Gwen Guthrie (July 9, 1950 – February 3, 1999) was an American singer-songwriter and pianist, who also sang backing vocals for Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Peter Tosh, and Madonna, among others, and who wrote songs made famous by Ben E. King, Angela Bofill and Roberta Flack.
Guthrie is probably best known for her 1986 dance anthem “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ on But the Rent”, a self-written and produced track which garnered some controversy for its materialistic lyrics such as, “You’ve got to have a j-o-b if you want to be with me/No romance without finance”. A literal reading suggests a man only require the finances to make a relationship work. However, Guthrie’s lyrics intend to motivate her partner into being responsible for maintaining equality and financial stability.
Her single “Can’t Love You Tonight” boldly addressed AIDS at a time when the disease was a taboo subject. Guthrie was an ally to the gay community, and to people with AIDS long before the masses caught up. Proceeds from the single went to the AIDS Coalition.
“Can’t Love You Tonight” was written and produced by Gwen, co-produced by Sly Dunbar and mixed by Steven “Youthsound” Stanley,
Siedah Garrett (born June 24, 1958) is an American singer and songwriter, who has written songs and performed backing vocals for many recording artists in the music industry, such as Michael Jackson, The Pointer Sisters, Brand New Heavies, Quincy Jones, Tevin Campbell, Donna Summer, Madonna, Jennifer Hudson among others. Garrett has been nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Original Song, and has won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 50th Grammy Awards for co-writing “Love You I Do” (performed by Jennifer Hudson) for the 2006 musical film, Dreamgirls.
In 1984, Siedah had her first taste of chart success when she was the featured vocalist on former Temptations lead singer Dennis Edwards “Don’t Look Any Further”.It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Black Singles chart and peaked at No. 72 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, the song peaked at No. 45.
This was followed up with appearances on the soundtrack for the movie “Fast Forward”, a 1985 dance film directed by Sidney Poitier. The soundtrack album was released on Qwest Records following the release of the film.
The first single to be released from the soundtrack was “Curves” which was remixed by Judy Weinstein for the US 12″ single release. “Curves” was co-written and produced ny Narada Michael Walden.
“I Feel for You” is a song written by Prince that originally appeared on his 1979 self-titled album, one of two songs on that album (along with I Wanna Be Your Lover) written as demos for Patrice Rushen, though neither appeared on any Rushen album. The most successful and well known version was recorded by female R&B singer Chaka Khan, appearing on her 1984 album, I Feel for You. Prince, as songwriter, won the 1985 Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.
Khan’s version featured an all-star supporting cast, with rapping from Melle Mel, keyboard and guitar by The System’s David Frank, and chromatic harmonica playing by Stevie Wonder. The song also uses vocal samples from Wonder’s “Fingertips”. The repetition of Khan’s name by Melle Mel at the beginning of the song was originally a mistake made by producer Arif Mardin (actually a sample of Melle Mel’s song “Step Off”), who then decided to keep it.
This version of the song became a million-selling smash in the U.S. and UK, and it helped to relaunch Khan’s career. The song hit #1 on the Cash Box singles chart and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in November-December 1984. The song remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for 26 weeks and became one of Billboard’s five biggest pop songs of the year for 1985. The single reached #1 on both the U.S. dance and R&B charts in late 1984, remaining atop both for three weeks each. In addition, the song also reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart. While touring with Prince in 1998 in support of her collaborative album, Come 2 My House, Khan and Prince performed “I Feel for You” as a duet.
In 1989, as part of the “Life Is A Dance : The Remix Project” LP, “I Feel for You” was released once more as a single, this time remixed by Michael Moore and Paul Simpson. The Michael Moore remix did not appear on the LP and the Paul Simpson mix appeared in a longer version. A previously unreleased 7″ remix of “I Know You, I Live You” was added to the 12″ release.
A seminal funk ensemble, the Fatback Band made many great singles throughout the ’70s and early ’80s, ranging from humorous novelty tunes to energetic dance vehicles and even occasional political/message tracks. The original lineup featured drummer Bill Curtis, trumpeter George Williams, guitarist Johnny King, bassist Johnny Flippin, saxophonist Earl Shelton, and flutist George Adam. Synthesizer player Gerry Thomas, saxophonist Fred Demerey, and guitarist George Victory were integral parts of the group during their peak years.
They began recording for Perception in the early ’70s, and had moderate luck with “Street Dance” in 1973. They moved to Event in 1974, and while funk audiences loved such songs as “Wicki-Wacky” and “(Are You Ready) Do the Bus Stop,” they didn’t generate much sales action. Their first sizable hit was “Spanish Hustle” in 1976, which reached number 12 on the R&B charts. They shortened their name to Fatback in 1977, and landed their first Top Ten R&B hit with “I Like Girls” in 1978. But their biggest year was 1980. They scored two Top Ten R&B hits with “Gotta Get My Hands on Some (Money)” and “Backstrokin’,” their finest tune.
Fatback kept going through the mid-’80s, landing one more Top 20 hit with “Take It Any Way You Can Want It” in 1981.
In 1983, Fatback released the album “Is This The Future?”, the album featured dancefloor favourites Spread Love (#88 US R&B), The Girl Is Fine (So Fine) (#28 US R&B) and Up Against The Wall.
The 12″ single release of “Up Against The Wall” featured a disco remix by Gerry Thomas and Ron St.Germain.
Jeffrey Osborne was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He is the youngest of 12 children and is part of a musical family. He has five brothers and six sisters, some of whom went on to have music careers (his brother Billy was an L.T.D. bandmate). Osborne’s father, Clarence “Legs” Osborne, was a popular trumpeter who played with Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington and died when Osborne was thirteen.
Osborne started his music career in 1970 with a band called Love Men Ltd., who would later become known as L.T.D. The band recorded hit singles such as “(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again”, “Concentrate on You,” “Love Ballad” and “Holding On (When Love Is Gone)”. At first, Osborne was a drummer, sharing lead vocal duties with his brother Billy, but by 1978 he became the group’s primary lead vocalist. He and Billy both left L.T.D. in early 1980 to start solo careers. His solo success includes five gold and platinum albums.
In 1982, Osborne released his self-titled debut album, which featured two hit singles, “On the Wings of Love” and “I Really Don’t Need No Light”, peaking at #29 & #39 on the pop chart respectively.
This was followed up the next year by Stay with Me Tonight, his first gold album (later reaching platinum album status), which spawned two more hits, “Don’t You Get So Mad” (#25) and the title track (#30).
“Stay with Me Tonight” also reached the UK Singles Chart (April 1984, #18) and #4 on the US R&B Singles Chart in 1983. The single was remixed by Bill Bottrell for the 12″ single release.
Stay With Me Tonight (Extended Remixed Version) 5:52
Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band formed in 1967 in London. Due to numerous line-up changes, the only original member present in the band is its namesake, drummer Mick Fleetwood.
The two most successful periods for the band were during the late 1960s British blues boom, when they were led by guitarist Peter Green and achieved a UK number one with “Albatross”; and from 1975 to 1987, as a more pop-oriented act, featuring Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Fleetwood Mac’s second album after the incorporation of Buckingham and Nicks, 1977’s Rumours, produced four U.S. Top 10 singles (including Nicks’ song “Dreams”), and remained at No.1 on the American albums chart for 31 weeks, as well as reaching the top spot in various countries around the world. To date the album has sold over 45 million copies worldwide, making it the sixth-highest-selling album of all time.
Following the release of Rumours (1977) and Tusk (1979), Fleetwood Mac released the album “Live”. It was the first live album from the then-current line-up of the band, and the next would be The Dance from 1997. The album was certified gold (500,000 copies sold) by the RIAA in November 1981.
Of particular note were three new songs — Christine McVie’s “One More Night”, Stevie Nicks’ “Fireflies”, and a well-harmonized backstage rendition of the Beach Boys’ “The Farmer’s Daughter”. The latter two were released as singles, but only “Fireflies” charted.
The studio version was remixed by Ken Caillat, Richard Dashut, and Stevie Nicks for the US Promo 12″ release.
Trouble Funk is an American R&B and funk band from Washington, DC. It helped to popularize that area’s local funk subgenre known as go-go. Among the band’s well-known songs are the go-go anthem “Hey, Fellas.” They released several studio albums including Drop the Bomb, In Times of Trouble, Live, and Trouble Over Here, Trouble Over There (UK #54), and two live albums, Trouble Funk – Straight Up Go-Go Style and Saturday Night Live. In 1982, they released a single “So Early In The Morning” on D.E.T.T Records, later reissued on diverse labels as 2.13.61 & Tuff City. Trouble Funk sometimes shared the stage with hardcore punk bands of the day such as Minor Threat and the Big Boys.
Trouble Funk’s song “Pump Me Up” was sampled by many other artists, for example in Dimple D’s one-hit wonder “Sucker DJ,” which went to #1 in Australia. The song is also featured in the film Style Wars and on the fictional R&B radio station Wild Style in the game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
In 1986 Trouble Funk contributed to the soundtrack for Good to Go (also known as Short Fuse), the film was directed by Blaine Novak and starred Art Garfunkel as a Washington, D.C. journalist who struggles to clear his name after being framed for rape and murder. The film’s soundtrack is rooted in the regional genre of go-go music, including a title song by Trouble Funk. To this day, Good to Go enjoys a cult following among go-go fans.
After 7 is a R&B group founded in 1987 by brothers Melvin and Kevon Edmonds, and Keith Mitchell. The Edmonds brothers are the siblings of popular pop and R&B singer-songwriter-producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds”. Mitchell was long thought to be the cousin of Babyface’s then-partner, songwriter-producer Antonio “L.A.” Reid, however, this was actually set up as a marketing tool for the group and was actually incorrect.
“Heat of the Moment” was issued as the lead single from the group’s eponymous debut album. The song peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989.
Thelonious Monk Jr. and Eric Mercury made up the duo “Merc And Monk”who were signed to the Manhattan Records label in 1985.
Thelonious, the son of the legendary and revolutionary jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, had previously fronted the disco funk band “T.S.Monk” from 1980 to 1982, the band had a #11 R&B hit in 1981 with “Bon Bon Vie (Gimme The Good Life)”.
Eric Mercury was a Canadian singer/songwriter and musician who released a number of soul/funk albums and singles under his own name from 1969 to 1983.
Merc And Monk’s first single from their self-titled album was “Carried Away”, the single was written by Merc And Monk with Ira Antelis and the 12″ single featured remixes by Judy Weinstein and Larry Levan.