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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! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 7, 2014 at 10:06

Release Round-Up: Week of May 6

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Steeltown DeluxeBig Country, Steeltown: Deluxe Edition (Mercury/UMC)

The second, criminally underrated album by the Scottish rockers behind “In a Big Country” is remastered and expanded with a bonus disc of single sides and outtakes. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.UPDATE: This one’s been pushed back to September, folks!

Philadelphia International BoxPhiladelphia International: The Collection – 2o Original Albums / The Very Best of Teddy PendergrassLou RawlsThe Three DegreesThe IntrudersThe O’JaysBilly Paul and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Sony Music U.K.)

Sony Music recently announced their acquisition of all post-1975 Philadelphia International Records masters (previously they were only licensed by Sony), so we can expect some more celebrating of all things Gamble, Huff and so on – starting with a 20-disc box set of some the best albums on the label and some new U.K.-exclusive compilations for PIR’s biggest artists.

Philadelphia International: The Collection (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)
Amazon U.K.: The IntrudersHarold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The O’Jays, Billy PaulTeddy PendergrassLou RawlsThe Three Degrees

Gloria GaynorGene Chandler, Get Down / Gloria Gaynor, Gloria Gaynor (Big Break Records)

BBR’s remastered/expanded release slate this week includes some interesting finds: “Duke of Earl” Gene Chandler’s first disco-oriented album for Chi Sound Records in 1978 and Gloria Gaynor’s tenth album (and only one for Atlantic), released in 1982 and featuring a cover of The Supremes’ “Stop in the Name of Love.”

Gene Chandler: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Gloria Gaynor: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Message from the MagicBlue Magic, Message from the Magic (Funkytowngrooves)

The Philadelphia R&B group’s fifth and final album for ATCO Records is remastered and released on CD for the first time ever! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)