Just three months into 2013 and somehow I've managed to knock out my second installment of my Red Bull Music Academy Radio show, "Across 135th Street" , this year. Like its predecessor, "Soul Extravaganza 2013," "Super Soul Ballad Power Hour(s)" is composed entirely of vintage soul 45s - but this time of the sweet soul, beat ballad and mid-tempo x-over variety. 2-hours strong as the day is long. Truth be told I'd originally planned to finish this last month around Valentine's Day. But you know what? Then it would have gotten lost amongst a million other damn Valentine's mixes. Plus, there were records that I wanted to include in the set that weren't romance related (like the Stone Creations and Donald Jenkins). Everyone should be listening to ballads like these all year round anyways, not just when the greeting card industry mandates. Once again instead of posting a regular playlist I've scanned the label art of every record played for my fellow record nerds. Peruse as you listen, and check out more random thoughts and stuff about the show below. Enjoy!
From RBMA HQ: Ice-Cold-Love may be the most gangster artist name in the history of either gangsters or names; Blu and Alchemist did the Deceptions right; Stone Creations sound like they recorded their single in an echoey bathroom, albeit a really good echoey bathroom; more people should have blatantly ripped off Willie Hutch ’s “I Choose You” like Robert Taylor did; Dee Dee Warwick sings the best opening line (“If I waited for you to call don’t you know there’d be dust on my phone”); “Winter Is Much Too Long”; Sugarhill , a/k/a First Family, is unrelated to either Sugarhill Records or M.O.P.; Sylvia Robinson is the only person who can claim ties to both “Rapper’s Delight” and “Last Donut of the Night”; and “You’re Not Close” applies to whoever did the magnificently sloppy edits on the Calvin Golden record… Listeners: the hissy, crackly sounds of romance, heartbreak and hope for humankind beckon you!
CLICK THE THUMBNAILS ABOVE TO SEE EVERY RECORD PLAYED ON THE SHOW