MAY NEW RELEASES ON SOULMUSIC.COM
9 February 2012
The following new releases are available for Soul Music Records this May:
You Name It - Dynamic Superiors
The Washington DC-based DYNAMIC SUPERIORS signed with Motown Records in 1975 after spending several years honing their skills as popular performers in and around D.C. With pioneering openly gay lead singer Tony Washington, the quintet’s soulful vocal harmonies made them a natural fit for the label who hired then former Motown staff producers (the late) Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson to work on the group’s first two Motown albums. The self-titled Dynamic Superiors album (including the U.S. R&B hit single, ‘Shoe Shoe Shine’ ) and the follow-up set, Pure Pleasure were reissued by SoulMusic Records in 2010 (SMCR 25003) and has become the label’s best-selling reissue to date. Working with an array of top producers - including Brian Holland (of Holland-Dozier-Holland), Hal Davis (known for his hits with Jackson 5, Thelma Houston and others) and the top songwriting team of Marilyn McLeod & Pam Sawyer among others - the group’s third album YOU NAME IT kept the Dynamic Superiors in the public spotlight as the group found themselves on shows with the likes of The Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder. Highlight tracks include the dance-oriented ‘Stay Away’ and ‘I Can’t Stay Away (From Someone I Love),’ the ballad, ‘If I Could Meet You’ and the infectious ‘I Can’t Afford To Be Poor.’ Motown fans will be happy to see YOU NAME IT (released in 1976) making its worldwide CD debut. With notes by longtime UK-based Motown authority Sharon Davis, this expanded edition includes the ‘A’ and ‘B’ sides of the album’s lone U.S. single.
Give & Take - Dynamic Superiors
The Washington DC-based DYNAMIC SUPERIORS had already experienced a good measure of popularity as Motown recording artists thanks to their first three albums - Dynamic Superiors and Pure Pleasure (both released in 1975, produced by Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson and reissued as a two-on-one CD by SoulMusic Records in 2010 - SMCR 25003) - and the 1976 LP, You Name It (reissued in 2012 - SMCR 5051). Released in 1977, GIVE & TAKE benefited from the production skills of Brian Holland of the famous Holland-Dozier-Holland team who co-wrote three of the album’s eight tracks as well as being the composer with his renowned partners of the Martha & The Vandellas’ classic, ‘Nowhere To Run,’ given a new lease of life by the Dynamic Superiors on the LP. Running at over nine minutes long, the group’s remake of ‘Nowhere To Run’ received a positive reaction from dance clubs on both sides of the Atlantic. Aware of the pre-release buzz on the track, Motown’s U.K. office decided to rename the album after the cut which was also released as a single in the U.S. Other highlights included a soulful version of Stevie Wonder’s ‘All In Love Is Fair,’ showcasing the vocal skills of pioneering openly gay lead singer Tony Washington and the group’s tight harmonies; and the uptempo dance-flavoured tracks, ‘You’re What I Need’ and ‘All You Can Do With Love.’
A Man And A Woman - Isaac Hayes & Dionne Warwick
SoulMusic Records is proud to celebrate one of the ‘first families of soul music’ with the 2012 reissue of three titles that reflect the amazing talent of sisters Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick and their aunt Cissy Houston - expanded editions of Dee Dee Warwick’s 1969 Foolish Fool LP (SMCR-5053); Cissy Houston’s first solo album, 1970’s Presenting Cissy Houston (SMCR-5054); and this 1977 live album by Isaac Hayes & Dionne Warwick, A MAN & A WOMAN. Both producer-songwriter-turned-recording artist-performer Isaac Hayes and international hitmaker Dionne Warwick had already established themselves as musical icons by the time Hayes’ management team suggested the two tour together in the summer of 1977. It was a logical pairing in particular because Hayes had enjoyed his first experience of success as an outfront chartmaker with his unforgettable version of Warwick’s classic 1964 hit, ‘Walk On By’ that was featured on his "Hot Buttered Soul” breakthough album in 1969. Working together with their respective touring bands and background vocalists, the spectacular show focused on obvious hits from the catalogues of each performer including Dionne’s original ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ combined with Isaac’s memorable reading of the Glen Campbell hit, ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix.’ In addition to tracks associated with each of the performers - such as "Then Came You” (Dionne’s 1974 chart-topping duet with The Spinners) and Isaac’s 1975 hits, ‘Chocolate Chip’ and ‘Come Live With Me’ - the pair created some great combinations of hits of the day including a fourteen-minute-plus whirlwind medley of seven songs; and a soulful combo of ‘Feelings’ and ‘My Eyes Adored You.
Presenting Cissy Houston - Cissy Houston
SoulMusic Records is proud to celebrate one of the ‘first families of soul music’ with the 2012 reissue of three titles that reflect the amazing talent of sisters Dee Dee Warwick and Dionne Warwick and their aunt Cissy Houston - via the Isaac Hayes & Dionne Warwick 1977 ‘live’ album A Man & A Woman (SMCR-5055); an expanded edition of Dee Dee Warwick’s 1969 Foolish Fool LP (SMCR 5053); and this expanded edition of Cissy Houston’s first solo album, 1970’s PRESENTING CISSY HOUSTON. The original LP (plus the bonus tracks included in this expanded edition) was reissued on CD in 1995 and included a special quote from Cissy’s superstar daughter (sadly, now the late) Whitney Houston and commentary from the late Luther Vandross (who considered Cissy his favourite singer): both are reproduced in the booklet for this 2012 reissue along with additional comments by Cissy’s famous niece Dionne Warwick and notes by SoulMusic.com founder David Nathan. Emily ‘Cissy’ Houston began her musical career as a member of the famous gospel group, The Drinkard Singers. By the early ‘60s, she had replaced her niece Dee Dee Warwick as part of the New York music scene’s most popular background vocalists (known as ‘The Group’), singing on hit records by many pop and R&B hitmakers of the day including Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke and a pre-‘Respect’ Aretha Franklin. In 1967, the group became officially known as The Sweet Inspirations and recorded their own albums for Atlantic Records. Cissy and The Sweets made four LPs (as well as touring with Aretha and with Elvis Presley) before Cissy opted for a solo career in 1970. Her debut LP PRESENTING CISSY HOUSTON was initially released on Commonwealth United Records and after a short spell, reissued by Janus Records for whom Cissy continued to record until 1975. The original album contained covers of popular soul and pop songs of the day including Bobby Darin’s ‘I’ll Be There’ (a top 20 R&B hit for Cissy), Melanie’s ‘Any Guy,’ The Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’ and The Beatles’ ‘The Long And Winding Road.’ This expanded edition of PRESENTING CISSY HOUSTON includes twelve bonus tracks, mostly singles, including Cissy’s original version of the Gladys Knight & The Pips’ classic, ‘Midnight Train To Georgia.’
Foolish Fool - Dee Dee Warwick
SoulMusic Records is proud to celebrate one of the ‘first families of soul music’ with the 2012 reissue of three titles that reflect the amazing talent of sisters Dee Dee Warwick and Dionne Warwick and their aunt Cissy Houston - via the Isaac Hayes & Dionne Warwick 1977 ‘live’ album A Man & A Woman (SMCR-5055); an expanded edition of Presenting Cissy Houston (SMCR-5054) and this expanded edition of Dee Dee Warwick’s 1969 LP, FOOLISH FOOL. The younger sister of international music legend Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Warwick had experienced chart success in the U.S. after she signed with the Blue Rock/Mercury labels in 1965, achieving Top 10 R&B status with ‘I Want To Be With You’ and following it with her original version of the now-classic ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me.’ Dee Dee’s next major hit came in 1969 when she reunited with producer Ed Townsend for one of the most emotionally-charged recordings of her career. ‘Foolish Fool,’ now considered a ‘deep soul’ classic not only became another Top 20 R&B hit but earned the East Orange, New Jersey native her first Grammy nomination. The song was covered by Chaka Khan on a 2007 CD. In 1969, Mercury assembled the FOOLISH FOOL LP, based on different sessions Dee Dee had recorded for the label including an early version of the timeless Bacharach-David tune, ‘Alfie’ (cut in London), ‘It’s Not Fair’ (co-written by Philadelphia music masters Kenny Gamble and Thom Bell and produced by Gamble & Huff) and ‘Thank God,’ recorded with The Teaneck Mass Choir. The original LP is reissued for the first time in its original form and includes three tracks never released on CD until now; this expanded edition of FOOLISH FOOL includes five non-album singles. With comments and reflections by her famous sister Dionne Warwick, notes are by SoulMusic.com founder David Nathan (whose first published interview as a music journalist was with Dee Dee in 1966).