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Favorite two-step tracks/artists?


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nice one to start with 

That didn't last long, did it? The thread was started by someone with a particular interest in soulful slowies above ballad tempo looking for similar tunes. As far as I'm concerned the thread has not

Tell me it gets much better than this:-  

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Posted

Merry Xmas everyone. Dedicating this one to What a tune 10/10 for me from a great LP inc the Minder theme

 

 

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I'd forgotten about R&J Stone, which prompted me to do some research into them. In brief, Russell Stone English, Joanne American Newark New Jersey. They met in 1973 whilst singing in James Last's band. http://russelloliverstone.co.uk/music/rj-stone/  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%26J_Stone 

I see they released 2 LP's in the late 70's https://www.discogs.com/artist/1339604-R-amp-J-Stone using UK musicians inc one of my favourite but largely unknown bass players, Les Hurdle. Check out his fretless work on the Eastbound Expressway LP. Once I saw that I guessed correctly that Barry Morgan was the drummer. I had a girlfriend in the early 2000's who said she knew a drummer called Barry and his wife, who lived in the road behind me. She didn't tell me what level of playing he was at as I guess she never realised how prolific he was. When you look at his credits you can clearly see he was one of the most important British session drummers ever, and right back to the 60's https://www.discogs.com/artist/96035-Barry-Morgan It saddens me that I never met him. He died in 2007. Getting back to the 2 R&J LP's, I notice both are arranged by Richard Hewson [Rah Band]. Some of the tracks are on Youtube, but if anyone has the LP's and thinks there are any tracks of note, please post the details. Thanks

Edited by Guest
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We used to sell a lot of two-step [and rare groove] albums from our stall in Manchester back in late 80's and the 90's. A London guy called Victor [and his mate Stanley] used to come up to Manchester and kinda told us what to look for style-wise.

In the USA at the time these albums were easily available and so a trip to US looking for Northern was financially cushioned if you knew what to look for in those other styles. I remember the first warehouse I went into in Atlanta in '88 I must have come out with 1000+ albums at $1 each.

Did the London fairs regularly. They'd sell like hot cakes. One time the table went over there was such a crush to buy. Reminded me of Wigan record bar at times.

This track was a popular cheapie [nice little riff at the beginning and repeated toward the end]

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, modernsoulsucks said:

We used to sell a lot of two-step [and rare groove] albums from our stall in Manchester back in late 80's and the 90's. A London guy called Victor [and his mate Stanley] used to come up to Manchester and kinda told us what to look for style-wise.

In the USA at the time these albums were easily available and so a trip to US looking for Northern was financially cushioned if you knew what to look for in those other styles. I remember the first warehouse I went into in Atlanta in '88 I must have come out with 1000+ albums at $1 each.

Did the London fairs regularly. They'd sell like hot cakes. One time the table went over there was such a crush to buy. Reminded me of Wigan record bar at times.

This track was a popular cheapie [nice little riff at the beginning and repeated toward the end]

 

 

 

Where you behind the Arndale Centre, cos I used to dig at that stall and in Yanks

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5 minutes ago, modernsoulsucks said:

A London guy called Victor [and his mate Stanley] used to come up to Manchester and kinda told us what to look for style-wise. Did the London fairs regularly. They'd sell like hot cakes. One time the table went over there was such a crush to buy. Reminded me of Wigan record bar at times.

Victor and Stan, great guys. They must be on here, surely?

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3 minutes ago, modernsoulsucks said:

We were in Affleck's Palace. Out of the Past.

I loved that place as well and they had great clothes as well in there :)

I bet you had a few of these

 

 

Edited by Blackpoolsoul
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I continue to be astounded by the volume of work some UK session musicians performed on and the variety in music styles of such from one project to another. I was expecting the previously mentioned Barry Morgan to appear as the drummer on the James Wells LP as he was on a number of AVI releases, he doesn't, it's Clem Cattini a name I will now have to watch with interest. Just looking down Clem's credits they are once again phenomenal, in 1972 for example, he worked with Lou Reed, Brian Auger, and The Goodies just to name a few. And who should turn up on bass on the Lou Reed LP? Les Hurdle.

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19 minutes ago, guest said:

Love it - the intro is the absolute epitome of the 2 step 'sound' that was looked for . Sparse , slow but with just enough pace for a head nod . I could listen to just the intro looped over again and again on it's own .

It's the riff 37 seconds in which makes it for me.

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29 minutes ago, Blackpoolsoul said:

I loved that place as well and they had great clothes as well in there :)

I bet you had a few of these

 

 

TBH never heard that before. Vocals a bit weak.

And being primarily Northern fans we'd kinda steer clear of IL things.

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40 minutes ago, Martin S said:

Victor and Stan, great guys. They must be on here, surely?

I don't think so.

Didn't see much of Victor after '91 but Stan kept coming. Stan got more into I guess what's called crossover now. I heard Victor on the radio not that long ago but can't remember what it was. Must have been him as introduced as one of innovators and playlist was two-step and mellow rare groove like Jean Carn, Jones Girls etc.

If you know 'em say hello from me.

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2 hours ago, josep manuel concernau robles said:

Since this thread was created I think on this pop - "soul" track immediately but I keep having the doubt if it's too fast or not:

 

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone else refer to this LP from 1982. It's one I've had on my wants list for some years but only if I happen to pick it up very cheap for reasons I state further on. It didn't come to the UK as a new release. I wouldn't call it pop myself, this track sounds soulful enough and is 87 BPM which is in two step territory, admittedly it sounds a bit faster than 87 but it is.

The reason I'm not too worried about obtaining this is because in my opinion I already have the best two tracks as they were released previously by other artists and better versions at that. Although this LP is on MCA, it's a joint venture with the label Sweet City, on which Wild Cherry recorded. That group wrote and released "Hold On" in 1976, and then again in 1977 with a much improved version, the one I have uploaded. The other track I refer to was by another Sweet City artist, La Flavour. They released "Only the lonely" on their 1980 LP.

The most amazing thing about this Cooper & Ross LP, is considering it was an MCA release, I can't see a single musician on it whose name I recognise! Only the producers Teddy Randazzo and Phil Hurtt are familiar names to me. Both tracks are very much two steppers so enjoy:

 

 

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Nice one on Jewel there from Blackpoolsoul. I just gave the LP a spin and it’s one of those “never realised it was this good” moments. And I know that’s one thing that we can all agree on as being a good moment. 

Final track side 1 “Rhythms of Hope” is floating my boat especially.👍

 

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The version of the P-Funk style track "Jewel's Groove" on the LP has vocals, however the 12" has none whatsoever but this is a two step thread so I am only adding the link for those who might be interested, rather than taking up space with a video image. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJeQ9aIQDx0

 

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I finally had to break my discipline as I couldn't resist uploading this once I saw the name Breakwater above. I accept this track is not a two stepper but it's not too far off, 104 BPM approx. Tune!

 

Edited by Guest
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Going back to the Samson & Delilah Don't Listen To Your Friends 45 from the previous page, the matrix number as supplied by @steveh73 in the run out groove is S8621 806. The 806 might refer to 1980 June, but my thoughts are if it does then it's in relation to the recording date, not the pressing date. I only have just under 50% of my collection on a database so far, however the nearest numbers I have in this matrix series are:

S8845/6 Funn - School Daze 12", S8854/5 Lesette Wilson Attention LP on which it is stated that it was recorded in July 1981. Prior to these I have S7923 to 6 made up of 2 releases on ALA (114 & 115) both dated 1980. 

The difficulty with matrix numbers is that some examples are laquered or mastered at one plant but very often pressed or repressed at another, sometimes retaining the same numbers, it's not a process I know enough about so any links to detailed info appreciated. However, assuming the above numbers are all related to the same plant/s it looks as if Samson & Delilah would have been pressed mid 1981. 

As to the version by First Class, it too does not have a date on the label and I have it in my collection as 1980/81. So as yet it looks as if it's still tricky to say which is the original release of the song especially as it's written by someone who couldn't be linked to either band directly from the data available on Discogs. If anyone has more info please post it up provided it can be verified. Here's the First Class version, thanks

 

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As this thread has had so many views, I decided to try to give it a bit more balance in terms of the years the recommended tracks were from, however that proved harder than I expected. I don't own many 45's from the early 70's largely because being more interested in rhythm than vocals, my collecting is generally from 1976 onward. I did the best I could with what I had but came to the conclusion that there just isn't anywhere near the quantity of records from the early 70's that one could call two steppers, as there is from the early 80's and beyond, because the style of bass playing that drives a lot of the tracks in that later period simply wasn't there in the early 70's. The majority of slow tempo tracks I tried were too ballad styled, and as I only ever upload videos of tracks I physically own I eventually settled on these four to begin with. I shall venture further into 1975 tomorrow. [Note that the BPM's stated are only approx and taken over 2 x 20 beats tests for each]

First up are Sister Sledge from 1974, possibly just too much on the ballad side but near enough to two step for inclusion I feel, 76 BPM

Next we have a one off release for Atlantic by Natural Essence from 1974, after having released an LP on Fantasy in 1973. It's a Billy Cobham production hence the excellent rhythm, and the vocalist is Yvonne Fletcher who had later success with TS Monk. 86 BPM

Next is Howeefeel on Contempo from 1975, a Chicago act but this record was only released in the UK despite the label making reference to Innovation II. They are relatives of Carl Davis and from the late 70's became known as Davis Import releasing several records on AVI, all of which in my opinion are either so bland or simply trash, that few collectors are likely to need to investigate them. The track uploaded is 99 BPM, and on reflection perhaps not quite a two stepper but it's not far off if so. Perhaps I'm too self conscious?

Finally the last track is by The Moments from 1974. It's the most clear cut two stepper of the four, a shame it's so short though. 75 BPM

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Guest
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Curti's "Trippin' Out" is my absolute favorite track from the album "Something To Believe In". I likes a lot the "intimist" style of this album as also the "Never Say Can't You Survive" from around 2 or 3 years before, with the gem "Sparkle". Curiously "Trippin' Out" is wrote by another favorite soul man of mine: Bunny Sigler who collaborated with Curtis as producer - songwriter jointly with Norman Harris on the Curtis album "Heartbeat".

Another "two-steps" one by Curtis, so mellow and so social concerned, is "Homeless" from the album "Takin' To The Streets".

I think, this one (a favorite of mine simply for the whistle on the intro and at the end!) can be labeled as "two-step":

 

Edited by josep manuel concernau robles
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@Roburt said to @Martin SI can't agree that everything Davis Import released is trash & not of interest to soul collectors ...

Who made that quote Roburt? I didn't see it. Was it copied from this thread?.

I made a posting re Davis Import, in which I stated the following: "all of which in my opinion are either so bland or simply trash, that few collectors are likely to need to investigate them."

I used to have the tracks that were in the three links you uploaded but imo all 3 of them are so bland that I got shot of them some years ago. I did listen on Youtube again to every track issued under the name Davis Import before making my original posting and I remain of the opinion that "few collectors are likely to need to investigate them." The important question is, why would they, given what else exists and the quantity of it?

As a successful full time trader from 1991 to 2012, not once did I ever receive a request for a Davis Import track. I'm damned good at judging the market and I believe if I'd played the entire Davis Import catalogue to 10 different customers, I doubt if more than one would have shown much interest, and even then it may have been purely because they were AVI collectors. 

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55 minutes ago, Martin S said:

@Roburt said to @Martin SI can't agree that everything Davis Import released is trash & not of interest to soul collectors ...

Who made that quote Roburt? I didn't see it. Was it copied from this thread?.

I made a posting re Davis Import, in which I stated the following: "all of which in my opinion are either so bland or simply trash, that few collectors are likely to need to investigate them."

I used to have the tracks that were in the three links you uploaded but imo all 3 of them are so bland that I got shot of them some years ago. I did listen on Youtube again to every track issued under the name Davis Import before making my original posting and I remain of the opinion that "few collectors are likely to need to investigate them." The important question is, why would they, given what else exists and the quantity of it?

As a successful full time trader from 1991 to 2012, not once did I ever receive a request for a Davis Import track. I'm damned good at judging the market and I believe if I'd played the entire Davis Import catalogue to 10 different customers, I doubt if more than one would have shown much interest, and even then it may have been purely because they were AVI collectors. 

They were a Soul group from Chicago formed by four brothers (Bruce, Cameron, Doug and Glen) in the late 1970s. Although they are cousins of legendary producer Carl Davis they did not establish a successful career. After the band was disbanded in the early 1980s the brothers moved to the Los Angeles area.

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Staying with the purist two-steppers, the Philadelphia Int label was a real treasure trove and each of these is available to listen to on YouTube and (probably) available to buy on Discogs!!

Silk - I Can't Stop Turning You On

Futures - Ain't Got No Time Fa Nuthin'

Jean Carn - My Love Don't Come Easy

O'Jays - Summer Fling

Jones Girls - This Feelings Killing Me

Jones Girls - Nights Over Egypt

Jacksons - Blues Away

Peoples Choice - Soft and Easy

Billy Paul - Your Sweetness Is My Weakness

Instant Funk - So Glad I'm The One

Enjoy!!!

Steve...……..

 

 

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Although this thread may be drawing to its natural end, here are some views from the beginning of 1991, when Steve Hobbs discussed the 2-step scene on his Soul Bowl show on Jazz FM (London), with Bill Shannon, fellow DJ, record shop owner and sometime producer.

The conclusion was – as mentioned in this thread – that it began as an offshoot of the reggae scene in the mid-1980s, with a small number of Sound Systems (Manhattan, Latest Edition (Addition?), Just Good Friends and Mystery) playing soul records with a similar tempo and with a funky, bass-y beat, mainly at house-parties in Shepherds Bush, Harlesden and East London.  The music was also being played by pirate stations that proliferated in London at that time.

There were no clubs specialising in the music and just a few record shops: Time Warp; Lee Sound and Lighting; Time Is Right; PPM and Footprints (all ??).  The scene evolved in parallel to the similar “Dusty Steppers” or 2-step scene in Chicago.  Records being played on either side of the Atlantic were not necessarily rare and included new releases, with the right beat/tempo.   There were no compilation albums at that time focussing exclusively on 2-step.  Apart from the Backbeats compilation – 2 Steps To Soul Heaven, have there been any since?

The records Steve and Bill played that evening were:

Chuck Jackson – Through All Times

Real Thing – Love Takes Tears

Everlife – I Love You Girl (slower tempo than most)

Heaven and Earth – I Can’t Seem To Forget You

Darlene Love (not the erstwhile Phil Spector associate) – What’s Inside Your Heart (produced by one Bill Shannon on DT Records of Detroit)

Spain – You Are

Ken Williams – Sweet Music, Soft Lights and You

All are worth a listen.

Other records mentioned that had been popular on the scene in earlier years were: Eighties Ladies – Turned On To You; Archie Bell and the Drells – Don’t Let Love Get You Down; Foster Sylvers – Misdemeanour; Jones Girls – This Feeling’s Killing Me; Jeffree – Love’s Gonna Last; Benny Johnson – Visions of Paradise; and Arnold Blair – Trying To Get Next To You, so plenty of overlap with modern soul. 

Then as now (according to some of the records included in this thread), pop records had also been played, such as Barbara Streisand – Guilty; Yvonne Elliman – Love Me; and Rupert Holmes – Pina Colada (ugh!) 

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