Elaine Vassell / 3rd Zone

Never Give Up / You Stole My Heart

Image of Elaine Vassell / 3rd Zone - Never Give Up / You Stole My Heart
Record Label
Heels & Souls Recordings

About this item

Heels & Souls Recordings roll into reissue number eight with a double dose of early '90s UK street soul magic, splitting the sides between two sought-after cuts from Elaine Vassell and 3rd Zone.

Step back to 1993, house music has hit, UK Soul is in full flow and its rawer, DIY street soul sibling is making its mark across the UK’s underground. Fuelled by accessible, affordable production gear and ignited through enthusiasm and an influx of ideas and sounds, two acts drew inspiration from a melting pot of genres they were exposed to, providing their take on soul as they saw it.

Up first, Elaine Vassell - ‘Never Give Up’. A rough breakbeat-driven, mid-tempo groover from a North West London production triple threat, made up of Longsy D, Pinky and Murray. Utilising Pinky’s home studio with its DX7, Juno 106, LinnDrum and 808, they masterminded a track that sits at the intersection between soulful house, hip hop and R&B. Its crunching drum loop, chest-rattling low-end and serene synth lines, lay the foundation for Elaine’s powerful yet emotive voice to take centre stage. ‘Never Give Up’ should have been a future classic, but never quite found its feet.

On the flip side another 1993 gem, as Sansel Ali and twin brothers Mark and Stephen Anglin joined forces to form 3rd Zone. Conceived in Mark’s makeshift bedroom studio, the trio laid down their first foray into recorded music, ‘You Stole My Heart’. Originally promoed as a limited whitelabel in 1991, it officially landed on the group's one and only EP ‘No Real Reason' in '93.

Armed with a handful of synth modules, a drum machine and a Korg M1, Mark, Stephen and Sansel hit with a tough but tender, underground triumph. Part dance, part romance, layering synth strings, chunky breaks and M1 stabs underneath Sansel’s heartstrung vocals and Stephen’s hip house rap interlude, it provides another perfect example of house seen through the street soul prism.

Two timeless tracks that fly the flag for the fact that big studios and big budgets aren't necessary to create songs that really resonate. Each side also contains an alternate version, with the A housing a beatless reprise of ‘Never Give Up’ and the B a tougher, bassier remix of ‘You Stole My Heart’.

Licensed from Pinky Music and 3rd Zone respectively and remastered from the original DATs by Justin Drake.


A1. Elaine Vassell - Never Give Up
A2. Elaine Vassell - Never Give Up (Chill Zone Mix)
B1. 3rd Zone - You Stole My Heart (Vinyl Mix)
B2. 3rd Zone - You Stole My Heart (Remix)

Back to top