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Eddie Russ

Take A Look At Yourself

    Keyboardist Eddie Russ hailed from Pittsburg and played with many of the greats including Sarah Vaughn, Benny Golson, Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie. Eddie is somewhat of an enigma, but he has always been held in high regard in the UK, and he finally was able to perform here in London at the Jazz café in the early 90’s a few years before his untimely demise. His debut album ‘Fresh Out’ was recorded for the Jazz Masters label and includes the jazz dance classic ‘The Lope Song’, he also contributed heavily to Sonny Stitt’s ‘Tornado’ album on that label. His band The Mixed Bag also made an album for the Detroit Tribe label. In 1976 he signed to John Richbourg’s Sound Stage 7 label and made two great jazz funk albums which were released on the Nashville’s Monument label and like his debut were produced by Bob Crawford. From the 1978 album ‘Take A Look At Yourself’ the title track is a monster percussive jazz funker on which Eddie’s keyboards really shine through and Jackie Holiday’s soulful vocals really top it off. She also does a great job of the Emotions ‘Don’t Ask My Neighbours’, and Renee Coles adds her vocals to the infectious rare groove version of Quincy Jones ‘I Heard That’ . The Monument albums include some great musicians including on this album Motown’s Eddie Willis, a very young Kenny Garrett and the funk group Quazar.

    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.

      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

            The Futures

            Ain't No Time Fa' Nuthin' / Party Time Man

              From a golden period of Philly soul comes one of the most classic ‘two step’ and ‘rare groove’ releases from the PIR label’s group The Futures. “Ain’t No Time Fa Something” (also released in error as “Ain’t Got Time Fa Nuthin’”) remains a timeless spin for DJs, and became rare on 7” since the growth in popularity of the revived format. The track has also been sampled sevent times, first by Jamiroquai in 1994 in “Morning Glory”, and most recently Flamingosis in “Cruise Control”. The flip of this 7” release “Party Time Man” came from the same period and is both the group’s biggest commercial hits and has become a significant revival itself over the last ten years, equally rare on original 7” single.

              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

                Gloria Taylor

                Deep Inside You / World That's Not Real

                Gloria Taylor was from Ohio and was discovered by a promoter and production manager for James Brown. They later married. Gloria recorded for King Soul from the late 60s. Her biggest chart record was the Grammy nominated “You Got To Pay The Price” (1969) before a move to California and collaborations with Selector Sound/Columbia Records in the 70s. From these, the two songs presented here have become her most enduring and sought after. They are the most atmospheric and slow burning deep soul cuts and only two on a full Columbia label release. Originals are extremely expensive.

                Rance Allen Group

                Reason To Survive / Peace Of Mind

                Rance Allen, from Monroe Michigan, with older brother Tom on drums and younger brother Steve on bass recorded their first record and won a talent contest in Detroit and were subsequently signed to Stax’s Gospel Truth label in 1971. After four albums Rance signed to Capitol and made his most highly acclaimed album “Say My Friend”. It was produced by the Mizell Brothers (responsible for iconic albums on Donald Byrd, Bobbi Humphrey, Gary Bartz and Johnny Hammond). “Reason To Survive” and “Peace Of Mind” were the two singles, and both these 7” versions have been impossible to find. Original copies are expensive and extremely sought after. 

                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.

                Gwen McCrae

                Keep The Fire Burning / Funky Sensation

                The 7” versions of Keep the Fire Burning and Funky Sensation by Gwen McCrae, two tracks synonymous with the soul, boogie, rare groove and modern disco scenes, are finally being reissued on Expansion Records. Funky Sensation, moreover, possesses a timeless and universal groove, a song which has cemented itself as a darling of the boogie-scene, while gaining traction from the likes of Dam Funk and Nu Guinea.

                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”

                      The Warriors

                      Destination

                      "Destination" comes from an album "Behind The Mask", recorded and first released in 1982. The project started out intending to be a new Incognito album, and follow up to the debut "Jazz Funk", but took a different direction. With Bluey and original members of Incognito at the helm, "Behind The Mask" welcomed additional guests musicians to become a separate entity and landmark 80s UK fusion album. "Destination" has always been a go-to track, an electrifying full vocal dancefloor filler on the album but never previously released as a 12” single, with the "Diffusion Re-Edit" never previously available on vinyl. Both versions currently much in demand.

                      This is the third single from the Roy Ayers label Uno Melodic Records after 7” releases by Ethel Beatty and Sylvia Striplin. Unique and breathtaking vocals highlight this beuatiful catchy song. Another sought after record, “Baby Don’t You Know” from 1982 is by Bobbi Humphrey, flautish from Texas who came to Uno Melodic after highly acclaimed music for Blue Note (including ”Harlem River Drive”) and Epic (“The Good Life”). She also recorded for Duke Ellington and Stevie Wonder. Out of the two versions of this record, the instrumental has gained particular notoriety over the years. Both the original 7” and 12” are extremely rare, the music production from Bobbi, Roy Ayers and his team in their element.

                      Another classic from Uno Melodic Records, the 80s label owned by Roy Ayers.

                      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

                      Don Blackman

                      Don Blackman

                        Blackman, multi-keyboard wizard played with the biggest names in fusion music including Lenny White & “Twenny-nine”. As a leader and featured recording artist Don’s keyboard, vocal and composing talents all came to shine on this debut LP, “Blackman” originally released on Arista/GRP in 1982. The album became a sensation on the soul, jazz fusion, funk and rare groove scenes leading to it being constantly in demand since. In the UK Don performs every year at “The Jazz Cafe” off the strength of this one album twenty years ago! In 2002 Expansion released his first solo album for Expansion “Listen”. Don toured the world with his band and “The Marcus Miller Band”, “The World Saxophone Quartet”, with jazz and bassist Tuero Nakamura.. His work on the acoustic piano and other keyboards was recorded on Mary J. Blidge’s, “Feel Like A Natural Woman” and Janet Jackson’s “That’s The Way Love Goes” “Nard” was sampled by “Snoop Doggy Dogg” entitled “Hustlers “N” G’s”.

                        In Demand album First vinyl edition on heavy weight 180g, limited to 1,000 pressing

                        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.

                        Eramus Hall

                        Your Love Is My Desire

                          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                          Erasmus Hall’s 1980 album “Your Love Is My Desire” is one of the most collectable and in fact desired modern soul albums of all time. Copies of the original pressing on Westbound have exchanged hands for over £400. Furthermore in-demand gems including “Your Love Is My Desire” and “Just Me And You” have never previously been on 7” vinyl, so as part of these Record Store Day release those two tracks are included on the format making this package irresistible. Eramus Hall are in fact a group taking their name from a building George Clinton saw and gave them while he was in Chicago. The group comprise lead vocalists Michael Gatheright and James Wilkerson with musicians Ronald Wright, Marvin Williams, Joe Anderson, Grady Smith, Charmie Currie and William Tillery.

                          • HEAVY WEIGHT 180g VINYL

                          • HEAVY WEIGHT SLEEVE

                          • HAND NUMBERED 45 SINGLE INCLUDED

                          UK QUANTITY: 500

                          Nicholas Ashford & Valerie Simpson are soul icons responsible for gold and platinum hits through the 60s, 70s and 80s for such artists as Marvin Gaye, Chaka Khan, Diana Ross and Gladys Knight, while their solo hits include 80s smash "Solid". This is the first time many of these have been assembled on one collection, but Expansion have gone one step further by combining the hits with seminal disco records like "Over & Over" (Sylvester), the 2-step anthem "Keep Away Girls" (Stephanie Mills), the awesome "California Soul" (Marlena Shaw), the modern soul smash "Top Of The Stairs" (Collins & Collins) and an EXCLUSIVE REMIX of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (Marvin Gaye / Tammi Terrell).


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