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EXPANSION

Brenda Jones

Super Stroke / Big Mistake

    Big Mistake is a record with a lot of fans and as many questions! Q: Why is it the B-side? A. This is where it appeared originally. Q: Who is Brenda? A: We believe she is the late Brenda Melson aka Brenda Lee Jones from Dayton, Ohio. Q: What is the song about? A: She wrote it for her adopted son and is about the mistake his real mother made. Q: Why the fuzzy guitar? A: It was the flavour of the day and make it a Marmite record, BUT, many soul fans have waited years for a re-release as original copies are few and far between. Q: Is it a perfect recording? A: Maybe not entirely, but we have been supplied with the original tape masters used for the 1974 pressings. Q: So how many people want it? A: At least 500 on Discogs, there are no originals available and the highest paid for one was £800

    Peabo Bryson

    Why Don't You Make Up Your Mind / Paradise

      Such is the significance of the this magnificent soul record that the story of the release and Peabo himself takes over a complete page to tell in Richard Searling’s book “Setting The Record Straight”. What is even more astonishing about the modern soul crossover dance anthem is that it has never previously been released as a 7” single. It was recorded in 1977 but was only ever released later as an album track on “Turn Back The Hands of Time” in 1980…until now, 40 years later. Definitely not one to miss!

      Randy Brown

      I'm Always In The Mood / Love Is All We Need

      Randy Brown is from Memphis, Tennessee who recorded a body of work on the late 70s and early 80s as a solo artist having left The Newcomers. His soul albums for Parachute, Chocolate City and Stax are highly regarded and sought after. Furthermore his debut single “I’m Always In the Mood” has become a modern soul dancefloor classic, but extremely rare (selling for £200). Equally anthemic on the dancefloor is “Love is All We Need”, astonishingly never previously available on 7” single until now. Absolute quality from 1978, a golden era of soul.

      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.

        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’.

        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

          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”

                  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.

                  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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