Friday, 10 July 2015

The Philadelphia Signature Soul Sound during the 1980s Pt 8

                                           Featuring female solo artist

Vanessa Williams - The Right Stuff album cover.jpg
Vanessa Williams gold certified album
Actress, fashion model and singer Vanessa Williams became the next female artist to enjoy success with a more updated Philly soul sound. The number one single “Dreamin’” produced by Donald Robinson was taken from her gold-certifed debut album “The Right Stuff” which was released on February 1st 1988 on Wing/Mercury Records. “Dreamin’” peaked at number one week-ending February 18th 1989 (2 weeks) on the Billboard Hot Soul and R&B Singles Chart.

The gold certified album by Regina Belle
Around this time, when Vanessa Williams was enjoying success with her debut single and album, Jean Carne made her final top forty album “You’re a Part of Me” released by Atlantic/Omni Records (1988). The album features a remake of Aretha Franklin’s classic “Ain’t No Way”, produced by Nick Martinelli, which peaked at number twenty-three on the Billboard Hot Black Singles Chart.

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Jean Carne last studio album
 during the 1980s
featuring the soul classic 
Ain't No Way" recorded during 
the 1970s originally by Aretha Franklin
This  was followed by Regina Belle during the same period with her second studio album which went  gold with the help of Nick Martinelli who produced five tracks on the “Stay with Me” album, which reached number one on the Billboard Hot Soul and R&B Albums Chart week-ending December 2nd 1989 (1 week).  Taken from the album was the number one single “Make It Like Was” (produced by Nick Martinelli) which peaked at the top  of the Billboard Hot Black Singles Chart week-ending February 3rd 1990 (1 week).

During that period in the late 1980s, Jean Carne recorded a remake of the Aretha Franklin classic "Ain't No Way" on her solo album "You're a Part of Me" which was released in 1988, using many of  famous session musicians who played on many Philly classic records during the 1970s.


The Philadelphia Signature Soul Sound during the 1980s Pt 7

                                    Featuring female solo artist

Image result for Brandi Wells
The album "Watch Out" containing the
 Quiet Storm  single "Fantasy"
A Quiet Storm Philly classic ballad “Fantasy”, stunningly performed by Brandi Wells, is the highlight of her debut album “Watch Out”, released by WMOT Records in 1984. The track was produced by Nick Martinelli and arranged by Dexter Wansell at Alpha Recording Studio. They also produced and arranged the title track which was a top twenty hit on the Billboard Hot Soul and R&B Singles Chart.
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The album "Just Like Dreamin'" featuring the Philly
 classic remake "I'll Be Around"
The now-defunct  label Philly World Records released a solo album by Terri Wells in 1984. The entire album was produced by Nick Martinelli with string arrangements by the late Norman Harris (former staff member of Philadelphia International Records during its golden era). The singles released from the album were “You Make It Heaven”, “Just Like Dreamin’” and the dance remake of the Spinners’ classic hit “I’ll Be Around”, a gold-certified single recorded originally during the 1970s at the Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia. “I’ll Be Around” was a big hit for Terri Wells in the UK where both the single and album  has  a  cult following.
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Joanna Gardner only solo
 album of her career
The following year her label mate Joanna Gardner released a studio solo album “Joanna Gardner”  and Veronica Underwood’s self-titled album “Veronica Underwood” also appeared. On both albums music styles include electronic, funk and soul. All three albums were recorded at Alpha Recording Studio, also known as Alpha International Recording Studios. The legendary Bobby Eli (rhythm guitar player in MFSB studio band) produced a track for Joanna Gardner called “I Could Never Love Another Like You” featuring string performance and arrangements by Don Renaldo and  his group of string players, with synthesizer performance by Donald R. Robinson.   The song has a 1980s sound with a 1970s Philly soul mix.
Image result for Veronica Underwood
Featuring the Quiet Storm single
 "We're Gonna Make It"
“Victim Of Desire” from Veronica Underwood’s self-titled album is a definitive 1980s synthesizer sound, with a powerful vocal performance by Veronica Underwood and a backing designed for the dance floor. Another interesting track from the album is the sweet ballad “We’re Gonna Make It” which fits the Quiet Storm format on radio using live instruments and synthesizers.



About Me

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Old Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom
Kevin Tomlin has over 34 years of teaching experience in Jamaica, England and America, including 15 years teaching music history of black origin and visual art in South Florida, U.S.A., through Arts in Education. Tomlin created special training programmes and workshops for music teachers in South Florida schools, using music history as the foundation, to build exciting programmes of study and support materials for education professionals. Since 2000, he’s taught music history, geography, religious education, history, visual arts and performing arts at schools in Hertfordshire and Essex, at both primary and secondary levels. He conducts research and provides consultancy services for multi-media organisations, schools, recording artists, cultural and faith-based groups and entertainment professionals.

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