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Archive for the ‘Dan Hartman’ Category

Hot Shots: Big Break Relights Dan Hartman’s “Fire,” Expands Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Solo Debut

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Dan Hartman - Relight My FireTalk about fusion!  For “Hands Down,” the opening cut of his 1979 album Relight My Fire, Dan Hartman enlisted rock and roll great Edgar Winter to weave his alto saxophone licks throughout the Latin-flavored disco track, and Stevie Wonder to provide his instantly recognizable harmonica.  Hartman wasn’t just a dilettante, but a regular musical renaissance man.   A veteran of the Johnny Winter Band and the Edgar Winter Group, he wrote the latter’s smash hit “Free Ride,” and successfully completed the transition to solo stardom with 1978’s “Instant Replay,” a No. 1 Disco hit that also reached the Pop Top 30.  In the eighties, he revitalized James Brown’s career with “Living in America” and gave blue-eyed soul a contemporary makeover with “I Can Dream About You.”  The title song of “Relight My Fire,” on which Hartman was joined by Salsoul queen Loleatta Holloway, proved that he could capture the disco magic twice, as the song remained atop the Billboard dance chart for six weeks.  In 1993, it became a hit all over again for Take That and Lulu.  Now, thanks to Hot Shot Records, Hartman’s Fire has once again been relit.

Over just six tracks – all written by Hartman, who also played keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and percussion on the album – Relight My Fire pulsates with the energy of the era as filtered through Hartman’s pop sensibility.  It was a catholic sensibility that made the musician and songwriter adaptable to pop, rock and soul settings.  For the album centerpiece “Vertigo/Relight My Fire,” Hartman traveled to Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound Studios and enlisted veteran Norman Harris (Blue Magic, The O’Jays) to arrange and conduct.  Harris brought his sublime orchestrated style to the introductory “Vertigo” as well as to the main body of the sizzling, catchy “Relight My Fire,” with a typically passionate duet vocal from Loleatta Holloway.  (Harris had also frequently produced Holloway at Salsoul.)  Whether in the original, nearly 10-minute album version of “Vertigo/Relight My Fire” or the 3+-minute single edit of “Relight” (among the six bonus tracks on Hot Shot’s reissue), Hartman and Holloway’s musical invitation can’t be denied.

“Just for Fun” (“Just do what makes you feel all right…If you’re hungry for some good times now, don’t be late, let me show you how!”) is lyrically in the good-time, hedonistic vein expected of a disco record, and the singer’s enthusiasm is infectious, as is his boogie piano solo.  (The piano has a bit of the flavor of another disco anthem, Peter Allen’s “I Go to Rio.”)  The same goes for the bubbly “I Love Makin’ Music,“ which flows out of “Just for Fun” and epitomizes what could have been Hartman’s personal credo throughout his all-too-short 43 years.  “Love makin’ music, love makin’ love,” the female background vocalist coo during the track, but on Relight My Fire, the two acts seem synonymous.  Hartman’s disco remake of his own “Free Ride” is surprisingly effective.  If it doesn’t replace the original, it succeeds on the strength of the song’s abundant melody, signature riff and energetic performance here.

After the jump, we have more on Relight My Fire, plus a look at Hot Shot’s rediscovery of actress-singer Sheryl Lee Ralph’s foray into contemporary R&B! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 28, 2014 at 09:46

Release Round-Up: Week of January 14

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igh HopesBruce Springsteen, High Hopes (Columbia)

It’s a new album, but one assembled from songs and outtakes Bruce has been amassing for the last few years: we’ll take it (in the hope that this new album means Bruce is in a vault mood for the rest of the year)! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. – both with exclusive DVD of the entire Born in the U.S.A. album live on the Wrecking Ball tour)

Elvis Soundtrack BoxElvis Presley, The Movie Soundtracks (RCA/Sony Music U.K.)

Why should the States get all the fun? An import box set featuring 20 discs of Elvis’ film soundtracks (some great, others…a little different). (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)

Lone JusticeLone Justice, This is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes (Omnivore)

A spirited studio set cut two years before the band’s acclaimed debut album on Geffen Records. A must for rockabilly fans!

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mark LoneganMark Lanegan, Has God Seen My Shadow? An Anthology 1989-2011 (Light in the Attic)

A killer career-spanning compilation from the ex-Screaming Trees frontman, featuring a dozen unreleased tracks.

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Lucinda WilliamsLucinda Williams, Lucinda Williams: Deluxe Edition (Thirty Tigers)

First released on Rough Trade Records and long out of print, the album with some of Williams’ best known compositions (“Passionate Kisses,” “I Wanted to See You So Bad,” “Changed the Locks”) is expanded with not only the live bonus tracks from a previous remaster but another contemporaneous live show that’s never been released before.

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Li'l Abner OSTLi’l Abner: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Columbia/Sony Masterworks)

The long-unavailable soundtrack to the 1959 adaptation of the 1956 musical, featuring a song score by Johnny Mercer & Gene DePaul and arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle, is finally released as an on-demand CD title. (CD-R/DD: My Play Direct)

Billy Paul Cadillac Club BBRBilly Paul, Feelin’ Good at the Cadillac Club (Big Break Records) / Dan Hartman, Relight My Fire: Expanded Edition / Sheryl Lee Ralph, In the Evening: Expanded Edition (Hot Shot Records)

The latest from BBR includes a reissue of Philadelphia soul legend Billy Paul’s debut (studio) album and two expanded titles from underrated greats Dan Hartman and Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Billy Paul: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Dan Hartman: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Sheryl Lee Ralph: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Taj Mahal Wounded BirdJohn Baldry, Boogie Woogie: The Warner Bros. Recordings / Taj Mahal, Sing a Happy Song: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings / John Sebastian, The Reprise Recordings / Crazy Horse, Scratchy: The Complete Reprise Recordings / Doug Sahm, The Genuine Texas Groover: The Complete Atlantic Recordings / The Blasters, The Slash Recordings / Danny O’Keefe, Classics / Hubert Laws, Carnegie Hall / The Chicago Theme / Crying Song / How to Beat the High Cost of Living (with Earl Klugh) / Say It with Silence (Wounded Bird)

We told you about Wounded Bird’s Rhino Handmade budget reissues yesterday, but there’s also a bunch of straight reissues from jazz flutist Hubert Laws due from the label today, too.

John Baldry: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Taj Mahal: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
John Sebastian: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Crazy Horse: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Doug Sahm: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Blasters: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Danny O’Keefe: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Carnegie Hall: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Chicago ThemeAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Crying SongAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
How to Beat the High Cost of Living: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Say It with Silence
: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Soul with a Purpose: New Label Opens Up the Music Vaults with Womack, Dyson, Hartman

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The Purpose Music Vaults are open!

Purpose Music Group is introducing a new player in the reissue field, something that always brings us a great deal of excitement here at The Second Disc.  But how about we sweeten the pot by telling you that the first three releases from Purpose Music Vaults are all rare soul classics from the Sony Music Entertainment library, all feature new-to-CD material, and all are newly remastered by engineers including Vic Anesini and Sean Brennan?  On top of that, all three of Purpose’s first limited-edition releases feature deluxe packaging and booklets containing interviews with key participants.  The label launches on October 30 with a trio that’s likely to excite soul enthusiasts everywhere: Bobby Womack’s Pieces and Ronnie Dyson’s One Man Band, completing the rollout with Dan Hartman’s Relight My Fire on November 20.

Bobby Womack received a considerable amount of attention earlier this year when the 68-year old soul legend released a new studio album.  The Bravest Man in the Universe was his first in twelve years and his first of original material in nearly twenty years, and was greeted with acclaim for artfully bridging the gap between the past and present.  Purpose looks back to 1978 for Pieces, originally released on Columbia Records.  Don Davis produced the album, while Candi Staton and David Ruffin joined Womack on “Stop Before We Start,” and “Trust Your Heart,” respectively.  Bobby was joined on songwriting duties by his brother Cecil, as well as Leon Ware, Allee Willis and Ronnie McNeir for this mellow soul LP with a dance-ready beat.  Though Pieces has been on CD before, Purpose’s new edition has been remastered by Vic Anesini from the original two-track master tapes, and includes four bonus tracks never before available on CD: single edits of three album tracks (“Wind It Up,” “Trust Your Heart,” “Where Love Begins, Friendship Ends”) plus the promotional 12-inch mix of “Trust Your Heart.”  Darnell Meyers-Johnson’s new liner notes incorporate fresh quotes from Candi Staton and Bobby Womack himself!  Pieces is a 1,500-unit limited edition.

After the jump, you’ll find a track listing and pre-order link for Pieces, as well as all the info you need on the titles from Ronnie Dyson and Dan Hartman! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 28, 2012 at 13:02