Groovy, Sexy & Soulful Part 61 Foreplay Edition

Enjoy this foreplay edition of Groovy, sexy and soulful! I wanted to honour Prince and Billy Paul, so I started with two of their songs and from there I searched for the same kind of ‘arousing records’. This is what singer/songwriter James Taylor wrote about Prince on his Facebook page:

"Shocked to hear Prince has died. Baffled that we should lose him so early. How is this possible? One of the most alive and vital performing artists of our time is dead? He generated such amazing energy and was completely sui generis; he was his own creation, totally. Last public performance I saw him do was that amazing super bowl halftime in the pouring rain. That's an impossible gig to play. But he aced it: the best ever halftime. He always gave me the impression that he was deadly serious; absolutely in earnest; all about sex and serious as a heart attack. I admired him for having his own space which he developed for himself in Minnesota. That was where he worked. Prince has been a huge and unique creative force and l feel so disappointed that we won't see what he would have done next…."

The beat of the intro and the keyboards sound like a glam rock song, but ‘Up in a puff of smoke’ by Polly Brown contains quite a few northern soul (female choirs) and disco elements (the break) as well. The track failed to chart in the UK and in the Netherlands, but in the US it became a Top 20 hit. The song reached #3 on the US disco chart and #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1975.
Probably one of the most influential disco records of all time is ‘Rock the boat’ by The Hues Corporation. Many artists and producers copied their off-beat tom tom and the sixteens on the hi-hat. Just listen to the tracks by Dooley Silverspoon and Tina Charles and you know what I mean. Arranger Pip Williams talks about producer Biddu (Tina Charles, Carl Douglas):
As a bystander, who just used to do arrangements for Biddu, the thing that changed it all was 'Rock The Boat' by The Hues Corporation, with that particular rhythm - the off-beat tom tom - which, as I saw it, profoundly affected Biddu. He loved that record. I remember when I went round to do the routining session for 'I Love To Love', he played me The Hues Corporation version of 'Rock The Boat' and said, 'If you can imagine it a little bit slower.' Cos that was the rhythm, with the off-beat tom tom and the sixteens on the hi-hat. I know he said he wanted me to take the drum rhythm from 'Rock The Boat'.

When Tina Charles recorded 'You set my heart on fire' she was the girlfriend of producer Trevor Horn (Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ABC, Art of Noise and many, many more). He played on the record as well, just like Geoff Downes. The two of them would later become The Buggles ('Video killed the radio star'). The song reached number 5 on the Dutch Top 40 in 1975.

Picture: Aurélien Buttin


George McCrae – I Need Somebody Like You (1975)
Billy Paul – Let’s Make A Baby (1975)
Prince – Pink Cashmere (1993)
Patti Austin – All Behind Us Now (1984)
Stylus – Live It On Up (1979)
Joey Scarbury – Love Me Like The Last Time (1981)
George Benson – Lady Love Me (1983)
Quincy Jones ‎– Betcha' Wouldn't Hurt Me (1981)
Eleanore Mills – How Can I Love You (1974)
Lou Rawls – Where The Wind Blows Free (1972)
Joe Casey And Fresh Hair – Let Me Hold You [Al Kent Re-Edit] (2016)
Polly Brown – Up In A Puff Of Smoke (1975)
Shotgun – Midnight Breakdown (1979)
American Gypsy – Stuck On You (1974)
Tina Charles ‎– You Set My Heart On Fire (1975)
Dooley Silverspoon – Bump Me Baby (1975)
Yung Bae with Flamingosis – Fall In Love With Me (2016)


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