The Second Disc

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Get Up and Boogie: A Big Break Bounty, Part One

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Silver Convention - BoogieWith a monthly release slate averaging six titles, Cherry Red’s Big Break Records label is at the vanguard of classic soul, R&B and dance reissues.  Each of the label’s deluxe releases is aimed at collectors, with copious liner notes and more often than not, a selection of rare bonus cuts.  It’s been a busy summer for the Big Break team, and in this first of a two-part series, we’ll look at some of the label’s latest offerings!

Silver Convention, Get Up and Boogie (1976):  Earlier this year, BBR reissued the debut album from Silver Convention.  Save Me (1975) featured the first iteration of the group and its two big disco hits, “Save Me” (Disco No. 10, 1975) and “Fly, Robin, Fly” (Pop/Disco/R&B No.1, AC No. 6, 1975).  Get Up and Boogie, from 1976, continues the Silver Convention story.  The sophomore album, again masterminded by the team of composer/arranger Sylvester Levay and lyricist/producer Michael Kunze, introduced a new, leaner line-up of vocalists Penny McLean, Linda G. Thompson and Ramona Wulf and yielded two more hits: the irresistible call-to-the-dancefloor title cut (Pop No. 2/R&B and Disco No. 5) and “No, No, Joe” (Pop No. 60/R&B No. 34/Disco No. 14).  A defining example of The Munich Sound, Get Up and Boogie has been expanded with three extended disco mixes including a previously unreleased mix of “Get Up and Boogie,” plus new liner notes from Christian John Wikane and remastering from reissue producer Wayne A. Dickson.

Jesse Green, Nice and Slow (1976): The same year Silver Convention was imploring listeners to “Get up and Boogie,” Jamaican reggae artist Jesse Green was hoping listeners would take it Nice and Slow.  Though multi-instrumentalist Green came up in the world of reggae, backing The Pioneers and playing drums for Jimmy Cliff, he pursued a soulful disco sound for his debut solo record.  Produced by Dave Howman and Ken Gibson, and recorded in Switzerland and London, Nice and Slow nonetheless subtly drew upon its Jamaican roots in Green’s breezy delivery and tropical rhythms.  With an expansive production of strings and horns, and the singer’s sweet falsetto shining through, Nice and Slow scored Green a No. 1 Disco hit in the U.S. (on the Scepter label, once home to Dionne Warwick and B.J. Thomas) and another Top 20 Disco track with “Flip,” on United Artists.  “Nice and Slow” also earned Green a Top 20 Pop placement in the U.K. (No. 17).  The album includes notes from Stephen “SPAZ” Schnee and a full plate of five bonus tracks:  alternate versions of “Flip,” “Don’t Knock My Love” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” and 12-inch mixes of “Nice and Slow” and “Flip.”  Nick Robbins has remastered, and BBR has been kind enough to disclose that, due to the lack of available master tapes, some tracks were mastered from a pristine vinyl source.

After the jump: catch some Jungle Fever, Get Down with Gene Chandler, and discover Cado Belle!

Chakachas - Jungle FeverChakachas, Jungle Fever (1972): The sizzling, steamy, Latin-style title track of Chakachas’ 1972 album Jungle Fever received a newfound burst of popularity in 1997 when it was included, alongside Silver Convention’s “Fly, Robin Fly” and a host of other disco-era hits, on the soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson’s film Boogie Nights.  Yet little was known about the one-hit wonders.  Chakachas’ story began years before the rise of disco not in Latin America, but in Belgium, where a group of eight studio musicians – percussionist Gaston Bogaert, keyboardist Nico Gomez, vocalist (and wife of Tito Puente) Kari Kenton, saxophonist Vic Ingeveldt, trumpeter Charlie Lots, pianist Christian Marc, guitarist Henri Breyre and bassist Bill Raymond – came together in the late 1950s to bring to their native Europe the hot, new sounds of Latin jazz, from samba to bossa nova.  They charted a No. 1 record in Belgium in 1958 with “Eso es el Amor” and a Top 50 Pop single in the U.K. with “Twist Twist.”  The group disbanded in 1965, but five years later returned, sans Gomez, for the album that Polydor would release in January 1972 as Jungle Fever.  It had been released in 1970 in Belgium as Eso Es El Amor – after the new version of their 1958 hit – but the label sensed that “Jungle Fever” would be a hit single.  The label figured correctly, as the song reached No.8 on the U.S. Pop chart and No. 14 on the R&B countdown.  The entire album was a love letter to Latin music from a group of white Europeans, but nobody was the wiser.  Stephen “SPAZ” Schnee even informs us in his new liner notes that Polydor sent a group of African-American musicians to perform as the band at the Apollo!  The air of mystery undoubtedly helped “Jungle Fever,” which remained Chakachas’ only U.S. hit.  BBR’s edition has been remastered by Wayne A. Dickson and includes one bonus track, Greg Wilson’s re-edit of the hit song.

Cado BelleCado Belle, Cado Belle (1976): Far from Jamaica, you’ll find Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland and birthplace of such music greats as Donovan, Al Stewart and Bert Jansch.  Though Glasgow may be best-known for its rock and folk artists, the city also was home to a sextet incorporating soul, jazz and jazz styles into its own sound: Cado Belle.  The band – consisting of vocalist Maggie Reilly, keyboardist Stuart MacKillop, saxophonist-flautist Colin Tully, guitarist Alan Darby, bassist Gavin Hodgson and drummer Davy Roy – only recorded one album, but that Anchor Records release has just been excavated by BBR.  Featuring all original songs, Cado Belle drew upon varied influences to craft its lone LP – Stax, Motown, The Everly Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra and Weather Report among them.  Produced and engineered by Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 self-titled smash) and featuring string arrangements from Paul Buckmaster (best-known for his work with Elton John and David Bowie), Cado Belle didn’t fit purely into any one category.  The LP got lost in the shuffle, and the band feels, in the popularity of burgeoning punk movement.  BBR’s reissue of this lost gem adds all four tracks from the group’s follow-up EP produced by Muff Winwood and Rhett Davies – ironically, all cover versions – plus Ashley Beedle’s re-edit of the album track “I Call This Ship Survival.”  Though the group disbanded in 1979, its members have since worked with artists including Bonnie Tyler, ABBA, Van Morrison and Mike Oldfield.  BBR’s reissue has been remastered by producer Wayne A. Dickson and features new liner notes from Stephen “SPAZ” Schnee drawing on new interviews with Maggie Reilly and Colin Tully.

Gene Chandler - Get DownGene Chandler, Get Down (1978): Duke, duke, duke, Duke of Earl…Though Gene Chandler’s 1962 chart-topping, era-defining slice of doo-wop-meets-soul ensured Chandler’s place in the oldies pantheon, the Chicago-born singer was more than a one-hit wonder.  BBR has brought The Duke’s 1978 Chi-Sound/20th Century Fox LP Get Down to CD in an expanded edition adding the single version of its hit title track.  The sublimely funky, disco-flavored “Get Down” brought Chandler a Top 5 R&B berth and barely missed the Top 50 Pop chart at No. 53, and even scored Chandler his first U.K. hit when it reached No. 11 on the Pop survey.  The album produced by Windy City legend Carl Davis (The Chi-Lites, Tyrone Davis) and arranged by Tom Tom 84 (Earth Wind and Fire, Deniece Williams) also featured lush, straight-ahead soul of the variety for which the smooth balladeer was known.  Get Down features a new essay by J. Matthew Cobb and remastering by Nick Robbins.

Coming up next: details on another five Big Break reissues!

Silver Connection, Get Up and Boogie (Jupiter 27-263-OT, 1976 – reissued Big Break Records CDBBR 0275, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

  1. Get Up and Boogie
  2. No, No, Joe
  3. You’ve Turned Me On (But You Can’t Turn Me Off)
  4. San Francisco Hustle
  5. You Got What It Takes (To Please Your Woman)
  6. The Boy with the Ooh-La-La
  7. Old Wine, New Bottles
  8. Play Me Like a Yo-Yo
  9. Thank You, Mr. DJ
  10. Get Up and Boogie (12” Disco Version) (Midland International DJL1-1539, 1976)
  11. No, No, Joe (12” Disco Version) (Midland International DJL1-1989, 1976)
  12. Get Up and Boogie (Previously Unreleased Disco Mix)

Jesse Green - Nice and Slow


Jesse Green, Nice and Slow (EMI EMC-3164, 1976 – reissued Big Break CDBBR 0274, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Nice and Slow
  2. You Came, You Saw, You Conquered
  3. The Greatest Love
  4. Don’t Knock My Love
  5. You’re a Miracle
  6. Highwaves of the Sea
  7. Flip
  8. You Are the Star
  9. Let’s Get It On
  10. Easy
  11. Don’t Let Me Down
  12. Nice and Slow (Instrumental)
  13. Flip (Alternative Version) (Origin TBD)
  14. Don’t Knock My Love (Alternative Version) (Origin TBD)
  15. Don’t Let Me Down (Alternative Version) (Origin TBD)
  16. Nice and Slow (12-Inch Disco Version) (Red Bus 12-RBT-1001, 1976)
  17. Flip (12-Inch Disco Version) (Red Bus 12-RBT-1010, 1976)

Chakachas, Jungle Fever (Polydor PD-5504, 1972 – reissued Big Break CDBBR 0269, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

  1. Jungle Fever
  2. Chica Chica Bau Bau
  3. Un Rayo Del Sol
  4. Cha Ka Cha
  5. Latin Can Can
  6. Yo Soy Cubano
  7. Eso Es El Amor
  8. Harlem Nocturne
  9. El Mulata
  10. El Canyon Rojo
  11. El Rico Son
  12. Jungle Fever (Greg Wilson Re-Edit) (Origin TBD)

Cado Belle, Cado Belle (Anchor Records ANCL-2015, reissued Big Break CDBBR 0268, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. All Too Familiar
  2. Infamous Mister
  3. Rocked to Stony Silence
  4. I Name This Ship Survival
  5. Paper in the Rain
  6. That Kind of Fool
  7. Airport Shutdown
  8. Rough Diamonds
  9. Got to Love
  10. Stone’s Throw from Nowhere
  11. It’s Over
  12. September
  13. Play It Once for Me
  14. Gimme Little Sign
  15. I Name This Ship Survival (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit) (also included on Message in the Music – The Ashley Beedle Re-Edits, Harmless HURTXCD 120, 2014)

Tracks 11-14 from Cado Belle EP, AN-1, 1977

Gene Chandler, Get Down (20th Century Fox/Chi-Sound T-578, 1978 – reissued Big Break CDBBRX 0159, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Get Down
  2. Please Sunrise
  3. Tomorrow I May Not Feel the Same
  4. I’m the Traveling Kind
  5. Greatest Love Ever Known
  6. Give Me the Cue
  7. What Now
  8. Lovequake
  9. Get Down (Single Version) (20th Century Fox/Chi-Sound TC 2386, 1978)

Written by Joe Marchese

August 7, 2014 at 10:06

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