The Players Association 'Turn The Music Up!'
I was turned onto this group by going to Eyes Down and The Chair and listening to Kelvin Brown playing 'We're Almost There' which is probably the best example of their work but seeing as I couldn't find a video of that I thought I'd settle for my other favourite tune from them and that is 'Turn The Music Up!' which appeals to my jazzier side, it's basically a proto-house tune from before 4/4 was house and it just ticks all the right boxes for me. One of those records that you can play to the sweaty masses at 3am or out in the sun on a terrace at 3pm. A great record that your collection needs if you don't have it already.
Dennis Coffey - Theme From Black Belt Jones
They simply don't make them like they used to and this is proof. I love records that are balls to the floor and you don't get much more to the point than this impeccable piece of music that always gets the party started. I have worn out the grooves on at least two copies of this and with my third copy a bit worse for wear it may be time that I got my next replacement lined up. This is easy as pie to find and go for the re-issue as it is cut just that much louder. I dare you not to dance to this. Superb stuff.
Edwin Starr - Get Up (Whirlpool)
This was a record that was broken in 2006 by my KUMO co-hort Paul Hughes at his numerous gigs in the city, and it became a record that was simply known as 'Paul's Record' and even though a couple of us played it, it never sounded as good as when Paul did much in the way Ashford & Simpson 'Stay Free' never sounds as good as when Adam H drops it. Edwin Starr may be better known for the anti-war anthem 'WAR' which really came back into prominence once Laurent Garnier started playing it after the US invaded Iraq and numerous other jocks followed suit. Another great record of his to hunt down is the supremely funky 'Easin' In' which was featured on the first World Wide compilation by Gilles Peterson at the turn of the century but as good as these two records are, and Edwin's whole back catalogue for that matter, nothing stands up to the magic that is 'Get Up (Whirlpool)' which is a hands in the air call to arms if ever I have heard one. Shouldn't be too hard to track down a copy and you need it, the 7" version has a bit less of the intro and the 12" is the full deal. I have both, it's that good.
Wilbert Longmire - Black Is The Color
I'll be the first to admit that I don't know a thing about Wilbert Longmire beyond finding this record in Vox Pop during one of my epic Friday digging sessions and playing it to death on our radio show. Obviously the more I went out in Manchester I realised that it wasn't really as long lost a gem as I thought it was but I'd still like to think that through the radio show we broke it to a few more people. This is one of those records that is sheer perfection from start to finish and my favourite bit is the horn-led breakdown towards the middle with the sexy 'Yeah' vocal snippet followed by some of the funkiest sax playing ever. This record gets me on the dancefloor each and every time I hear it and probably will until the day my knees give out and I can't dance anymore but then I'll probably just bust out some of the funkiest wheelchair headbobs imaginable. I never tire of this masterpiece.
The Temptations - You've Got My Soul On Fire
There are so many records from The Temptations back catalogue that I could've chosen for this but today I am leaning towards 'You've Got My Soul On Fire' which epitomizes the influence that Norman Whitfield had on the group. They could've so easily have just stuck to singing their Motown ballads and most people would've been happy but with the vocal talent on offer their Whitfield-led move towards funk, which was becoming more and more prevalent at the time with the likes of Sly & The Family Stone leading the way, truly enshrined them in the annals of music. As far as harmonizing goes you simply can't beat them and the timing both vocally and musically is impeccable. Play this or 'Plastic Man' or 'Ball of Confusion' and watch the dancefloor erupt.