Gavin Christopher ‎– One Step Closer To You (1986)

Gavin Christopher (Born May 3, 1956) is an American R&B singer, songwriter, musician, and producer.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, he started out playing music at a very early age. Having been schooled by the likes of Oscar Brown Jr., Donny Hathaway and later on Curtis Mayfield, he honed his writing and singing skills and began his career, first in a band called Lyfe (which also included Chaka Khan). Khan then left and joined Rufus (scoring several pop and R&B hits with them). Christopher later joined another band called High Voltage with future Rufus members Bobby Watson and Tony Maiden, as well as Lalomie Washburn, who later wrote several Rufus songs. Christopher himself would also become associated with Rufus, as he penned the song “Once You Get Started,” which was later recorded by the band and hit #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975.

Following a move to New York City, Christopher signed with EMI Manhattan Records and scored his biggest single to date, “One Step Closer to You” (his only Hot 100 hit as an artist, #22 in 1986) and another major R&B hit two years later with “You Are Who You Love.” He also produced music for artists such as Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa and The Ritchie Family, as well as mentored and worked with a young Mariah Carey prior to her getting her big break. He was heavily involved in the early hip-hop scene, writing such hits as “Girls Love the Way He Spins”, “Sign Of the Time”, “We Gonna Rock America” and “All Night All Right”.

“One Step Closer to You” was remixed by Steve Thompson & Michael Barbiero.

One Step Closer To You (Club Version)                 7:44

One Step Closer To You (Acapella Plus)               4:24

One Step Closer To You (Short Version)               4:27

One Step Closer To You (Instrumental)                 6:04

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Figures On A Beach ‎– Breathless (1984)

Figures on a Beach was a 1980s musical band that played in a style that drew influences from new wave, techno and pop music.

Figures on a Beach was formed in Detroit, Michigan, in the early 1980s from the ashes of the band Razor 1922. The group was composed of vocalist Anthony Kaczynski, guitarist John “Rik” Rolski, keyboardist Christopher Ewen, bassist Perry Tell and drummer, multimedia designer, animator and illustrator Michael “Smitty” Smith. The group recorded an independent EP, Swimming in 1983, and the Don Was-produced single “Breathless” in 1984.

Breathless                                       5:46

Breathless+                                     3:59

Breathless Beats                             2:36

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Curtis Hairston ‎– The Morning After (Extended Remix) (1987)

Curtis Hairston (10 October 1961 – 18 January 1996) was an American soul/funk vocalist, who had a number of Top 75 hit singles in the UK and US, both as a solo artist and as a featured artist in the B. B. & Q. Band.

Born Curtis Kinnard Hairston, in 1985, he reached #13 in the UK Singles Chart with “I Want Your Lovin’ (Just a Little Bit)”. In 1986, he was the member of and vocalist for the B. B. & Q. Band’s hit, “Dreamer”, which reached #1 in the UK Dance Chart and the US Dance Chart.

Curtis released his one and and only album as a solo artist “Curtis Hairston” in 1986. In the UK, the last single to be released from the album was “The Morning After” remixed by Peter Hammond & Stock/Aitken/Waterman.

A longtime sufferer of diabetes, Curtis died of related kidney failure at age 34 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in January 1996.

The Morning After (Extended Remix)              6:37

Let’s Make Love Tonight                                5:29

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The Sylvers – In One Love And Out The Other (1984)

Ron Wynn from AllMusic wrote “Among the more popular family acts on the ’70s R&B circuit, Memphis’ Sylvers recorded for Pride, MGM, Capitol, Casablanca, and Geffen during their 13-year chart run. No less than nine of the ten brothers and sisters in the family — Olympia, Leon, Charmaine, James, Edmund, Ricky, Angie, Pat, Foster — performed in the group that was viewed as a Southern version of the Jackson 5. Their 1972 Pride single “Fool’s Paradise” got things going in the right direction, reaching number 14 on the R&B charts. They had three other Top Ten R&B hits in the ’70s, but their biggest song was “Boogie Fever” in 1975. It perfectly captured the disco spirit and topped both the R&B and pop charts that year. “Hot Line” was another Top Ten on both lists in 1976, and their second biggest single. They scored another Top 20 R&B single on Casablanca in 1978, “Don’t Stop, Get Off,” but the charming qualities of their earlier material seemed more calculated. They couldn’t recapture the spark during their mid-’80s period on Geffen.”

Bizarre is the tenth and final album by the Los Angeles, California-based R&B group The Sylvers. Released in 1984, the album was primarily produced by Leon Sylvers III along with Foster Sylvers and James Sylvers. This was their only album for Geffen Records.

“In One Love And Out The Other” was produced by Leon F. Sylvers III.

In One Love And Out The Other (Extended Dance Remix)            6:09

In One Love And Out The Other (Instrumental Version)                 6:09

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Luther Vandross ‎– I Gave It Up (When I Fell In Love (1986)

Luther Ronzoni Vandross (April 20, 1951 – July 1, 2005) was an American singer-songwriter and record producer. Throughout his career, Vandross was an in demand background vocalist for several different artists including Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, and Donna Summer. He later became the lead singer of the group Change which released its certified gold debut album, The Glow of Love, in 1980 on Warner Bros. Records. After Vandross left the group, he was signed to Epic Records as a solo artist and released his debut solo album, Never Too Much in 1981.

In 1986, Luther released his fifth studio album, “Give Me The Reason” . The album earned Vandross an American Music Award for “Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist” and a nomination for “Favorite Soul/R&B Album” in 1988, while the title track “Give Me the Reason” was nominated for “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male” and “Best R&B Song” in 1987. The album also included Vandross’ first top-20 pop hit, “Stop to Love.”

In the UK, one of the last singles to be released from the album was “I Gave It Up (When I Fell In Love)”. The UK 12″ was notable for an outstanding Megamix by Les “Mix Doctor” Adams which includes some of my favorite Luther tracks including Never Too Much, I Wanted Your Love, For The Sweetness Of Your Love and I’ll Let You Slide.

A DMC Megamix by Les “Mix Doctor” Adams would also be released in 1986 which added Stop To Love and Give Me The Reason while Ben Liebrand would release his own Megamix in 1989.

I Gave It Up (When I Fell In Love)                            4:44

She’s A Super Lady                                              5:08

Luther In Love – Megamix                                      9:34

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Jody ‎– Where The Boys Are (1984)

Jody Vanessa Watley (born January 30, 1959) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and one of the defining iconic artists of the 1980s whose music crosses genres from Pop, R&B, Jazz, Dance and Electronic Soul. In 1987, she won the Grammy Award for “Best New Artist.” Along with Janet Jackson and Madonna, she ranks as one of MTV Video Music Awards most nominated female artists ever, with six nominations for her ‘Real Love’ video.

Post-Shalamar, Watley moved to England, and while there she recorded a guest vocal with British Jamaican roots reggae group Musical Youth for their album Different Style. She also recorded demos with Gary Langan, Anne Dudley and J.J Jeczalik (who later became Art of Noise). A brief stint with Phonogram Records where two singles were released (in the UK, Europe & Australia – though crucially not America) under the moniker “Jody” (no second name), “Where the Boys Are” and “Girls Night Out.”

“Where The Boys Are” was written by Jody Watley & Bruce Woolley (Video Killed The Radio Star) and produced/engineered by Gary Langan.

Where The Boys Are (The Long Way Home Mix!)             6:10

Where The Boys Are (7″ Version)                                   3:13

My House (4-Free)                                                        4:53

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Stephanie Mills ‎– (You’re Puttin’) A Rush On Me (1987)

Stephanie Dorthea Mills (born March 22, 1957) is an American R&B, soul and gospel singer, songwriter, and Broadway star.

In 1973, Mills’ musical recording career was launched when she was signed to Paramount records by Michael Barbiero, and her first single “I Knew It Was Love” was released. She was later signed to Motown. Her first two albums there failed to generate a buzz as the label could not find Mills’ sound and she left the label in 1976.

Musical success was elusive until 1979, when signed under the 20th Century Fox Records record label, Mills found her breakthrough in disco music, recording songs such as “Put Your Body In It“, “You Can Get Over”, and “What Cha’ Gonna Do With My Lovin'”. The resulting album, What Cha’ Gonna Do with My Lovin’, was Mills’ first gold record.

Success for Mills had peaked until 1986, when her version of the Angela Winbush-penned “I Have Learned to Respect the Power of Love”, hit #1 on the R&B singles chart. Mills truly returned, however, with her next release, If I Were Your Woman in 1987 under MCA Records, which she was now signed. The hits from the album include the title track, originally a hit for Gladys Knight & the Pips in 1971; a three-week #1 R&B hit, “I Feel Good All Over” (a song her label mate Patti LaBelle did not wish to cover); and “You’re Puttin’ a Rush on Me”, to name a few of the songs released. The album reached platinum status.

“(You’re Puttin’) A Rush on Me” was her third number one on the Hot Black Singles chart and second number one in 1987. The single spent one week at the top spot and crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number eighty-five. “(You’re Puttin’) A Rush on Me” also peaked at number twenty-three on the dance charts.

(You’re Puttin’) A Rush On Me (Urban Mix)                     6:26

(You’re Puttin’) A Rush On Me (Sub-Urban Mix)              5:15

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Eugene Wilde ‎– Ain’t Nobody’s Business (1989)

Eugene Wilde (born Ronald Eugene Broomfield, December 6, 1961) is an American R&B singer and songwriter, who had two #1 hits on the US R&B charts in the 1980s.

Broomfield was born in West Palm Beach, Florida and raised in Miami. He grew up as part of a family group, La Voyage, playing in local clubs. In the 1970s, the group became Tight Connection, and was later known as Simplicious. Broomfield also recorded an album with Curtom Records in 1979 as a member of Today, Tomorrow, Forever.

On learning Broomfield’s middle name was Eugene, his manager insisted that he go by that name professionally; the last name was inspired by Broomfield seeing an advertisement for a New York club named Wildflower’s.

In 1984, Eugene Wilde joined Philly World Records, and wrote and recorded his first hit, “Gotta Get You Home Tonight.” It rose to #1 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and also made #18 on the UK Singles Chart. After a couple of less successful follow-ups, he hit #1 again a year later with “Don’t Say No Tonight.” He also had some lesser hits, including “Diana” (1986). His track “Personality” peaked at #34 in the UK. Subsequent releases on the MCA label, solo and with the group Cabo Frio, were less successful.

From Eugene Wilde’s third album “I Choose You (Tonight)”in 1989, comes the single “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” and this US Promo 12″ produced by Gerald Levert & Marc Gordon.

Ain’t Nobody’s Business (Extended Version)                6:20

Ain’t Nobody’s Business (Radio Edit)                           5:20

Ain’t Nobody’s Business (Instrumental)                        5:12

Ain’t Nobody’s Business (Dub Mix)                              5:12

Ain’t Nobody’s Business (Bassapella)                          5:12

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Wally Badarou ‎– Hi-Life (1986)

After three Wally Badarour posts, I’m running out biography information, so this time I’ll leave it up to Scott Bultman of AllMusic –

“Wally Badarou was born in Paris, where his physician parents were educated and his father later served as ambassador from their West African homeland of Cotonon Benin (formerly Dahomey).  Although he planned a career as a pilot, he was seduced by synthesizers and rock & roll, eventually becoming a well-known session keyboardist in England and his own Nassau, Bahamas, studio. Badarou’s early career included work with M (on the hit “Pop Music”), Joe Cocker, Herbie Hancock, and Island Records artists like Grace Jones, Black Uhuru, and the British funk band Level 42. In addition to his production and keyboard work for Level 42, he has done several film scores, most notably Kiss of the Spider Woman. You can hear both the rhythmic sensitivity of his African heritage and the harmonic sensibility of his classical training in his music. His expressive and sophisticated synthesizer textures are full of life, especially on his more dance-oriented Echoes album.”

For his review of the Echoes album, Scott added “You can actually feel Caribbean sunshine with this music. Badarou breathes real life into his synthesizers on this album of happy, upbeat, and danceable instrumentals.”

This US 12″ features a remix of the first single from “Echoes”, titled Hi-Life, remix duties handled by Julian Mendelsohn and Wally Badarou.

Hi-Life (Instrumental Remix)                                         5:17

Keys (The Chemist’s Theme) Instrumental                    2:20

Chief Inspector (Hill Street Mix) Instrumental                 5:49

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Nick Straker ‎– A Walk In The Park (1987)

Nick Straker (born Nick Bailey) is a London born musician, who had hits in Europe and the U.S. in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Straker joined his first band, called Stonehenge, in 1969. The band changed its name in 1971 to Matumbi, a reggae band signed to Trojan Records, but Straker left in 1974. Along with his friend, guitarist Dave McShearer, Straker joined Pete Hammond (bass) and Phil Towner (drums) in a dance band playing working men’s clubs and weddings. They then met American soul singer Limmie Snell, and the band became Limmie Funk Unlimited with Andy Gierus on guitar. They played discotheques around the country and toured Holland and Sweden in early 1978.

Tony Mansfield, later the lead singer and songwriter with New Musik, joined, originally as roadie, but eventually he and Straker formed a collaboration that led to the recording of a successful UK single, “A Walk in the Park”, in 1979. A year later the track was re-recorded and released, and made number 20 in the UK Singles Chart.

The Nick Straker Band released a few more singles, but none had the success of “A Walk in the Park” in the UK, although “A Little Bit of Jazz” reached number 1 in the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1981. Straker re-recorded “A Walk in the Park” in 1987; the new version was produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, but it failed to chart in the UK.

A Walk In The Park (1987)                               6:33

Way Of Life                                                    7:14

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