Letter #22

Good morning / afternoon / evening everyone,

I hope you’ve all had a lovely week. This week is an exciting one for me. We have a very special list and letter, from a very special guest…

Please, if you enjoy this letter, I would massively appreciate if you would share it ❤️ .

HERE’S this week’s playlist.

–  🎼 –

As I mentioned above, we have a special guest this week. This week’s letter comes from a dear friend of mine, Chris Wood. I haven’t known Chris all that long, but on meeting him I felt like I’d known him for years. That could be on account of his thick Manchester accent, or the fact that he was wearing a double-breasted Prince of Wales check suit. Probably both.

Anyway, it was Chris and I had been talking about music that he suggested I read Love Saves the Day. So, without that conversation, Love Will Save the Day might never have been. So thanks, Chris❤️ .

As to be expected from a huge music fan (with a penchant for disco and soul), the list is excellent. Again, I’ve not listened through, and I can barely contain my excitement. His letter is pretty spectacular too… Chris, take it away.

– ✏️ –

A quick ramble on my part that I feel I need to get out of the way; Jed, I must say I was honoured when you invited me to be a guest editor on your epic Love Will Save the Day project. Those feelings were very quickly followed by a great sense of pressure. The bar has been set high, the principles you’re following have been outlined clearly, and the expectations of your members (myself included) I’m sure are high when they open the email on a Friday morning.

Once committed there is no going back.

To arrive at 30 tracks, that tell a story, with that important start, middle and end, I can’t express how difficult a task it was (if you’re invited good luck!). For me I opted for a playlist routed in the ‘Love Saves The Day’ parties Dave Mancuso famously threw. 200ish tracks to start, then 100, 70 and so on. The final push to hit 30, those last 10 tracks to be removed was so so difficult. Once done I decided there was no returning. On each review I felt I’d missed a critical track. But no changes were made. Today I’m not going to talk about my playlist, but instead my inspiration.

Love will save the day… Poetic and powerful words, but words I truly believe. I’m not 100% sure, but I suspect I may have been the person who first pointed Jed towards the Tim Lawrence book? [Editors note: yep!]

I know Jed has talked about this book, and others that Tim has penned already, but it’s worth a second mention. I can only echo his views. This is a book that should be on every music fans reading list (well disco / house music fans at the very least). If, like me, you grew up on dance music through the 80s/90s then this book will help make sense of how we got to where we are today. Unpicking it further though, it starts to look at the societal role and influence music has in this world.

I’m not a prolific reader but I would also like to mention another great music history book, Life After Dark by Dave Haslam. This book covers a much broader music spectrum, and delves even deeper into the societal role of music and its place in counter culture. It’s a heavy read at times but well worth the effort.

Now, as a Manchester lad, Dave Haslam (and the Hacienda) had a much earlier influence on my musical taste. My influences are far and wide now but as a youngster they we initially very narrowly centred around dance music, specifically what was then termed as House and Garage (ref to Paradise Garage and Warehouse – two very important clubs). Manchester is and always was a hotbed for music. It’s a city I love dearly. Well worth a night out! Always some great music and dancing to be had. I love to dance.

Other influences, well first and foremost friends; Andrew, Stephen, Charles, and David. Great friends who I’ve shared music with and will continue to share music with. People who have shaped my musical tastes, influenced my listening and pushed me down routes I thought I wouldn’t explore. I look forward to many more adventures.

DJs I’d like to reference; Colleen Murphy, Greg Wilson, and Gilles Peterson. All huge influences on me. Their wanderings cover all aspects of music. Every time I listen to one of them I find something new. Their personal back stories also inspire. Colleen was a protégé of Mancuso – please do listen to her Cosmodelica radio show on Worldwide FM (last week’s show was a belter), and Greg was the first DJ in the UK to mix on TV. He has been in the business for many decades, but fell out of love with his profession during the 90s and stopped working for almost 20 years. He found his passion again and is back at it today and going strong. He blogs too, and that’s definitely worth a read.

This week I’ve mainly been listening to Chet Baker, Nina Simone, and thanks to Andrew, some early Pointer Sisters (it’s much harder than you may imagine!). Anyway enough. Time to listen. I hope you enjoy the musical memories I’m sharing today.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

– 📄 –
  1. Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together
  2. The Cure – Lullaby
  3. Chet Baker – My Funny Valentine
  4. Aretha Franklin – Rock Steady
  5. Stevie Wonder – I Was Made to Love Her
  6. Grace Jones – Williams Blood
  7. Incredible Bongo Band – Apache
  8. Cymande – Brothers on the Slide
  9. William Onyeabor – Good Name
  10. War – Gypsy Man
  11. Ashford & Simpson – Found A Cure
  12. George Duke – Brazilian Love Affair
  13. Melba Moore – You Stepped Into My Life
  14. Bobby Womack – I Feel A Groove Comin’ On
  15. Manu Dibango – Soul Makossa
  16. Gladys Knight & The Pips – Friendship Train
  17. Yambu – Sunny
  18. Patti LaBelle – The Spirit’s In It
  19. Gino Soccio – Dancer
  20. Sylvester – Do Ya Wanna Funk
  21. Ten City – Devotion
  22. Richie Havens – Going Back to My Roots
  23. Santana – Waiting
  24. T Coy – Carino (Greg Wilson edit)
  25. 40 Thieves – Don’t Turn It Off (Greg Wilson edit)
  26. Escort – Cocaine Blues
  27. 808 State – Pacific707
  28. Marvin Gaye – “T” Plays It Cool
  29. David Bowie – Somebody Up There Likes Me
  30. Marvin Gaye – You’re All I Need to Get By

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

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