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Doin’ It for Themselves: Funky Town Grooves Plans Major Expansions for Aretha and Andre

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As independent reissue labels go, Funky Town Grooves has long been a pioneer in cratedigging through scores of forgotten soul and R&B favorites, many from the fertile period of the 1980s. This year, the label has announced two expanded releases that may be among their most ambitious, for two of the best-loved R&B albums of the decade.

First up, this March will see an expanded edition of Who’s Zoomin’ Who?, the major comeback by The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Aretha had ended the 1970s leaving her longtime home at Atlantic for Clive Davis’ Arista label. Her early albums, while boasting a host of talent (namely producer Luther Vandross), never caught on with an increasingly future-forward young audience.

With 1985’s Narada Michael Walden-produced Who’s Zoomin’ Who? The Queen planted herself into the consciousness of the MTV generation, thanks to colorful videos for the wildly catchy singles “Freeway of Love” (a No. 3 hit, her first Top 10 since 1973); “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” a duet with New Wave duo the Eurythmics from their Be Yourself Tonight album and the Top 10 title track of the album. This touched off a major rediscovery of Aretha, which culminated with her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and arguably hasn’t cooled since. FTG’s double-disc presentation of the album remasters the original album and provides 17 bonus tracks – every remix, extension, edit and dub of the album’s five singles.

It’s onto a noted Prince associate – and just a spot of reissue drama – after the jump!

Dedicated soul enthusiasts and Prince fanatics know Andre Cymone’s name for a number of reasons. One likely reason is his noted association with Prince from their early days in local Minneapolis band 94 East to his brief tenure with Prince’s band before it became The Revolution. (Cymone of course did reap the benefits of his collaboration, recording a mildly successful version of Prince outtake “The Dance Electric,” and would later find some success with onetime wife Jody Watley, for whom he produced “Looking for a New Love.”)

But if you didn’t remember that backstory, you might have remembered that this is not the first time The Second Disc has reported on a reissue of A.C., the 1985 album that gave fans “The Dance Electric.” A single-disc expansion was released by U.K. reissue label Big Break Records last fall. Shortly thereafter, we reported that Cymone’s other two albums for Columbia were getting expanded by Funky Town Grooves – but it’s recently been revealed that BBR has expansions of those two albums due soon. Commenting on what is likely a sticky situation for fans and collectors, label manager Wayne A. Dickson posted on the label’s Facebook page, in part:

Occasionally other labels will get the clearance to release some of these albums in other territories. I would like to stress that we bare [sic] them absolutely no ill will whatsoever and genuinely wish them well with all of their releases. We do not see this as a reason to change our plans and deny our loyal fans or the UK market in general a BBR edition of an album that we feel we can bring something extra to. We know that customers will make their own informed decisions about what they want to buy and we are happy that the music we love can be available again.

Details on the bonus tracks for the BBR editions of the Cymone albums will be posted as soon as they’re made available. In the meantime, you can check out the specs on FTG’s Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (due out March 20) and A.C. (tentatively scheduled for April) below.

Aretha Franklin, Who’s Zoomin’ Who? Expanded Edition (Funky Town Grooves FTG-282, 2012)

Disc 1: Original LP and bonus tracks

  1. Freeway of Love
  2. Another Night
  3. Sweet Bitter Love
  4. Who’s Zoomin’ Who?
  5. Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves – Eurhythmics and Aretha Franklin
  6. Until You Say You Love Me
  7. Ain’t Nobody Ever Loved You
  8. Push
  9. Integrity
  10. Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (Dance Mix)
  11. Another Night (Dance Mix)
  12. Ain’t Nobody Ever Loved You (Remix)
  13. Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves (E.T. Mix) – Eurhythmics and Aretha Franklin

Disc 2: More bonus tracks

  1. Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (Acapella Mix)
  2. Ain’t Nobody Ever Loved You (Dub Version)
  3. Another Night (Radio Mix)
  4. Freeway of Love (Single Mix)
  5. Who’s Zoomin’ Who (Radio Mix)
  6. Ain’t Nobody Ever Loved You (Single Edit)
  7. Another Night (Single Mix)
  8. Freeway of Love (Rock Mix)
  9. Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (Dub Mix)
  10. Ain’t Nobody Ever Loved You (Percapella)
  11. Another Night (Dub Mix)
  12. Freeway of Love (Extended Re-Mix)
  13. Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves (Edited Version) – Eurhythmics and Aretha Franklin

Disc 1, Tracks 1-9 released as Arista LP ARS-39209, 1985
Disc 1, Track 10 and Disc 2, Tracks 1, 5 and 9 released as Arista 12″ AD1-9411, 1985
Disc 1, Track 11 and Disc 2, Tracks 3, 7 and 11 released as Arista 12″ AD1-9454, 1986
Disc 1, Track 12 and Disc 2, Tracks 2, 6 and 10 released as Arista 12″ AD1-9473, 1986
Disc 1, Track 13 released on RCA 12″ PW-14243, 1985
Disc 2, Tracks 4, 8 and 12 released as Arista 12″ AD1-9355, 1985
Disc 2, Track 13 released on RCA 7″ PB-14214, 1985

Andre Cymone, A.C.: Expanded Edition (Funky Town Grooves FTG-290, 2012)

Disc 1: Original LP (originally released as Columbia LP FC-40037, 1985)

  1. The Dance Electric
  2. Lipstick Lover
  3. Really Wild Girl
  4. Book of Love
  5. Satisfaction
  6. Sweet Sensuality
  7. Vacation
  8. Neon Pussycat

Disc 2: Remixes and rarities

  1. Fallin’ Fallin’
  2. Red Light
  3. The Dance Electric (Single Version)
  4. The Dance Electric (Long Version)
  5. Lipstick Lover (Single Remix)
  6. Lipstick Lover (Radio Version)
  7. Lipstick Lover (Club Version)
  8. Lipstick Lover (Instrumental)
  9. Satisfaction (Single Remix)
  10. Satisfaction (Edited Version)
  11. Satisfaction (12″ Version)
  12. Satisfaction (Dub Mix)

Disc 2, Track 1 exact origin unknown
Disc 2, Tracks 2-4 released as Columbia 12″ 44-05249, 1985
Disc 2, Tracks 5 and 8 released as Columbia 7″ 38-05710, 1985
Disc 2, Tracks 6-7 released as Columbia 12″ 44-05315, 1985
Disc 2, Track 9 released on Columbia 7″ 38-05787, 1985
Disc 2, Tracks 10-12 released as Columbia 12″ 44-05335, 1985

Written by Mike Duquette

January 17, 2012 at 13:37

4 Responses

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  1. Glad to see that Aretha’s Arista output is getting the deluxe treatment. This is much better than the upcoming Arista years compilation.


    January 17, 2012 at 14:45

  2. Fantastic to see Who’s Zooming Who finally getting proper reissue treatment, and FTG always do a good job. Not quite every remix is there, though – shame they’ve missed off the Pink Cadillac mix of Freeway Of Love from the UK reissue, it was much more exciting than the token extension on the original 12″.


    January 28, 2012 at 05:06

  3. The Who’s Zoomin’ Who expanded edition is a big disappointment. No digital remastering at all. Vinyl sources were inexplicably used to for remixes; you can literally hear the hiss and pops.


    July 17, 2012 at 20:38

    • Daniel, I just noticed your post about the sound quality of the “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” reissue. You should contact FTG personally and they should send you a corrected pressing of the CD. There was an error with the original pressing. FTG sent me a new pressing and it sounds fine.


      August 19, 2012 at 17:55

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