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EXPANSION

Stephen Michael Schwartz

Get It Up For Love

    “Get It Up For Love” is a classic dance song written by Ned Doheny. This version from 1974 is the first, later recorded by Tata Vega, the Average White Band (featuring Ben E. King) and Ned himself. Original 7” copies on RCA Records (featuring the single version only) of this exchange hands for between £50 and £100. It is coupled with the full-length album version, generally unknown from this little known artist. The new Diplomats Of Soul label through Expansion aims to deliver lesser know gems of the highest quality and desirability alongside the group’s own releases moving forward.

    Margie Joseph

    One More Chance

    This is a reissue of a rare soul record from 1976. Originals exchange hands for up to £300 but don't let that sway you - just listen to those brilliant horns, powerful drumming and, of course, that sugar sweet vocal on "One More Chance" - sonic sunshine!

    B/W "Nobody" - a most glorious B-side which sees Joseph wax lyrically about how no-one's gonna tell her how to love her man! Indeed!

    Limited copes, official release.


    From Mississippi, Veatrice Thomas moved to Los Angeles and in 1967 began recording as Ty Karim. She worked closely with her writer/producer husband Keny Harris since her debut single “Lighten Up Baby” through to the rare groove/modern soul masteripiece “Keep On Doin’” first released in 1980. Both the 7” and 12” have been highly desirable on the collectors scene, exchanging hands for vast sums of money. This is pure quality, as you would expect from Expansion. Features co-lead vocals by George Griffin.

    Rockie Robbins

    Good Life / Let's Groove

    Rockie Robbins is back! From a brand new album released in March 2019 comes the title track single “Good Life”. Robbins is from Minneapolis but moved to Los Angeles in 1979 when signed to A&M Records. From his work with Skip Scarborough, Leon Ware, Richard Evans, Bobby Martin & Jerry Peters came a legacy of timeless quality music including the global hit ‘You & Me’, rare groove ‘We Belong Together’ and the celebrated interpretation of Earth Wind & Fire’s ‘Be Ever Wonderful’.

    “Get It Up For Love” is a classic dance song written by Ned Doheny. This version from 1974 is the first, later recorded by Tata Vega, the Average White Band (featuring Ben E. King) and Ned himself. Original 7” copies on RCA Records (featuring the single version only) of this exchange hands for between £50 and £100. It is coupled with the full-length album version, generally unknown from this little known artist. The new Diplomats Of Soul label through Expansion aims to deliver lesser know gems of the highest quality and desirability alongside the group’s own releases moving forward.

    Diplomats of Soul through the help of Incognito have re-recreated two masterpieces of soul and jazz funk. Previously on 12”, 10” respectively and CD only, single versions of both have been combined here for the first time on 7”. “Sweet Power Your Embrace” was first recorded by James Mason, “Brighter Tomorrow” by Tom Browne. Both have become popular in the Diplomats Of Soul style, no expense spared lavishing these tracks with the finest UK musicians under the direction of Bluey. “Brighter Tomorrow” features live playing in contrast to the electronic production style of the original.

    Timi Yuro

    As Long As There Is You / It'll Never Be Over For Me

    Timi Yuro was an American singer and songwriter. She was born into an Italian-American family in Chicago. In the 50s the family moved to Los Angeles where after performing in clubs she landed a recording deal with Liberty Records. In 1962 she was invited by Frank Sinatra to support him on tour, and the following year her album “The Amazing Timi Yuro” was produced by Quincy Jones. Then came the release of the single “It’ll Never be Over For Me” (400,000 hits on Youtube) acknowledged by northern soul fans as among the greatest of the genre. Original copies on Liberty have sold for £1,300. While scaled down her music career to focus on being a mother, she also became Reggie Kray’s favourite singer and is referenced in the Kray Twins movie “Legend”.

    Sylvia Striplin

    Give Me Your Love / You Can't Turn Me Away

    Ooooohhh Weeeeee! This tasty 12" contains two of the hottest disco and soul cuts ever produced, available as an official single for the first time in aaaages. After spending the late seventies lending her stunning vocals to Aquarium Dream and Ladies Of The Eighties, Sylvia was snapped up by Roy Ayers for his Uno Melodic label, cutting the killer 1981 LP from which these tracks are taken. A-side cut "Give Me Your Love" is a feel good disco groover for the more discerning dancefloors out there, Sylvia's glorious vocals floating freely over a sumptuous uptempo Roy Ayers track alive with bubbling bass, syncopated drums and funked up clav. Sampled by Armand Van Helden, Deepdown and Madd Rapper, this is as classic as they come. The flipside sees the tempo drop, the lights dim and the mood get sexier than Valentine's night in Martin's boudoir... "You Can't Turn Me Away" is deep downtempo business, boasting squelching bass, dreamy keys and a top notch soul breakbeat. Roy Ayers is at the height of his powers her and Syvia more than does the track justice, serving up a stunner that's been sampled plenty of times since ("Get Money"!). Though Striplin never attained mainstream success, her sweet voice is instantly recognized by devout fans of jazzy R&B and those who made up England’s ‘rare groove’ scene of the early 80’s and 90’s.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: As the youth say, I have no words. Roy Ayers musical prowess paired with Sylvia Striplin's stunning vocal is a wonderful thing, and this official 12" puts their two best collaborations together for all the Deejays and dancers. Disco heat on the A-side, rare groove on the B - buy on sight.

    Eighties Ladies

    Turned On To You / Ladies Of The Eighties

    Eighties Ladies comprise Denie Corbett, Marva Hicks, Susan Beaubian, Sylvia Striplin and Vivian Prince. They recorded one album with Uno Melodic Records, a label created and run by the legendary Roy Ayers at the height of his career. The group are best known for “Turned On To You”, one of the most iconic ‘rare groove’ tracks from the early 80s. It was sampled numerous time in the 90s, most notably by A Tribe Called Quest (“Buttter-Hip Hop Mix”), and more recently bu Nujabes featuring C.L. smooth (“Sky Is Falling”). This 7” is an exclusive edit of the 12” version, while the instrumental version of “Ladies of The Eighties” appears here on 7” for the first time.

    Coke Escovedo

    I Won't Change A Thing / Rebirth

      Mexican/American percussionist Coke Escovedo was brother to Pete Escovdeo and uncle to Sheila Escovedo (Sheila E.). He performed live with artists including Santana and Cal Tjader, and recorded three solo albums in the mid-70s for Mercury Records. His version of the Johnny Bristol song “I Wouldn’t Change A Thing” (featuring lead singer Errol Knowles) is considered the best, and the most played song from his 1976 album “Comin’ At Ya”. It has become a modern soul room classic, and copies of the first 7” release twelve years ago now exchange hands for vast sums. An essential reissue. “Rebirth” is another classy track and features the vocals of Linda Tillery.

      In demand northern/crossover soul record. Original copies exchange hands for £150

      Pharoah Sanders

      You've Got To Have Freedom / Got Give It Up

      Pharoah Sanders has been described as ‘probably the best tenor player in the world’, emerging as a star from playing saxophone with John Coltrane in the 1960s. As a solo recording artist he is best loved by fusion fans for the jazz dance classic “You’ve Got To Have Freedom”. It’s taken from his 1980 album “Journey To The One” featured here for the first time on the complete side of a 12” single. “Got To Give It Up” is Pharoah’s outstanding rendition of the Marvin Gaye classic. It has previously been on 7” but never until now in its full length version on 12” single. It was originally a feature on the 1978 album “Love Will Find A Way” produced by Norman Connors. To have both of these masterful recordings on one 12” single is something special.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Not only do you get the spiritual majesty of Pharoah's uber-grooving "You've Got To Have Freedom", but flip it over and taste the freak-funk cool of his lesser known Marvin Gaye cover - wicked!

      Debra Laws

      On My Own / Very Special

      Debra Laws is sister to Ronnie Laws, Hubert Laws and Eloise Laws, all of whom have enjoyed solo success. The family came together in 1981 on Debra’s solo album “Very Special” with vocal, musical, songwriting and production contributions alongside other outstanding names of the day. “On My Own” was written and produced by Ronnie Laws who also features on sax. The song was one of the classiest dance floor records of its day and has become sought after again on 12” vinyl. “Very Special” again features Ronnie Laws and features Arthur Adams on guitar. It is co-produced by Hubert Laws, original 12” copies of this exchanging hands for up to £150. It has been sampled by Jennifer Lopez (featuring LL Cool J), Big Daddy Kane, Mary J. Blige and others. This is the first time both these tracks have been combined on the same 12” release.

      Leon Ware

      Why I Came To California / Can I Touch You There

      Alongside Expansion’s release of Leon’s two iconic Elektra albums, back to back on one CD, two super rare 12” tracks are hereby reunited. The first issue of this 12” came in 1982 and was only ever intended to be for promotional use. Original pressings have sold for over £300. Leon Ware wrote and produced for an impressive array of other artists, most notably Marvin Gaye on “I Want You”, and his own work continues to be as in demand as ever. “Why I Came To California” (also on Expansion 7”) is one of his signature tracks and features guest co-vocalist Janis Siegel, a nine time Grammy winner and seventeen time Grammy nominee from Brooklyn, New York.

      Michael Wycoff

      Looking Up To You / Tell Me Love

      Since 1982 “Looking Up To You” has become one of the signature tracks of the modern soul world and played out regularly at events to this day. It is co-written by Leon Ware with Zane Grey (of Grey & Hanks) and produced by Webster Lewis, all giants in this music genre. The song has also been much sampled, most notably by Zhane (Hey Mr. DJ), Ortega Cartel (Miami Vice), Yusher (Gorodskie Uzory) and three this year alone by Skule Toyama (To You), Jericho Jackson (Seventeen) and Saint Duck (Bamboo). This 7” version has also become more in demand, as too the B side “Tell Me Why”, both condensed to four minutes. Michael Wycoff was from Los Angeles and worked with Stevie Wonder on “Songs In The Key of Life” prior to his three albums for RCA.

      Uno Melodic was the brainchild of the legendary Roy Ayers. At the height of his career in the early 80s, Roy established Uno Melodic to explore working as a writer, musician, producer and record label owner with complete control over his creative ideas. Roy brought artists and musicians to the label invaluable to him at Polydor and in whom he saw potential to make more great records. Between 1980 and 1983 Uno Melodic released records that went onto become definitive of their time, classics that became much sought after. The label and its signature releases are part of the Roy Ayers legacy, the best of which Expansion have assembled here on remastered CD and double LP. Sylvia Striplin, Eighties Ladies and Ethel Beatty represent the soul, disco, two step and boogie sides of Uno Melodic, Bobbi Humphrey, Justo Almario and Roy himself the masters of jazz fusion at the label. The album concludes with the spoken words of Rick Holmes on one of the label’s biggest ever release on the label.

      Willie Hutch

      Easy Does It / Kelly Green

        Willie Hutch wrote huge soul hits in the 60s and 70s (co-writing “I’ll Be There” for The Jackson 5) and released sixteen Motown, Whitfield and independent label solo releases between 1969 and 2002. From his period with Norman Whifield’s label through Warner Brother in 1978/79 he is best known for “Easy Does it”. Arranged by Gene Page, it was previously issued only on 7” as a B-side to “Come On And Dance With Me”, original copies now exchanging hands for large sums.

        Two in demand soul tracks from an iconic soul artist

        Dionne Warwick

        Move Me No Mountain / (I'm) Just Being Myself

          Dionne Warwick is one of the most classic and iconic soul singers of all time. Over her career she has recorded a string of hits and a legacy of music of outstanding quality. “Move Me No Moiuntain” was first released in 1975 on Warner Brothers and has since become her most played song on the ‘modern soul’ scene. “(I’m) Just Being Myself” comes from an earlier album (1973) produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland’, a connoisseur soul track gaining support in recent years.

          Two in demand soul tracks from an iconic soul artist

          Bobby King

          If You Don't My Love / Lovers By Night

            Louisiana Soul singer Bobby King first recorded as a solo artist in 1973 for the Reprise label where he also sang for Ry Cooder. In 1981 he switched to the main Warner Brorthers imprint and recorded what has become for soul fans a most highly regarded self-titled album. “If You Don’t Want My Love” became a single, an original pressing for this ‘modern’ dancefloor record recently onsale for £300. It is coupled with an exceptuional track from the album “Lovers By Night” not previously available on 7” vinyl.

            Rare A side, in-demand B Side first time on 7”

            Ned Doheny

            To Prove My Love / Guess Who's Looking For Love Again

            Expansion give the soulful side of the dancefloor another total treat this week with a welcome 7" reissue of West Coast wonder Ned Doheny. The LA singer songwriter did no wrong during the 70s and 80s, penning a string of sublime sonnets in the blue-eyed soul / yacht-disco sphere, but never quite got the attention he deserved at the time. One cut that did become a hit at the time, in the clubs at least, was the 1978 single "To Prove My Love", a nimble groover which riffs on Bill Withers' "Who Is He..." bassline before heading off into a loose and limber Steely Dan-style jam-a-thon few could match. Original 7” and 12” versions now extremely rare, so this release combines the best of both, with the 12” version on 7” for the first time, backed with the Doobie styled yacht rocker "Guess Who's Looking For Love Again". Ace!

            Expansion’s most successful and longest running compilation series returns with a 2017 edition. The concept remains the same, fifteen must-have modern soul room gems taken from the year’s biggest dance floor spins on the soul scene. While tracks here have topped UK soul charts, many have not been available in all formats. Once again, attention is paid to the ‘flow’ of the 15 gems chosen here from shuffling beats to boogie to more soulful house as played at modern soul events. Participants this year include Omar with Los Charly’s Orchestra, Tawatha Agree (voice of Mtume’s “Juicy Fruit”) with Aeroplane, Kenny Thomas with Thames River Soul produced by and featuring Incognito, and both Wez and The Groove Association formerly members of Brit Funk group Second Image. Leela James is here after her stint in a US realty TV show “R&B Divas: Los Angeles”, other guests including Amp Fiddler, Faith Evans, Trina Broussard and Lifford.

            Biggest modern soul room tracks of 2017 Most tracks released on physical format for the first time.

            Retta Young

            Young & Restless

            The LP and CD are the first reissues of this album from 1976. The LP is re-issued in its original format due to demand that has driven the value of the pressing on All Platinum to in excess of £400. The CD is the first issue here in this format and comes complete with two preceding singles and a post album release of the 12” mix of “My Man Is On His Way” in 1978, the only 12” release on all Platinum. This makes the CD the complete collection of Retta Young songs including her UK Top 40 chart hit “(Sending Out An) S.O.S. which appeals to both northern soul and disco audiences. The complete album is a gem for connoisseurs of quality modern soul from the 70s.

            First release on CD for this classic 1976 soul album. Re-Mastered from the original master tapes CD includes bonus tracks to make this the complete anthology of Retta Young songs on All-Platinum

            Lamont Dozier

            You Made Me A Believer / Starting Over

            Following his role establishing the Motown sound as part of Holland/Dozier/Holland, Lamont went solo and these two tracks come from his 1981 album “Working On You”. Originally released by Columbia in the smooth, lush sounding style of the day, complete with Lamont’s signature vocal, neither of the two tracks here were released as single despite finding huge favour with modern soul audiences. “You Made Me A Believer” is one of his most enduring soul night floorfillers. Expansion also released the full “Working On You” album on remastered CD.

            Gordon Grody

            Exclusively Yours / After Loving You

            Gordon Grody recorded an album “Exclusively Yours” for RCA in 1977 and the title track became a dance floor success without being released as a single. He came to RCA via working with Vicki Sue Robinson a year earlier Gordon would become a background singer appearing in the 1978 movie “The Wiz” and proving accompany vocals with Phyllis Hyman (“Somewhere In My Lifetime”), Change (“Miracles”), Spyro Gyra (“Morning Dance”), George Benson (“20/20”) and numerous others.


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