Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S



Back in the day: September 1997 (Issue 748)

Back in the day with Sharon Davis - September 1997 (Issue 748)
Back in the day with Sharon Davis - September 1997 (Issue 748)

Yep the naughty nineties. Or so I’m told. Must have missed something! Anyway, let’s go on our journey….

News items first…Puff Daddy and the Family due to play a pair of UK dates, kicking off in Wolverhampton on 1 October. Puff Daddy, figuring large in the nation’s record buying habits with his I’ll Be Missing You and his chart topping album No Way Out, was enjoying spectacular success Stateside, propelling Bad Boy Records into a significant position in the contemporary music scene.…..

As part of a concerted effort to end the violence amongst rap artists and their core audience, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan announced plans to sponsor a 9-hour rap concert in October at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington DC. The event would kick off a national concert series and followed two summits that took place in the wake of the deaths of Tupac Shakur in September 1996 and the Notorious B.I.G. in March….

The talented Mr Tony Rich was up for further consumer consideration when his new album Blue Butterfly was announced. First album off-shoot single was If You’re An Angel. LaFace Records’ co-president, L.A. Reid was responsible for the majority of the writing and production of the album which also featured Eric Clapton throughout…….

A major retrospective series, Island 40, was launched this month as a prelude to the celebrations of Island Records’ 40th anniversary in 1999. The initial two volumes – 1959-1964 Ska’s The Limit traced Island’s Jamaican roots and the rise of ska music into the pop mainstream, while 1964-69 Rhythm & Blues Beat focused on the period in Island’s history when it made its initial foray into other musical styles…….

Eric Bibb, a major player in the vanguard of the new wave of acoustic blues artists was due to play two UK dates to support his forthcoming album Me To You released through Code Blue Records…….The Lighthouse Family announced a string of UK live dates, new single and album. Paul Tucker and Tunde Baiuyewu’s melody-laden soul stirrings had taken them to national prominence as their debut album Lighthouse Family notched up an impressive 1.5 million in British sales. New single Raincloud was taken from the following album titled Postcards From Heaven…….

Top three UK singles were: You’re The One I Love – Shola Ama, Men In Black – Will Smith, and Never Gonna Let You Go – Tina Moore. The Hip List on the other hand, featured D-Influence at the top with “Magic” (promo 12”), followed by MQ3’s “Everyday” (Darkchild Mix), and the American cd “Money Talks OST” ...An album which tickled columnist Steve Hobbs’ fancy was Tracey Harris’ Keep On Believin’ which, he noted, opened with a brilliant sax-laced mid-tempo title track where the music was stronger than the message. Half way through he realised that it was a live recording with the gospel chorus and audience whipping things up into a song of huge proportions.

Salt ‘N’ Pepper were in a bit of a pickle, reported Mat-C, because their new album Brand New was to have been released some time previously but had hit a snag. Allegedly their new record label, former MCA head Al Teller’s Red Ant Records, had filed for bankruptcy. Also plugged in Mat-C’s column was the new Chuck D book Fight The Power: Rap, Race & Reality, which outlined his views on everything from rap and race problems to politics and society today. Spike Lee apparently said - “this is a book that every person should read.”.. Across the magazine’s centre pages was Jon-Andre Holley’s interview with (the beforementioned) Shola Ama who talked about her debut album and gave her opinion on most things topical, including the quote - “I was only gospel trained up until the age of two, so how can I conceivably be the new Mariah Carey!”….

Jeff Lorez reported in Apple Jam that Aretha Franklin was heading back to school as she’d been accepted to the Juilliard School’s classical piano music programme. Also that Jamiroquai were one of the groups scheduled to support The Rolling Stones on their Bridges To Babylon tour due to kick off in Chicago….and that, Snoop Doggy Dogg had announced on a Los Angeles radio station that he was teaming up with Dr Dre to record the album Break Up To Make Up…….and that, Andre Harrell was fired from his post as president and CEO of Motown, owned by Polygram Records. His firing was seen as something of an embarrassment for Polygram Chairman Alain Levy who personally lobbied for Harrell in 1995, paying him $20 million of his $30 million fee up front. Plus, according to the Los Angeles Times, Harrell received a $5 million exit package after a heated debate with Polygram.

And finally that, the parental advisory sticker on LL Cool J’s autobiography was well deserved because in the book, titled I Make My Own Rules, he details his vast sexual exploits like the time he had sex behind a speaker during a concert when he was 17, or when he and a friend had sex with a woman of a staircase. “My wild behaviour, my sexual athletics, were a little sick” LL reflected in the book….. Soul II Soul’s sixth album Time For Change was promoted in an interview with a relaxed Jazzie as he sat on the rooftop of his Camden Town studio and office complex. He also spoke of the new deal with Island and his ten years’ in the business. Super chinwag …..In All Our Yesterdays edited by Roger St Pierre, he returned to 1977 to deliver a minefield of information, like mentioning Dave Godin’s ever-readable column in which Dave ruminated on the recent unexpected success of the Car Wash movie and on the role of black music in movies in general – “To my mind, the inner soul experiences of Black America have only been successfully captured in a handful of films and, oddly enough, most of these weren’t predominantly ‘black’. Maybe that makes sense, though, when you think that it was via contact with white people that the whole historic black experience began in the first place.” Mmm, will leave it there.

Til next time

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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