000, is just as incredible as the first two. And maybe even more fascinating to JB fans, because of the less-heard discoveries lurking in these grooves. With 12 tracks spanning 1967 to 1975, this is far from a "remainders" collection. Each cut here packs an undeniable punch. Featuring James' most talented side-people, including The JBs, Bobby Byrd, Marva Whitney, Lyn Collins and Vicki Anderson, Volume 3 goes even deeper in the cut than previous collections, with the white Ohio-based studio crew The Dapps (featuring drummer / vocalist Beau Dollar), the Dee Felice Trio and even a cheekily named side crew called the A.A.B.B. (Above Average Black Band). There are some impressive covers here, including the Dee Felice Trio's driving, jazzy version of James' "There Was A Time" (known to the hip-hop nation thanks to Chubb Rock's "Treat 'Em Right"); a live version of Lyn Collins covering the Isley Brothers' "It's My Thing"; in addition to her studio cover of James' "Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose." In retrospect it even sounds like James covers himself on the raw and powerful "Original Rock Version" of his 1972 hit "Talkin' Loud And Saying Nothin'," even though the Rock version was recorded first, in 1970. Marva Whitney's "If You Don't Give Me What I Want" is as powerful and emotional as a soul ballad gets. The A.A.B.B.'s "Pick Up The Pieces One By One" must have made the Average White Band want to hang up their instruments. And one truly fascinating alternate take here is the "Undubbed Version" of the JBs' "Blow Your Head," with the Moog work and main Fred Wesley trombone solo removed. It lets the groove shimmer in whole new light. The more that newcomers and diehard fans alike dig into the James Brown and People Records vaults, the more they realize that it's a never-ending source of truly next-level funk and soul music. And you can be sure this aural goodness will keep flowing to the public, thanks to the exhaustive efforts of Get On Down.
Too Short’s 2006 certified club staple “Blow The Whistle” gets the 7” treatment for the first time ever, and it’s safe to say it’s about time. Short Dog has long been considered Hip Hop royalty with countless classic singles and albums, but “Blow the Whistle” might be the biggest. It’s been referenced countless times (epic call outs – “what’s my favorite word”) and Drake grabbing a few lines to paraphrase this song 10 years after speaks to its staying power and relevancy. It takes a legend like Too Short to bring it like this and it doesn’t hurt that Lil Jon cooked up a fire pot beat to propel the cut up the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop and Hip Hop Songs chart. It staying power is undeniable.
"“Off the Books” was one of the biggest records of ’97 with The Beatnuts plugging to their trusted formula of dusty-ass beats and funny punchlines. These elements are what made “Off The Books” extra special in a time when the “shiny suit era” was rearing it’s shiny head. The Beatnuts bring along Big Pun who opens up the track with such a memorable verse, introducing the world to what Pun would later have in store. Les and JuJu (along with Cuban Link) all ride the song out with “shoot bro, I got a waterproof suit yo” and “your career’s on life support, and I’mma pull the plug”- just countless quotable lines from an already legendary group. The cut’s infectious nature makes this a must-have 7” for any DJ or collector."
How could an artist follow up a record as solid as Supreme Clientele? Ghostface Killah answers that question – in sound – on Bulletproof Wallets. The release reunites GFK with his partner in rhyme Raekwon and continues Ghost’s winning streak of delivering front to back classic material. Filled with the usual Ghost slang and bass heavy production, Bulletproof Wallets is the follow up Supreme Clientele deserved, delivered without skipping a beat. The fun Ghost & Rae are having on this record is beyond apparent. Bulletproof Wallets is almost like a party album, packed with hit singles and street bangers. “Never Be the Same Again"" (with Carl Thomas & Raekwon) and ""Ghost Showers” play alongside ""Maxine"" and “The Forrest” all working off each other’s energy. Other stand outs like ""Walking through the Darkness"", & ""The Hilton"" all bang through the speakers and continue to add to Ghost’s undeniable catalog. Backed up by groundbreaking production from The RZA, Alchemist, Carlos “6 July” Broady and Mathematics, Ghostface shines and the chemistry between Rae and GFK is incredible!
Back In Print For The First Time In Over 20 Years! Some have made the claim that Get On Down may love James Brown just a little too much. To which the label replies, it’s not possible to love James Brown too much. The label’s welcome obsession with Mr. Brown and the incredible line-up of talent found on his People Record imprint continues with the reissue of Funky People Part 1. Long out of print on vinyl, Funky People Part 1 features the top tier of artists from Brown’s People Records label, including The J.B.’s, Lyn Collins, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. Some of the James Brown organizations all-time best material is collected here, including The J.B.’s “Pass The Peas” and “Hot Pants Road”, Fred Wesley’s in your face politics through funk statement “Damn Right, I Am Somebody”, Lyn Collins smash hit “Think (About It)” and many more. Newcomers and diehard fans alike continue to dig into the James Brown and People Records vaults, and the more they do so, the more they realize that it’s a nearly never ending source of truly next-level funk and soul music. And you can be sure this aural goodness will keep flowing to the public, thanks to the exhaustive efforts of Get On Down.
Get On Down is very proud to announce an LP reissue of one of the West Coast’s most revered, yet underrated, hip-hop classics: The D.O.C.’s No One Can Do It Better. Produced entirely by Dr. Dre and out of print on vinyl in the U.S. for 25 years, this limited edition on black vinyl features original album artwork and thirteen tracks of rap heaven. When his debut album hit in mid-1989, The D.O.C. was in the vortex of the biggest hip-hop happening on the planet: the rise and rule of N.W.A. The group’s breakout album Straight Outta Compton had hit one year prior and had created both controversy and worldwide critical acclaim. As rap history buffs and industry insiders know, the D.O.C. was a crucial behind-the-scenes member of the N.W.A. inner circle – his most important role in the early days of the group, besides his close working relationship with Dr. Dre, was writing many of Eazy-E’s rhymes, including his hit 1988 single “We Want Eazy.” But The D.O.C. wasn’t in N.W.A. and never wanted to be – he was his own man, with his own vision. And after Compton proceeded to blow up (much like Eazy’s 1988 LP, Eazy-Duz-It), the next crew album was No One Can Do It Better. Significantly, it was the first album where Dr. Dre showed his greatness as a solo producer for one MC. And the Dallas-born D.O.C. lived up to the challenge of Dre’s funky, expertly-produced tracks by bringing his A-game on the mic. Boasting four singles – “The D.O.C. and the Doctor”; “Mind Blowin’”; the smash “It’s Funky Enough”; and “The Formula” – the album is flawless from beginning to end. Of particular note beyond the singles is “The Grand Finale,” which was the last time that Ice Cube, M.C. Ren and Eazy-E would rhyme on a track together. Skillfully rhyming over both fast and slow tracks, The D.O.C. showed on this amazing record that he was one of hip-hop’s most talented MCs, especially on the West Coast scene. He nearly died in a horrific car crash as the album was catching fire in the late summer of 1989, but he survived and continues to make new music and act as a sounding board for Dr. Dre to this day.
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Super Tight…is the second album from Hip-Hop legends UGK, originally released in 1994. The title of the album is taken from its stand out single “Front, Back & Side to Side”. Bun B and Pimp C (R.I.P.) were already on fire from their debut album a few years prior but they perfected the Southern Playa sound with this record. At the time of its release Super Tight...was only issued on Cassette and CD so it’s a must for fans and collectors to grab the vinyl now that it’s available for the very first time. The album kicks off with “Return”, which after a few snare hits and the bluster of Pimp C’s voice it is clear to the world - the underground kings are back. Countless tracks like “Three Sixteens” (featuring DJ DMD), “Stoned Junkee”, “It’s Supposed to Bubble”, “I Left It Wet for You” and the previously mentioned “Front, Back, & Side To Side” all perfectly showcase the chemistry between Bun B & Pimp C over deep southern funk grooves. The production on this album is stellar, all bass heavy and features Meters lead guitarist Leo Nocentelli. Like their debut album Too Hard to Swallow Bun B and Pimp C were ahead of the game, and with Super Tight...they perfected it.
Multi-platinum hip-hop group Cypress Hill teamed up with Get On Down to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their 1991 debut with a limited-edition “25th Anniversary Smokey Swirl” Vinyl reissue. Cypress Hill’s self-titled debut album was hard as nails, with very few pop concessions. There was humor, but it was laced by cackling, homicidal sneering. Not well known outside of the hardcore hip-hop scene at first, faces of the three group members weren’t usually shown clearly in press photos; they preferred the shadows. As their first singles began hitting the airwaves and record racks, the press and music fans started to take notice. From the opening notes of the group’s first single, “The Phuncky Feel One,” to deeper album cuts like “Stoned Is The Way Of The Walk” and “Tres Equis,” it was clear that Cypress Hill was something different. And very, very dope. The world Cypress Hill espoused was gang-ridden and far from cheery, but they managed to laugh through the pain. Lead rapper B-Real took each fuzzed-out, rock-hard DJ Muggs beat as a challenge, jumping around it like a spark off a joint as it makes its way to the concrete. MC Sen Dog always had B-Real’s back, to bring intensity and a no-bullshit gruffness that made the group both menacing and unpredictable. When they introduced percussionist Eric Bobo to the mix in the early 90s, it brought new dimension to the band, making their live performances one of the most unique and accomplished shows in hip-hop. Journalist and author Chris Faraone highlights the group’s relationship in the reissue’s liner notes (which is included only in limited edition Skull) saying, “[By the late ‘80s] the undisputed Cypress unit finally formed. B and Sen realized that their diametric styles - the latter’s deep wrangle, the former’s inimitable high notes - complemented one another righteously. By then Muggs had bangers in the bag, as well as industry experience from a jaunt with the New York duo 7A3. B and Sen waited while Muggs messed with 7A3, and in that time began to build the blueprint for their raucous and weeded no-holds-barred style. Besides getting schooled on industry pitfalls, Muggs had also grown into hip-hop’s most formidable young producer, while straddling the bi-coastal gap.” Cypress Hill’s debut went gold by the end of 1991 and has since pushed past double platinum status, making it the first album for a Latino-American hip hop group to do so. The album received raves from the likes of Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times, saw a #1 Hot Rap Single with the release of “The Phuncky One” and helped the band win Artist Of The Year at the 1992 Source Awards. After 25 years, it should come as no surprise that Cypress Hill is a cornerstone of the group’s live set to this day.
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Cypress Hill teamed up with Get On Down to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their 1991 debut with an ultra deluxe "25th Anniversary Skull" reissue. The entire set is housed in a unique, hard resin black skull - a faithful, 3-D physical recreation of the group's 1991 logo. A CD with remastered audio and a 100-plus page hardcover book are also included. The book features extensive liner notes by journalist Chris Faraone with input from B-Real, Sen Dog and DJ Muggs, and also includes full album lyrics and rarely seen photos provided by the group, as well as press clippings from 1991. Cypress Hill’s self-titled debut album was hard as nails, with very few pop concessions. There was humor, but it was laced by cackling, homicidal sneering. Not well known outside of the hardcore hip-hop scene at first, faces of the three group members weren’t usually shown clearly in press photos; they preferred the shadows. As their first singles began hitting the airwaves and record racks, the press and music fans started to take notice. From the opening notes of the group’s first single, “The Phuncky Feel One,” to deeper album cuts like “Stoned Is The Way Of The Walk” and “Tres Equis,” it was clear that Cypress Hill was something different. And very, very dope. The world Cypress Hill espoused was gang-ridden and far from cheery, but they managed to laugh through the pain. Lead rapper B-Real took each fuzzed-out, rock-hard DJ Muggs beat as a challenge, jumping around it like a spark off a joint as it makes its way to the concrete. MC Sen Dog always had B-Real’s back, to bring intensity and a no-bullshit gruffness that made the group both menacing and unpredictable. When they introduced percussionist Eric Bobo to the mix in the early 90s, it brought new dimension to the band, making their live performances one of the most unique and accomplished shows in hip-hop. Journalist and author Chris Faraone highlights the group’s relationship in the reissue’s liner notes (which is included only in limited edition Skull) saying, “[By the late ‘80s] the undisputed Cypress unit finally formed. B and Sen realized that their diametric styles - the latter’s deep wrangle, the former’s inimitable high notes - complemented one another righteously. By then Muggs had bangers in the bag, as well as industry experience from a jaunt with the New York duo 7A3. B and Sen waited while Muggs messed with 7A3, and in that time began to build the blueprint for their raucous and weeded no-holds-barred style. Besides getting schooled on industry pitfalls, Muggs had also grown into hip-hop’s most formidable young producer, while straddling the bi-coastal gap.” Cypress Hill’s debut went gold by the end of 1991 and has since pushed past double platinum status, making it the first album for a Latino-American hip hop group to do so. The album received raves from the likes of Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times, saw a #1 Hot Rap Single with the release of “The Phuncky One” and helped the band win Artist Of The Year at the 1992 Source Awards. After 25 years, it should come as no surprise that Cypress Hill is a cornerstone of the group’s live set to this day.
Maceo Parker was one of the most revered and loved members of James Brown’s famed J.B.’s band from the late ‘60s to the mid-1970s. Alongside his instantly recognizable alto saxophone solos, he occasionally performed as comedian before James Brown shows, in addition to playing MC. He was a true renaissance man. And while other members of The Godfather of Soul’s inner circle – most notably trombonist Fred Wesley – had solo albums at the advent of Brown’s People Records, Maceo had to wait his turn for a couple years. By the time 1974 rolled around, this talented musician and personality could not be denied, and he burst onto the scene as a group leader with one of the most impressive albums in the People catalog: the simply titled, but deeply felt, Us. Maceo’s group (occasionally called The Macks) and Fred Wesley’s J.B.’s were essentially the same unit – including guitarists Jimmy Nolen and Hearlon “Cheese” Martin, drummer John “Jabo” Starks, saxophonist St. Clair Pinckney and of course Fred Wesley on trombone. Unsurprisingly, the material here is never-endingly funky. But as shown in the song selection (presumably by Parker, with heavy-handy assistance from the Godfather himself), there are as many ballads and soul groovers as there are straight-up funk workouts. Cases in point include the mellow, Gamble & Huff-penned “Drowning In The Sea Of Love” (with organ, most likely played by James Brown, slithering in the background) and the syrupy “Show and Tell.” The album’s closer is also on the slower side, going very deep and striking a chord, as Maceo and Brown talk about conditions in the Black American landscape of the day over the course of 10-plus minutes. And there is, of course, plenty of diesel funk here as well: singles like “Soul Power 74” and “Parrty” are downright nasty grooves, known well by James Brown fans old and new. “Soul Power 74” additionally features very early proto-sampling, with a baby’s cry as well as Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have Been To The Mountain Top” speech. And Maceo’s take on the J.B.’s classic “Doing It To Death” is a unique version, more muted and of course featuring Maceo’s gorgeous horn front and center. Appearing at the apex of both James Brown’s and People Records’ power, Us is a treasured jewel in the J.B. catalog, and rightfully so. This 150 gram vinyl LP comes in a Stoughton Jacket, housed in a custom People Records poly bag, and includes 24” x 24” poster.
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Hip Hop has never seen another album quite like Ol’ Dirty Bastard's 1995 solo debut Return to the 36 Chambers. With RZA guiding production, the album allowed Dirty the creative license to make one of the most bizarre, entertaining and original LPs in the history of the genre. Return became an instant hit, selling over 1 million copies and earning a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album. The album stands as a high water mark in the Wu-Tang Clan's collective creative output and was selected as one of the Best 100 Rap Albums by The Source. In honoring the legacy of one of hip-hop's most innovative releases, Get On Down is proud to present this incredible shaped picture disc. The vinyl features the first two singles, Brooklyn Zoo & Shimmy Shimmy Ya, released from this seminal full-length and is a recreation of the iconic “food stamp card” that serves as the album’s cover art.
Vinylmania: As classic disco came bounding through the late ’70s and into the electronically orientated sounds of the ’80s, New York was one of the undisputed frontiers for the latest developments in dance music culture, nightclubs and the art of DJing. At the center of this seminal time for vinyl culture was a store called Vinylmania, set up by Charlie Grappone in the heart of Greenwich Village, Manhattan, just as the culture of 12-inch singles and promo copies was taking hold. From supplying Levan, Tony Humphries and many more with the latest imports to championing the emergence of house music in the mid-’80s, Grappone and his staff played a significant role in New York’s own dance music story. Through the ’90s and up until closing in 2007, Vinylmania was a store that catered to DJs from across the complex mixture of racial, social and sexual demographics that made up New York and its legendary nightlife. Man Friday: As the NYC Peech Boys came to an end, Man Friday became Larry Levan’s newest production project. Fronted by Kofi Morny and Brodie Williams, their dubut single ‘Love Honey, Love heartache’ was released by Vinyl Mania in 1986 with Larry Levan at the helm of the mix. Love Money: In the spirit of most dance music borrowing elements from other sources, ‘Love Honey’ was heaviliy inpired by another Paradise Garage & Loft classic from 1980 and its remix in 1981 by UK Outfit Funk Masters / TW Funkmasters. A dubbed out track big in the Jazz-Funk scene in the UK, it became a hit among underground Deejays in Both NYC & Chicago. Love Honey: No matter what list you look at. ‘Love Honey’ is always attached to Larry Levan’s tenure at the Paradise Garage. All the elements of a Garage Track are here; Dub Echoes, Synth Basslines, Percussions that linger, FX -that one can only dream of hearing on a Richard Long System- and an Organ, because after all, they say the Garage was like going to Church.
People Records was the revered funk/soul imprint of the legendary James Brown, who throughout the 1970s curated and made it home to an array of top-tier deep funk artists, singers, and songwriters. It was during this time that the label hosted a variety of "funky divas" like Marva Whitney, Vicki Anderson, and Myra Barnes. Unquestionably the greatest of them all was Lyn Collins, whose R&B hit, the frequently-sampled "Think (About It)" is one of the most enduring singles to emerge from Brown's People label. Get On Down now presents here, an unearthed gem from the famed "Female Preacher." "We Want To Parrty, Parrty, Parrty" was previously unavailable on any Lyn Collins full-length release, and has never been reissued as a standalone 7" single until now. The track is a rollicking funk burner, produced by James Brown himself, and has sampled its way into tracks by Eric B. & Rakim, The Prodigy, De La Soul, and Big Daddy Kane among others, and comes on a large hole 45 with freshly re-mastered audio. "You Can't Beat Two People In Love", the funky soul-ballad B-side, is not to be missed either, featuring additional backing vocals by Brown.
James Brown had several incredibly talented “funky divas” in his late ‘60s and early ‘70s stable, including Vicki Anderson and Marva Whitney. But as great as those two powerhouse singers were, Lyn Collins was the strongest hit maker of that funky JB era. Her strong voice and commanding stage presence – which earned her the nicknames “The Female Preacher” and “Mama Feelgood” – quickly proved to be a potent addition to the People Records universe. In the spring of 1972 her second single, the driving and ridiculously funky “Think (About It)” hit the R&B music world like a ton of bricks. As fans young and old know, thanks to its timeless, relentless groove and powerful vocals, “Think” gained a powerful second life in the 1980s thanks to the hip-hop generation, fueling the platinum smash “It Takes Two,” by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock in 1988 and additionally sampled by dozens of hip-hop and dance music artists up to the present day. But Collins was far from a One Hit Wonder: she was as vocally adept on ballads as she was with full-blown funk. She proves thisthroughout her debut album, which was released in 1972 on James Brown’s new People Records label – the imprint’s second full-length release. To wit, aside from the title smash: a powerful and emotional cover of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”; the socially progressive “Women’s Lib”; the Gamble & Huff-penned “Never Gonna Give You Up” (originally done by Jerry Butler); and even a daring, muscular take on the song “Fly Me To The Moon,” made famous by, among others, Frank Sinatra. All throughout Think (About It), Collins shows that she was a vocal force to be reckoned with. Backed by a James Brown-assembled musical crew that included Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley and, of course, James Brown himself, the platter was bound to impress and succeed. And that it did.
This limited edition issue of Lord Willin’ features seven “big hole” 7”s on white vinyl covering all 13 tracks in the original album sequence, plus a bonus remix of “Grindin‘”. The vinyl is housed in a plastic case featuring the original album art and each 7” is housed in a mini Star Trak die-cut jacket – replicas of the label’s original 12” sleeves. The first hip-hop group signed to The Neptunes' newly formed Star Trak label in the early 2000s was a Virginia based duo known as The Clipse. The group’s first single “Grindin’,” impacted young people with its bare-boned but infectious drum beat in the same way that Run-DMC’s “Sucker MCs” did almost two decades earlier. MCs Pusha T and Malice, combined with The Neptunes’ groundbreaking production, sent a clear message to the rap world – “we are not the same” (as rapped by Malice on his opening verse on “Cot’ Dam”). Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo were able to combine their electro-punk production with just the right group to create a street masterpiece. Following in the footsteps of such rap criminologists as Kool G Rap, Nas, Jay-Z and Mobb Deep, the Clipse offer a hustler's viewpoint, with clever, hard-hitting lyrics that are consistent throughout the album. The album starts off pulling no punches. On the lead-off track, “Intro,” you get a very personal testament of crack and the drug game, a recurring motif. Songs like “Virginia” or “I’m Not You” (featuring Jadakiss, Styles P and Roscoe P Coldchain) have lyrics that play as a musical notes alongside The Neptunes’ tailored beats. “Young Boy” and “Comedy Central” fit perfectly alongside “When the Last Time” and “Cot Dam” as each song plays its part as chapters to the Lord Wilin’ masterpiece. And the stand-out “Gangsta Lean” features a slightly lighter feel paired with Pharrell's trademark falsetto hook. All in all, each song on Lord Willin’ – which was certified Gold – is essential to making it the classic that it. Fans can’t deny that it sounds as good today as it did when it first hit in 2002.
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2016 Record Store Day exclusive, limited to 2400 copies. For the ten years leading up to 1972, the James Brown Revue was an outright superfunk freight train, speeding around the world and crushing all competition. This dominance stretched beyond the charts, too – the group was even more dynamic and exciting on stage, a fact that kept them sleepless and on the move, as audiences demanded more. From 1963 to 1971, James Brown had released not one but three albums recorded live at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater. The first volume of the series is still rightfully revered today as one of the greatest live albums of all time. But Volumes II (1968) and III (1971 – aka Revolution Of The Mind) were no slackers either, showing James and his incredible band (with talent including “Pee Wee” Ellis, Fred Wesley, John “Jabo” Starks, Clyde Stubblefield, Maceo Parker, Lyn Collins, Bobby Byrd and many more) at the peak of their respective powers each time, playing a litany of JB hits. Because of this, it will always be a mystery as to why Volume IV, which was recorded at the Apollo on September 14, 1972, was shelved. This is in no small part because the performers and songs heard here are some of the Godfather of Soul’s (and the JBs’) strongest. But shelved it was, full of fire but languishing for decades in the Polydor vaults. Thankfully we can now put that all behind us, with the first-time-ever-on-vinyl release of this incredible concert, from more than four decades ago. One look at the tracklist will make you salivate: from instrumental JBs classics like “Pass the Peas,” “Gimme Some More” and “Hot Pants Road” to James’ own 1972 smash vocal “There It Is,” the assembled group of musical geniuses – including trombonist and bandleader Fred Wesley; saxophonist St. Clair Pinckney; guitarists Hearlon “Cheese” Martin and Jimmy “Chank” Nolan; bassist Fred Thomas; and Brown himself on organ – smash through James’ New New Super Heavy Funk with ridiculous power, control and panache. Included here, beyond the music, are in-between song introductions and banter, which bring you right into the front row. This live album stands apart because it was conceptualized to showcase James Brown’s favorite players – The JBs – and vocalists, Bobby Byrd and Lyn Collins, who had their own R & B smashes on the People label. And these supreme talents get plenty of space to shine here: Collins’ “Do Your Thing” and “Think (About It)” and Byrd’s “Keep On Doin’ (What You’re Doin’),” alongside “I Know You Got Soul” simply levitate the bandstand. This future classic is a clear reminder that James Brown was as much of a talent scout as he was a more-than-legendary performer. And while other “Live At The Apollo” releases focused on his own incredible music, here he gives the stage to the musicians that brought his work to life and kept his legend going for decades. Future generations won’t have to wonder why this music was held back for so long, because they will always have this album – and once you hear the first notes, you won’t worry any more either. You will sit back, let some of the greatest musicians of all time blow your mind, and smile for several days straight. So put the needle on the record and let it begin.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
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