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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.

    Willie Bobo

    Always There / Comin' Over Me

      Willie Bobo was a Latin jazz percussionist from New York who recorded over 20 albums between 1963 and 1979. During the 70s jazz funk period he recorded a version of “Always There” to rival the Ronnie Laws original as the definitive version becoming a dance floor favourite. The album and extended 12” versions have been reissued many times, now here’s a first issue of the more compact 7” version which has become more in demand recently. It is coupled with an extremely popular vocal track “Comin’ Over Me” featuring singer Errol Knowles. It is the first time this song has been released on 7”. Willie’s son is Eric Bobo, a member of Cypress Hill.

      Margie Joseph

      I Can't Move No Mountains / Come On Back To Me Lover

        Margie Joseph recorded prolifically for Atlantic Records in the 70s. She worked with incredible writers, arrangers and producers, sharing many with her label mate Aretha Franklin with whom she garnered comparisons. “I Can’t Move No Mountains” was produced by Arif Mardin and was originally released in 1975 (original pressings fetch between £50-£75), while “Come On Back To Me Lover” was produced by Johnny Bristol in 1977 and holds similar value. In June 2018 Margie comes to the UK where she is reunited with Lamont Dozier who also wrote and produced for her at Atlantic.

        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.

          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

            Joanie Sommers

            Don't Pity Me / My Block

            From Buffalo, New York, Joanie was primarily a 60s pop singer and actress who recorded numerous singles for Warner Brothers during that decade. “Don’t Pity Me” was recorded and originally released in 1965 and has become her most sought after release. An original has been valued at £400, a rare clip of the song viewed over 200,000 times on YouTube. It’s popularity stems from the Northern Soul scene where in the 70s it was ‘covered up’ under the artist name Yvonne Daniels.

            Chuck Cissel

            Don't Tell Me You're Sorry / Do You Believe

            Chuck Cissel, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, recoded just two albums in 1979 and 1982 respectively, both for Arista at the time and reissued together on CD by Expansion in 2014. He is best known in disco circles for ‘Cisselin’ Hot’, but over the last two decades has become renowned for “Don’t Tell Me You’re Sorry” in northern and crossover soul circles. Today it is his most sought after record, original copies worth £150.

            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" 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.

                  Gwen McCrae

                  Keep The Fire Burning / Funky Sensation

                  Expansion get a stadium-sized thumbs up from the Piccadilly peeps here, following last year's essential Norman Connors reissue with a fresh pressing of one of the all time disco classics, "Keep The Fire Burning" by Gwen McCrae. After a recent second hand price surge in recent years, presumably caused by a) the track's unparalleled brilliance, b) the fact that a whole load of A-listers have introduced it to the Boiler Room kids and c) the only affordable option was the well-snide, poorly pressed and totally dished bootleg from a few years ago. If "Keep The Fire Burning" is new to you, know this; it has never, ever failed to fill a dancefloor. Killer bass, perfect percussion and the finest groove you've ever heard, augmented by irresistible rhythm guitar and Gwen's occasionally spoken, outrageously sung vocal all come together in perfect disco harmony. Appearing here in its full 6:54 format, this is an absolute must have. On the flip, "Funky Sensation", 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. Bag a copy ASAP!

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Patrick says: Definitely in the top ten disco records of all time, Gwen's soulful, sassy and stomping "Keep The Fire Burning" has raised the roof consistently for almost forty years now. Available here in its full length as an officially remastered reissue, with rare-groove classic "Funky Sensation" on the flip no less, it's gonna continue to do damage for the next forty years.

                  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.

                  Keni Burke

                  Risin' To The Top

                  It's been 35 years since legendary soul smoocher "Risin' To The Top" was first released, yet it sounds every bit as timeless as ever on this new Expansion pressing. Perhaps that's because this cut has such a mega mellow groove that producer's can't help but sample it. Mary J Blige, LL Cool J, Doug E. Fresh, 50 Cent and KRS-One have all worked their magic with this Keni classic, but none have ever topped the OG. Killer bass, soulful vocals and that fluttering flute just do the trick every time. This 7” version is also now extremely rare, original copies exchanging hands at vast sums. “Hang Tight” also comes from the 1982 “Changing” album, and was the original B-side to the first UK issue of “Risin’ To The Top”

                  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!

                  Leon Ware

                  What's Your Name / Inside Your Love

                  Both songs on this ace Expansion 7" are taken from Leon Ware's 1979 LP “Inside is Love”, previously reissued by the label in lavish fashion. Both these songs are moden soul dancefloor fillers, previously both released as singles but not in their full length versions like here. Packed with infectious grooves, ear pleasing melodies and Leon's amazing vocals, “What’s Your Name” is a surefire 70s soul gem. Over on the B-Side we get the awesome, emotive and floor filling soul of “Inside Your Love”, Leon’s own take on a song he wrote for Minnie Ripperton, which was later sampled by Jean Jacques Smoothie for the massive Matt Ward favourite "2 People".

                  Al Johnson

                  I'm Back For More / I've Got My Second Wind

                    Al Johnson came from the 60s Washington group The Unifics, then in 1978 he released a debut album “Peaceful” on an independent label. It featured the original version of “I’ve Got My Second Wind” that would later be re-recorded and become a popular song from his 1980 CBS album “Back For More” and is featured here. The song “I’m Back For More” was a duet from the album featuring Jean Carn which is released in its full length version here on Expansion for the first time. Both songs timeless moern soul classics.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Millie says: Big sounds from Al Johnson in this bold soul classic. Smooth, slick and groovy and caressed in funky-goodness this is an absolute disco funk must have.

                    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.

                    The Aristrocats

                    Let's Get Together Now / Loving You Is Mellow

                    The Aristocrats were originally from Bridgeport, Connecticut, but came to Philadelphia in 1973 where they recorded five tracks with Bobbi Eli at Sigma Sound Studios. Only one single was released, the Philly classic “Let’s Get Together now” on Warner Brothers Records. Original pressings can fetch up to £150. The Expansion pressing here is extra special as the B-side “Loving You Is Mellow” has never previously been released on 7” or vinyl. It is in fact the original version of a song later made famous by Major Harris but in it’s own right an exceptional piece of Philly magic.

                    Original pressing valued at £150.00. First issue on 7" vinyl of "Loving You Is Mellow". Another essential addition!

                    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


                        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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