Classics: Ce Ce Peniston – Finally (Choice Mix) (A&M)
“Finally, it’s happened to me…” And in such a way it did for Ce Ce Peniston who, just like Crystal Waters with ‘Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)’, would become an international sensation at her first try…
Peniston showed the world as to how she wasn’t only a beauty queen. But also, and probably even more, a first class performer. Now along with time, one could think ‘Finally’ had something of a premonition. Like a dream (if not a fairy tale) coming true… And although 25 years have gone since its release, ‘Finally’ keeps on shining all over. Standing among the Def Mix productions signatures. With David Morales cleverly borrowing the bassline of Ce Ce Rogers‘s classic ‘Someday’. And Eric Kupper spicin’ up the whole with stellar keys…
– Dayton, OH native Ce Ce Peniston spent most of her formative years in Phoenix, AZ. This is where she would get her first start singing before her congregation in church. The real testament of her talent was in 1987 when Peniston, still a high school student, landed a part in a local production of Bubbling Brown Sugar. From there, she earned her diploma and continued on to the University of Phoenix to study Liberal Arts. These years serving as a springboard for Ce Ce to develop her skills in writing lyrics. In 1989, she eventually earned the crown of Miss Black Arizona and reigned as Miss Galaxy in 1990.
In 1991, she elevated as a true artist when a friend or her who was a producer offered her to record back-up vocals for a female rapper on her way to release an album on A&M Records. Soon after, she showed her willingness to make her own individual mark in the business and landed her solo project Peniston’s hit single ‘Finally’ saw the light. Then Ce Ce accomplished what all talented artists only dream of. Inking a deal for her own debut album!
The 90’s proved to be quite substantial for Ce Ce Peniston. She became an international sensation and established herself as one of the most successful dance club artists in the history of the US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play Charts. She scored no less than 5 major number one hits within 3 years. Beginning with ‘Finally’ which became one of the biggest dance records in history, selling over 3 million copies worldwide. But also ‘We Got A Love Thang’ which she co-wrote with Chantay Savage. Not to mention ‘Keep On Walking’ which Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley produced an co-wrote.
Ce Ce Peniston has released a total of 3 albums. With her last to date – ‘I’m Movin’ On’ – showing how she could cope with R&B too. Such as on its opening cut, ‘Movin’ On’ with production work courtesy of Dave ‘Jam’ Hall of The Untouchables fame.
A quick typing – ‘David Morales’ – in the search box of our site should give you a certain idea of his legacy. And, by that, of the consideration we have for him. Standing among the most prolific but first and foremost talented producers/remixers of his generation. With his name firmly associated to a signature – the Def Mix Sound – and an alter ego – Frankie Knuckles. Themselves synonyms with some of the most brilliant episodes in the maturation of the contemporary groove.
A native New Yorker of Puerto Rican ancestry, David Morales grew up during Dance Music’s most influential era. Thus, unsurprisingly frequenting its legendary clubs such as The Loft and The Paradise Garage.
As a result, it wasn’t long before he started his own nightclub – the Ozone Layer – in Brooklyn, by the beginning of the 80’s. His residency which lasted until 1986 eventually leading him to spin at The Paradise Garage in 1983. The 80’s seeing him DJing later at Newark, NJ’s famous The Zanzibar. With the latter standing as the craddle of the famous Jersey Sound also known as Garage. But also joining forces with Frankie Knuckles and For The Record DJ Pool founder Judy Weinstein under the Def Mix Productions banner to help manage remix requests and handle artist business affairs.
All in all, on his own or along with Frankie Knuckles, David Morales has remixed and produced over 500 releases. With the list of those he happened to rework the music of givin’ a better idea of the impact he generated. And this way above the strict spheres of House Music. Eventually bringin’ fragments of his universe on ‘Mine To Give’ by the likes of British Junglist Photek along with Robert Owens. But also working along Brit-Soul / Acid Jazz activists. From James Taylor Quartet feat. Noel McCoy‘s ‘I Love The Life’. To the Brand New Heavies‘ ‘Never Stop’, Loose Ends‘ ‘Love’s Got Me’ and Imagination‘s ‘Instinctual’. Not to mention Lisa Stansfield‘s ‘8.3.1.’. And how to not think of Alison Limerick‘s ‘Where Love Lives’ or Incognito‘s ‘Always There’ among others?!?
Of course, David Morales made some noise in the House scene. Responsible for seminal tracks such as ‘I’ll Be Your Friend’, ‘Finally’ and ‘My Piece Of Heaven’, respectively for Robert Owens, CeCe Peniston and Ten City. This in addition to Ce Ce Rogers‘ ‘All Join Hands’, Inner City‘s ‘Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin” and Richard Rogers‘ ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’. If not Doug Lazy‘s ‘H.O.U.S.E.’.
But, just like Frankie Knuckles, he also created serious bridges with R&B names. Beginning with Mariah Carey (‘Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)’) with whom he established a long term working relationship. But also Luther Vandross (‘The Rush’) and Alexander O’Neal (‘What Is This Thing Called Love’). This in addition to Miles Jaye (‘Heaven’) and Whitney Houston (‘Love Will Save The Day’).
Meanwhile, under his own banner, Morales also made quite an impression. Beginning with his debut-album and single of the likes – ‘The Program’ – as David Morales & The Bad Yard Club back in 1993. But also ‘Needin’ U’ as The Face, five years later. And how to not remember ‘Golden Era’ along with Róisín Murphy? A cut which stood among the essential tracks of the year 2012… Or, more recently, ‘Lovin” as The Face feat. Kym Mazelle. And ‘There Must Be Love’ as fronted by Janice Robinson. This with remix courtesy of Nigel Lowis, which we welcomed as our Single Of The Week back then…
– A quick look at the credits of Eric Kupper on his Discogs page gives a significant view of his contribution in the maturation of contemporary music. Meanwhile explaining the regular mentions of him on these shores.
A songwriter, arranger, musician, producer and DJ, he came to reccognition by the second half of the 80’s. Playing keyboards along with David Morales and Frankie Knuckles and eventually becoming a member of the Def Mix crew. His name is associated with some of the biggest classics in the history of House Music. From Frankie Knuckles presents Satoshi Tomiie featuring Robert Owens‘ ‘Tears’ which he co-produced. To Satoshi Tomiie featuring Arnold Jarvis‘s ‘And I Loved You’. But also L.A. Mix‘s ‘Love Together’. Then Inner City‘s ‘Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin’. Not to mention Robert Owens‘ ‘Visions’, Ce Ce Peniston‘s ‘Finally’ and Alexander O’ Neal‘s ‘What Is This Thing Called Love’ to name a few…
Although he came to leave Def Mix to focus on his own activities and launch his label (Hysteria) in the mid-90’s, he always maintained contact with Knuckles. Eventually setting up the famous Director’s Cut Mix signature with him in the years after. And also contributing to his famous classic ‘The Whistle Song’. Meanwhile, one could also remember the vibrant ‘Missing You’ by Artful & Ridney featuring Terri Walker. A track which he was supposed to remix with Knuckles and finally reworked on his own as a tribute to him.
Kupper has released 3 albums under the Eric Kupper presents K-Scope guise. Remember ‘Latin Blues Pt. 1’??? Meanwhile the most recent, ‘Electrikiss’ saw the light in January 2009 after a ten year hiatus. He also came to reform C+C Music Factory with Robert Clivillés back in 2010. The twosome releasing ‘Music 4 The Soul’ back in 2014, then ‘Set Me Free’ featuring Kimberly Davis in 2017.