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Big Break Delivers Big Slate of Soul Classics in March

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Our friends at the U.K.-based Big Break label haven’t given much thought lately to a break! A recently-announced slate of March releases bring the label’s total catalogue to nearly 50 titles since its inception in 2009, and covers a wide and diverse swath of soulful artists. Some are returning to the label (The Pointer Sisters, Deniece Williams, Billy Ocean) and others are making their label debuts (Dennis Edwards, Ashford and Simpson, The Originals).

Deniece Williams is recipient of her third Big Break reissue. My Melody was her 1981 triumph co-produced by Thom Bell, who also contributed as a writer, arranger and conductor. Bell, an architect of the Philadelphia sound, brought out the best in Williams, and My Melody spawned the hit single “What Two Can Do” and the lush “Silly,” now one of the songs most associated with the singer. My Melody will feature two bonus tracks, the single versions of “Silly” and “It’s Your Conscience.” The Pointer Sisters also receive their third Big Break release. Contact was the group’s first record for the RCA label after their successful tenure on Richard Perry’s Planet label; Special Things and So Excited, both for Planet, were BBR’s first two releases from the Pointers. 1985’s Contact was also produced by Perry, and went platinum. “Dare Me” charted on the R&B and Pop charts in addition to placing atop the Dance chart, while “Freedom” and “Twist My Arm” also had impressive placings. Contact also features songwriting contributions from 1980s chart-toppers Mr. Mister. Contact boasts an incredible nine bonus tracks, including B-sides, dance mixes and single versions.

Billy Ocean returns to BBR with 1982’s Inner Feelings from the Epic label. Nigel Martinez brought his production skills to the table, and Inner Feelings paved the way for his hugely-successful hits like “Caribbean Queen” and “When the Going Gets Tough.” Inner Feelings will include two single versions and one 12″ dance remix. Also from 1982 is Ashford and Simpson’s Capitol Records debut, Street Opera. Written and produced by the famous hitmaking team, Street Opera scored with R&B hit “Street Corner.” That song is included among the bonus tracks in both single and dance versions, with the ballad “Love It Away” also included in its single version.

While Ashford and Simpson spent many of their early years at the Motor City’s biggest label, Big Break’s next two releases actually hail from the famed Motown library. Dennis Edwards’ Don’t Look Any Further (1984) was produced by Dennis Lambert, who ironically gave The Four Tops their biggest non-Motown hits with songs like “Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got).” The former Temptation and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” vocalist duetted with Siedah Garrett (duet partner on Michael Jackson’s “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”) and enjoyed the vocal support of Paulette Williams, formerly of Rufus, on this long-lost LP. Four bonus tracks have been added, including both the U.S. and U.K. 12″ mixes of the title track. The Originals’ California Sunset has an even more legendary pedigree, as the 1975 LP was produced by Lamont Dozier, who arranged its tracks with Jimmie Haskell and Paul Riser. This smooth soul classic has been expanded by one bonus cut, the single version of “Good Lovin’ is Just a Dime Away.”

All titles are due in the U.K. in March. Hit the jump for the full track listings, pre-order links and discographical information!

Ashford and Simpson, Street Opera (Capitol ST-12207, 1982 – reissued Big Break CDBBR0039, 2011)

  1. Love It Away
  2. Make It Work Again
  3. Mighty Mighty Love
  4. I’ll Take the World On
  5. Working Man
  6. Who Will They Look To
  7. Street Corner
  8. Times Will Be Good Again
  9. Working Man (Reprise)
  10. Street Corner (Single Version) (from Capitol single 5146-A, 1982)
  11. Love It Away (Single Version) (from Capitol single 5146-B, 1982)
  12. Street Corner (12” Version) (from Capitol 12-inch single 8528, 1982)

Dennis Edwards, Don’t Look Any Further (Gordy 6057, 1984 – reissued Big Break CDBBR0040, 2011)

  1. I’m Up for You
  2. Don’t Look Any Further
  3. (You’re My) Aphrodisiac
  4. Can’t Fight It
  5. Another Place in Time
  6. Shake Hands (Come Out Dancin’)
  7. I Thought I Could Handle It
  8. Just Like You
  9. Let’s Go Up
  10. Don’t Look Any Further (12” Version) (from Gordy TMGT 1334 R, 1984 (U.K.))
  11. (You’re My) Aphrodisiac (Single Version) (from Gordy single TMG 1340, 1984)
  12. Don’t Look Any Further (U.K. 12” Remix) (from Gordy TMGT 1334 R, 1984 (U.K.))
  13. Don’t Look Any Further (Instrumental) (from Gordy TMGT 1334 R, 1984 (U.K.))

Billy Ocean, Inner Feelings (Epic FE-38129, 1982 – reissued Big Break CDBBR0042, 2011)

  1. Calypso Funkin’
  2. Rock-A-Bye-Baby
  3. No Matter What
  4. Dance with Me
  5. Can’t Stop
  6. Tryin’ to Get Through
  7. Mind Games
  8. Was It You
  9. Inner Feelings
  10. Calypso Funkin’ (Single Version) (from Epic single 02942, 1982)
  11. Inner Feelings (Single Version) (from Epic single 03174, 1982)
  12. City Limit (1982 12” Version) (from Epic 12-inch single 49 02943, 1982)

The Originals, California Sunset (Motown M6-826S1, 1975 – reissued Big Break CDBBR0044, 2011)

  1. Why’d You Lie
  2. Don’t Turn Off the Lights
  3. It Could Never Happen
  4. Good Lovin’ is Just a Dime Away
  5. California Sunset
  6. Sweet Rhapsody
  7. Fifty Years
  8. Let Me Live in Your Life
  9. Financial Affair
  10. Nothing Can Take the Place (of Your Love)
  11. Good Lovin’ is Just a Dime Away (Single Version) (from Motown single M1355F, 1975)

The Pointer Sisters, Contact (RCA 5487, 1985 – reissued Big Break CDBBR0041, 2011)

  1. Twist My Arm
  2. Hey You
  3. Pound, Pound, Pound
  4. Back in My Arms
  5. Burn Down the Night
  6. Bodies and Souls
  7. Contact
  8. Dare Me
  9. Freedom
  10. I’ll Be There (Single B-Side) (from RCA single PB-14126, 1985)
  11. Dare Me (12” Dance Mix) (from RCA 12-inch single PD/PW-14127, 1985)
  12. Twist My Arm (12” Dance Mix) (from RCA 12-inch single PD/PW-14127, 1985)
  13. Back in My Arms (12” U.K. Dance Mix) (from RCA 12-inch single PT-49866, 1986)
  14. Dare Me (Single Remix) (likely from RCA single PB-14126, 1985)
  15. Freedom (Single Edit) (from RCA single PB-49913, 1985)
  16. Twist My Arm (Single Remix) (likely from RCA single PB-14197, 1985)
  17. Dare Me (Instrumental) (from RCA 12-inch single PD/PW-14127, 1985)
  18. Twist My Arm (Instrumental) (from RCA PW-14196, 1985)

Deniece Williams, My Melody (ARC/Columbia 37048, 1981 – reissued Big Break CDBBR0043, 2011)

  1. My Melody
  2. It’s Your Conscience
  3. Silly
  4. Strangers
  5. What Two Can Do
  6. You’re All That Matters
  7. Suspicious
  8. Sweet Surrender
  9. It’s Your Conscience (Single Version) (from ARC/Columbia single 02108, 1981)
  10. Silly (Single Version) (from ARC/Columbia single 02406, 1981)

Written by Joe Marchese

February 18, 2011 at 08:36

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