R&B House Urban / Sisters & Brothers Volume One 1983 – 1989


1983 – 1984


1 MICHAEL JACKSON / Billie Jean / Single A Side January 1983

2 GEORGE CLINTON / Atomic Dog / Single A Side January 1983

3 D TRAIN / Music / Single A Side April 1983

4 BRASS CONSTRUCTION / We Can Work It Out / Conversation May 1983

5 MARY JANE GIRLS / All Night Long / Mary Jane Girls May 1983

6 MTUME / Juicy Fruit / Single A Side May 1983

7 RUFUS & CHAKA KHAN / Ain’t Nobody / Stompin’ At The Savoy June 1983

8 MIDNIGHT STAR / Freak-A-Zoid / No Parking On The Dancefloor August 1983

9 CLASS ACTION / Weekend / Single A Side October 1983

10 FATBACK / Is This The Future? / Is This The Future? October 1983

11 CAMEO / She’s Strange / She’s Strange March 1984

12 PRINCE & THE REVOLUTION / When Doves Cry / Single A Side May 1984

13 KLYMAXX / The Men All Pause / Single A Side June 1984

14 SADE / Hang On To Your Love / Diamond Life July 1984

15 COLONEL ABRAMS / Music Is The Answer / Single A Side August 1984

16 DAZZ BAND / Let It All Blow / Single A Side October 1984

17 CHAKA KHAN / I Feel For You / I Feel For You October 1984

18 JESSE SAUNDERS / On And On / Single A Side October 1984


1985 - 1989


1 LOOSE ENDS / Hanging On A String / Single A Side January 1985

2 PRINCE & THE REVOLUTION / Raspberry Beret / Around The World In A Day April 1985

3 J.M. SILK / Music Is The Key / Single A Side June 1985

4 COLONEL ABRAMS / Trapped / Single A Side August 1985

5 MR FINGERS / Can You Feel It / Washing Machine EP December 1985

6 MARSHALL JEFFERSON / Move Your Body / Single A Side March 1986

7 JAMIE PRINCIPLE / Your Love / Single A Side March 1986

8 JANET JACKSON / Control / Control March 1986

9 FARLEY JACKMASTER FUNK With Darryl Pandy / Love Can’t Turn Around / Single A Side August 1986

10 MICHAEL JACKSON / Streetwalker / Bad Bonus Track Recorded January – March 1987

11 PRINCE / Sign O The Times / Single A Side March 1987

12 JOE SMOOTH / Promised Land / Single A Side April 1987

13 HOUSE TO HOUSE With Kim Mazelle / Taste My Love / Single A Side June 1987

14 RALPHI ROSARIO With Xaviera Gold / You Used To Hold Me / Single A Side August 1987

15 MR LEE / Pump Up Chicago / Single A Side April 1988

16 RAZE / Break 4 Luv / Single A Side May 1988

17 KARIYA / Let Me Love You For Tonight / Single A Side June 1988

18 INNER CITY / Big Fun / Single A Side September 1988


   In the seventies, soul had been the soundtrack to black American life but by the early eighties it was in a very strange place. Without the political gravitas that had come with civil rights, and without any superstars, it had become obsessed with selling itself to the mainstream although that would demand a very different type of artist.

   Thriller changed not only the rules of the game, but the shape, slope and size of the playing field, while ‘Billie Jean’ and its video killed soul stone dead and invented R&B. All on his own, Michael Jackson kicked down the walls of inherent corporate racism so R&B could enter the mainstream, forever changing the black = soul, white = rock split that had been the foundation of American pop for over 30 years.

   Sadly, post Thriller R&B stank big time. Just think Whitney Houston or Luther Vandross. Over produced, synthetic, cynically escapist and eager to please, eighties R&B became so devoted to racial and generational crossover and the lure of the dollar, that it lost any feeling of roots, relevance and rebellion. You had to dig deep to find any records that weren’t just syrupy mush although that made the ones that did stand out all the more heroic and poignant.      

   Throughout the eighties, the only artist to give R&B any real credibility was Prince, who took it to the conceptual high ground before hip-hop dismantled it altogether. In an era of faceless corporate soul, Prince was the only artist able to synthesize his influences into an original vision. Perhaps more importantly he was the only black performer to address the hopelessness and spiritual desolation of the Reagan years.

   From the mid-eighties on, R&B was so bad that in Chicago, Detroit, New York and Britain, it began to be usurped by the return of disco, otherwise known as House. This time around it was deep and raw, incorporating sparse synthesised European sounds and early electro dub effects. Together with Marshall Jefferson, Frankie Knuckles was one of the new scenes prime movers, its very name, inspired by his residency at Chicago’s Warehouse. Of course House rapidly morphed into a myriad of rave and electronic sub genres but garage or deep house remained faithful to the spirit of seventies disco soul. It was easy to link all the original house anthems, from ‘Promised Land’ to ‘Can You Feel It’, from ‘Move Your Body’ to ‘Big Fun’. For a moment it looked like House might even take over the world.