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Come Into Their World: Dance Classics From The Emotions, Foxy Arrive On BBR

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Emotions - Come Into Our WorldWe have plenty of news coming your way from Big Break Records as the Cherry Red soul specialists have closed out 2013 and already announced plans for 2014 in a big way.  Before we dive into recent releases from Joe Bataan, The Salsoul Orchestra, Chris Jasper and Herbie Mann, we wouldn’t want you to miss two recent disco-flavored releases from The Emotions and Foxy!

The BBR label welcomes The Emotions, appropriately enough, with the R&B girl group’s 1979 album entitled Come Into Our World.  Jeanette, Wanda and Sheila Hutchinson first combined their voices in song as The Heavenly Sunbeams (also sometimes known as The Hutchinson Sunbeams), but by the late sixties, they expanded their purview from gospel to secular music and signed to the legendary Stax label’s Volt imprint as The Emotions.  The group released three albums at Stax, but by the end of 1975, the historic label had declared bankruptcy.  Undeterred, however, The Emotions turned to an old friend from their hometown of Chicago: onetime Ramsey Lewis Trio drummer and then-Earth Wind & Fire leader Maurice White.

White’s sure commercial instincts and impeccable musicianship proved to be a perfect match for The Emotions.  White and Charles Stepney helmed The Emotions’ 1976 Columbia Records debut Flowers, which earned a Top 5 R&B peak and yielded two hit singles, “Flowers” and “I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love.”  The girls had even more reason to Rejoice, however, when the album of that name was released in 1977.  White co-wrote and produced “Best of My Love,” the lead-off track of the Rejoice album, and it established The Emotions as red-hot artists for the disco era.   The Grammy-winning song went No.1 Pop and R&B, and the album topped the R&B chart as well as going Top 10 on the Billboard 200.

Another gold album followed for The Emotions, Maurice White and Columbia Records with 1978’s Sunbeam.  It didn’t match the success of Rejoice, but all three parties were riding high when the Hutchinson sisters joined Earth Wind & Fire for “Boogie Wonderland,” a No. 6 Pop/No. 2 R&B hit in 1979. (The line-up was a bit fluid in those heady days.  Jeanette, who had been spelled in the group during the Stax era by friend Theresa Davis, departed in 1977 while pregnant, and was replaced by youngest Hutchinson sister Pamela.  Jeanette soon returned to the fold, but it’s the Pamela-Wanda-Sheila line-up still performing today.)

The stage was set for 1979’s Come Into Our World.  Maurice White again produced what would turn out to be the most dancefloor-oriented album of The Emotions’ career to that point.  Sheila, Jeanette and Wanda were joined by Pamela and their brother Joey, plus a “Who’s Who” of musicians including Toto’s David Paich on keyboards, Average White Band’s Steve Ferrone on drums, Keni Burke and EW&F’s Verdine White on bass, and the ubiquitous Paulinho da Costa on percussion.  David Foster and Allee Willis (co-writer of “Boogie Wonderland”) co-wrote “What’s the Name of Your Love” with Maurice, and the trio was rewarded with a No. 30 R&B hit.  Foster and White joined Sheila to pen “On and On,” and David Paich joined White, Willis and Foster for “The Movie,” on which White appears in a vocal spot.  Other songs came from writers including Ross Vannelli (Gino Vannelli’s “I Just Wanna Stop”) and R&B vet Marlo Henderson.  Come Into Our World reached a No. 35 R&B/No. 96 Pop peak; it turned out to be the group’s penultimate release with Columbia and Maurice White’s ARC imprint.

Big Break’s expanded edition, remastered by Nick Robbins, adds three bonus tracks: the single versions of “Where Is Your Love” and “I Should Be Dancing,” and single B-side “My Baby Dance.”  Steven E. Flemming, Jr. has scribed the new liner notes recounting this crucial period in the group’s history.

After the jump: we get Foxy!

Foxy - FoxyEarlier this year, BBR reissued Get Off, the 1978 sophomore album by the band Foxy.  Now, BBR has returned to the Foxy catalogue for Foxy’s self-titled debut featuring guitarist/vocalist Ishmael “Ish” Ledesma joined by Arnold Paseiro on bass, Richie Puente Jr. (son of Tito) on percussion, Charlie Murciano on keyboards, woodwinds and vibes, Joe Galdo on drums, percussion and vocals and Garry Ortiz on vocals.  Foxy was released on Dash Records, an imprint of Henry Stone’s T.K. label empire, and established the group as a leading disco band with more than a touch of musical diversity.  (How diverse?  Foxy backed ABBA on the Swedes’ only studio recording made outside of their homeland: the U.K. Top 5 single “Voulez-Vous.”)

Foxy’s music can be heard on records by artists including Timmy Thomas, George McCrae and Latimore (all of whom have had recent reissues on Big Break) but the band really cut loose on their own recordings.  J. Matthew Cobb’ thorough (and thoroughly entertaining) liner notes serve as both foreword and afterword to his notes for Get Off, and feature quotes from the colorful Ledesma reflecting on the creation of Foxy.  “Honestly we had no idea what we’d wanted,” Ledesma says.  “We just went in and recorded some stuff…[and] if you listen to our albums, they sound like they are going all over the place.”  But that stylistic versatility is part and parcel of Foxy’s appeal.  Blending funk, disco and Latin beats, Foxy is an uptempo, made-for-dancing record with the spirited likes of “Get Off Your Aahh! And Dance,” “You Make Me Hot,” and “People Fall in Love (While Dancing).”  Every track came from the pen of one or more of the band members, with Ledesma writing or co-writing each song.  Though the album didn’t chart, it holds significance as the first LP on the reactivated Dash label.

BBR’s new reissue adds six bonus tracks including three versions of the non-LP single “The Way You Do the Things You Do.”  The track arrived in between Foxy and Get Off, and though unrelated to the Temptations classic, spoke to the disco audience.  It peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. Disco chart, and is heard in its single edit, 12-inch version and 12-inch instrumental version.  BBR also appends Part 1 of “Get Off Your Aahh! And Dance,” the single edit of “You Make Me Hot” and the 12-inch single of “Let’s Love.”  Nick Robbins handled remastering duties.

Both The Emotions’ Come Into Our World and Foxy’s Dash Records debut are available from Cherry Red and Big Break Records right now!  They can be ordered at the links below!

The Emotions, Come Into Our World (Columbia LP JC 36149, 1979 – reissued Big Break CDBBR 0251, 2013) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. What’s the Name of Your Love?
  2. Cause I Love You
  3. Come Into My World
  4. On and On
  5. I Should Be Dancing
  6. Where is Your Love?
  7. The Movie
  8. Layed Back
  9. Yes, I Am
  10. My Baby Dance (Single B-Side) (CBS (U.K.) single S 7869, 1979)
  11. I Should Be Dancing (Single Version) (CBS (U.K.) single S 7869, 1979)
  12. Where is Your Love? (Single Version) (Columbia single 11205, 1980)

Foxy, Foxy (Dash Records LP 30001, 1976 – reissued Big Break CDBBR 0253, 2013) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. You Make Me Hot
  2. People Fall in Love (While Dancing)
  3. Get Off Your Aahh! And Dance
  4. Baby I’m Leaving
  5. What’s It Take
  6. Let’s Love
  7. The Way You Do the Things You Do (12-Inch Version) (T.K. Disco single 41, 1976)
  8. Get Off Your Aahh! And Dance (Part 1) (Single Version) (Dash single 5022, 1976)
  9. You Make Me Hot (Single Version) (Dash single 5046, 1978)
  10. Let’s Love (12-Inch Version) (T.K. Disco single 18, 1976)
  11. The Way You Do the Things You Do (12-Inch Instrumental Version) (T.K. Disco single 41, 1976)
  12. The Way You Do the Things You Do (Single Version) (Dash single 5036, 1976)

Written by Joe Marchese

January 6, 2014 at 14:36

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