Monday, February 16, 2015

People's Choice - Let Me Do My Thing

While it seems it's open season for HATERS on reissues, let me divulge a retort. And, at the same time also file a grievance against said hatred. For starters, news flash.. EVERYBODY, and I mean everybody wants originals if possible. duh! Even folks that are just starting out in collecting..they want the original release. They might have not yet paid all the dues that lifetime collectors have, but still they want the original article. But, let's look at how quintessential RE-ISSUES are. They have in fact numerous times throughout several genres, and decades of music paved the way for what we know now..and brought to light hoards of quality music to the top. So much music would be lost without reissues.. from 60's dutch garage punk, to countless poor condition and almost impossible rocksteady from Jamaica, it's stunning when you look at the scope of all that is out there BECAUSE of the reissue market. I personally take offense to people downplaying, hating, and dismissing reissues especially now that I myself am behind some of that action with Sound Boutique Records.
The most critical part of reissues (in my eyes) is that it creates a situation where the artist can regain some of the income surrounding the popularity of a record. After all it's THEIR music, and originals trading hands amongst collectors for anything from $25 to $200 still yields absolutely $0 to the artist. That equation does not sit right with me. So, even though royalties are pennies compared to what a true deep collector 7 inch might trade hands for, it's still better than nothing.
Not to mention reissues help folks discover music, and define peoples interests. Like they have done for me time after time.

Here's the situation way back when for me personally. I was a young mod kid, must of been about 14-15 years old. I was trying to find more soul that I liked, and all I had was what I found.. Jr. Walker, Chuck Berry, Mary Wells, and Mose Allison 45's here and there. There was an incredible mostly 45 store, legendary in fact... that was huge for me.. called BAYTOWN records in Albany..but that's another story. A very important story to share, but another time.
We were learning about mod style and mod music, that is... American R&B, blues and Soul as mod kids. I had some vintage stripped 4 button shirts and Hush Puppy shoes and often taking my pants to the tailor to get them pegged.

Cover art on all the volumes looked like original works of art,
all creating incredible scenes of Soul music scenarios.

We were also sorting out and finding the music we wanted to identify with. While I was fresh to the culture of digging, and green to the ways of all the music I would eventually discover... Compilations aka Reissues were key in the development of my tastes. When you look back now, over all the years of collections, compilations, and reissues, the amount of releases back then pales against whats come out since. With all the years gone by, and folks like PPU, Numero, Now and Again, Stones Throw, Ace/Big Beat, Luv N' Haight etc.. its mind blowing. Just an endless sea or cool stuff to explore.
Back during this adolescent time for me it was 4 main groups of comps that shaped things for me.. Bam Caruso lead the way into psych, Funky People lead the way into JB's funk, Charley opened the door to rare groove, and these soul comps SOULIN' were likely the first comps I ever bought. There's also the Ultimate Breaks and Beats, but that is also deserved of an entire other post. So, yeah, maybe 5 comps.. 5 reissue groups.
I took a chance on the first one, the first SOULIN' compilation... based on the incredible cover art, and obscure track listing on the back. Strangely enough I bought all of them at tower records of all places. Once I dropped that needle on the grooves I was sprung, the heavy and rough soul that I really quested for did exist. It was southern soul, it was northern soul, it was instrumentals and funky tracks. It was dance music at it's finest to me. At the time I had an inkling about Kent Soul record comps and the immense amount of Northern Soul on those releases, but this was more dear to me. The stuff on SOULIN' was funkier, grittier, tough, soulful, and so irresistibly danceable.
After hearing this first SOULIN' and instantly being hooked (and enlightened I might add) I rushed back the very next day to get the rest of the volumes they had. I bought all of them, which at the time was the remaining two.. volume 4 was to come a bit later.

Soulin' comps were put out by Moonshine Records
and features a woman takin a taste from a bottle. 

They were all so incredible. I've lived by the depths of what was on here.. brought tapes of all of them to parties and people cut loose and spun about on the dance floor. So. In my experience compilations and reissues are pinnacle in harvesting tastes.. developing the ever growing 'map' of music, and also equally important in developing a scene to surround the love of the music.
So, for folks who shun on 'reissues'... please.. go get a life. Without them, most of us wouldn't know shit. I've said this a million times and its been proven to me a million times over... no one person knows EVERYTHING. Comps and reissues of the past are all the doors that have been opened  by others before you. For those in the hip hop community that claim to know everything, you're only fooling yourself.. Ultimate Breaks and Beats taught you a TON. And, without them you probably wouldn't know HALF the shit you do. And, they also were some of the first reissues AND comps I knew about.  So, don't get it twisted, they too were COMPS.
So, onto sharing this excellent, and very common People's Choice 45.. just ONE of the many varied treats on the SOULIN' series.
Maybe I'll share more of them in the future too.. I'd really like to know who these folks were.. who put them together and how they came about. They must have been 1984 or 1985 when they came out? I'm not sure. Very early tho. Also would like to know more about these amazing covers.. the painted scenes of clubs and bars with musicians pouring out of the windows or patrons hanging around. Just incredible.

People's Choice - Let Me Do My Thing