Fri. Oct. 22, 2021

10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2

10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 210 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2… The establishment of an identity happened to be the ultimate key word by the end of the 70’s. Be it musically with the arrival of producers settin’ us a distinctive sound. As visually with trends applying to social if not political categories. With the same applying for many independent structures which came to symbolize what a label is supposed to be: an entity synonymous with a certain standard of quality!

Among them and without an oz. of a doubt, Prelude Records. A label which, during its decade of activities, has pretty much contributed to the evolution of music. This with the establishment of the remix, as opposed to edited extended versions. As to the one of the DJ’s as post-producers. With big ups to its creator, Marvin Schlachter, as interestingly captured in an interview on

No need to say how this selection is way from being exhaustive. With a Part 1 in the series available for your attention. Nevertheless, you should find thereafter a pretty much illustrative sample of jams which have contributed making Prelude Records one of the most brilliant and enlightening ventures in the establishment of music as we’ve known since then…

Wishing you’ll enjoy the ride as much as we did, while putting this together for you. With your feedback, and a mention of your favorite song more than welcome.

10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2 / France Joli – Gonna Get Over You (Prelude Records)
Canadian singer France Joli wanted to be a singer since her youngest age. After months if not years of perseverence, she ended up teaming with Tony Green. One of the most prolific producers in the Canadian Disco scene. A man remembered for his collaborations with artists such as Geraldine Hunt and Freddie James. If not Goldie Alexander or Satin Dream to name a few. He brought her to Prelude Records, along with the memorable ‘Come To Me’, from her 1979 eonymous debut-album. Then, 3 years after, Raymond Reid and William Anderson (Crown Heights Affair), would handle the production of her ‘Now!’ album. Meanwhile sharing the duties with Giuliano Salerni (Hi-Gloss). Himself responsible for the strings arrangements.

Althgough the aforementioned got quite a poor reception, Joli got once again under the spotlights with ‘Gonna Get Over You’. A cut speakin’ of which Prelude Records gave a Spanish version by the likes of ‘Te Olvidare’. The singer decided to leave aside the Dance Music vibes. Searching for mainstream recognition while signing with Epic Records but never made it again. Because, as said in substance by label head Marvin Schalchter on, “she happened to be an instrument of the creativity of her producers and songwriters…”

10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2 / Bobby Thurston – Check Out The Groove (Prelude Records)
WDC-born Soul and Disco singer Bobby Thurston made his debut on local label Mainline Records back in 1978. This with the William Lester and Rodney Brown ‘Sweetest Piece Of The Pie’ album. With the late Al Johnson on keyboards and arrangements.

The whole team would soon after move to Prelude Records with the ‘You Got What It Takes’ album. An effort which would eventually be the first ever release on Dutch label Rams Horn Records. A UK Top 10 hit, ‘Check Out The Groove’ stands among his signature cuts. This in addition to ‘Very Last Drop’ and ‘Is Something Wrong With You’ taken from his ‘Main Attraction’ album which followed 2 years after. Thurston also did backing vocals for labelmate Sharon Redd. Appearing on both her eponymous album and her ‘Redd Hott’ one in 1980 and 1982…

10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2 / Martin Circus – Disco Circus (Prelude Records)
Quite interesting and definitely unsuspected happened to be the evolution of Martin Circus along with time. A 13-piece French band made of multi-talented artists on their own with some of them eventually acting… They started as a Hippy/Rock band back in 1970. This before switching to Disco and more or less electronic vibes in the second half of the 70’s.
Originally released on French label Vogue, as the soundtrack to ‘Les bidasses en folie’, their 1978 album of the likes found a niche on Prelude. Although with a different sleeve and a slightly different content. Edited by François Kevorkian, its title track would be the subject of regular battles between eBay bidders in the mid-90’s. It would be followed the year after by the ‘Shine Baby Shine’ album, although it never got licensed Stateside…
10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2 / The Strikers – Body Music (Prelude Records)
Not to be missed with the San Diego-based Rock combo of the name who eventually appeared 25 years after… The Strikers, hailing from NYC. A band who regrouped musicians who, for most of them, happened to be connected with either Made In USA, either Crown Heights Affair. When not both of them such as producer Darryl Gibbs. And even though they released only one album – a self-titled collection – back in 1981, their two singles – ‘Inch By Inch’ and ‘Body Music’ (mixed by François Kevorkian and the late Larry Levan) – have been for much in their reputation as the one of the label. Singer/drummer Milton Carl Brown becoming the leader of Electro group Warp 9 after the demise of The Strikers.
10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2 / The Nick Straker Band – Just A Little Bit Of Jazz (Prelude Records)
Led by singer/musician Nick Straker, London-based band The Nick Straker Band evolved from the Limmie Funk Limited. Meanwhile sharing members with Tony Mansfield‘s Electro Pop outfit New Musik.
Further to their 1979 released ‘A Walk In The Park’ single which saw the light on Pinnacle Records, they delivered an eponymous album on Prelude featuring the aforementioned in a percussive synth-led electro/funky driven vein. Considered as one of their signature cuts along with ‘Straight Ahead’ which came to light the year after on the same label…
10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2 / L.A.X. – All My Love (Prelude Records)
An evolution of Jazz/Soul/Disco/Pop quartet Pieces who dropped a self-titled album back in 1979 on United Artist Records… L.A.X. released two albums on Prelude that same year and in 1980. Taken from the first of them – L.A.X. – ‘Dancing At The Disco’ got them to a certain recognition under their new guise. But the icing on the cake would come from their follow up – ‘All My Love’ – featuring the aforementioned. But also also ‘Possessed’ which saw them surrounded by an infectious horn section made of Bill Bergman, Darrell Leonard and Greg Smith. Not to mention Lee Thornberg and Lou Price
10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2 / Visual – The Music Got Me (Prelude Records)
I suppose it’s fair to state Visual only had sporadic activities… a couple of singles in the first half of the 80’s on Prelude then an extra one of Japanese label Lifeline Records in 1998). With the main reason most likely being the heavy schedule of some of its members. From Timmy Regisford and Boyd Jarvis who were to soon after get on the House train. To Anthony Malloy remembered for his contributions as the leader of Anthony And The Camp. But also as a member of Serious Intention and Temper.
Opening their account back in 1983, the aptly titled ‘The Music Got Me’, delivered with mixing work courtesy of Tony Humphries. A track that already had an undeniable foot in the sound that was to become predominant in the clubs a few years after…
10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2 / Conquest – Give It To Me (If You Don’t Mind) (Prelude Records)
A studio band which Leon Matthews happened to put together… Here is pretty much what we can find regarding Conquest. The proper of so many acts of the likes who ended up havin’ a transcient life. They released a few singles though, eventually signing with Epic Records but never made it enough to deliver an album. And this despite the presence of profilic producer Amir Bayyan, most likely remembered as a member of The Kay-Gees but also of Kool & The Gang. The 1983 released funky synth-driven ‘Give It To Me’ standing as their signature cut, enlightened by a powerful female vocal performance…
10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2 / Powerline – Journey (Prelude Records)
Produced by Jerry King and the late Andrzej Z. Sojka… The pair also responsible for the memorable ‘Dancing In Outer Space’ under the Atmosfear guise back in 1979. The dubby jazzy funk ‘Powerline’ first appeared as a white label the year after. It soon after found a home on UK label Elite Records, then Stateside on Prelude Records. A timeless classic in the genre, it never managed to get a follow-up in the same caliber though, despite a few attempts.
10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2 / Sex O’Clock USA – Baby Come On (Prelude Records)
Takin’ its name from the 1976 François Reichenbach directed film of the likes which depicted the sexual liberation in America. Released on London Records in the UK, this groovy joint, written by Mort Schuman and produced by Christian Gaubert would get an extra audience when Prelude Records licensed the year after. Eventually becomin’ a quite sought after cut on the second hand market in the mid-2000’s…

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